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PMI Manitoba Announces the 2020 Project of the Year


PMI Manitoba Chapter – Announces the 2020 Project of the Year

September 15, 2020 – Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

On the afternoon of September 15, 2020, PMI Manitoba announced that the 2020 Project of the Year was being awarded to the Rate System Implementation Project submitted by the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba. 

This year, PMI Manitoba celebrated its 16th annual Project of the Year Gala via an online event, after its original April 2020 date was cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Project of the Year celebrates the top project in the province based on superior performance of project management methodologies and practices. A total of approximately 100 guests were treated to a video presentation of this great project: https://youtu.be/lG_UOqT25A8

The Project of the Year Runner-Up title was awarded to Next Generation Web Experience (NGWE) Project submitted by Smart Plan IT and the University of Manitoba.

The Project of the Year finalist title was awarded to the Court Notification System Project submitted by Solvera and Winnipeg Police Service.

In addition, two additional outstanding projects were submitted for consideration: The Land Management Software Solution Project submitted by Sierra Systems and Ducks Unlimited Canada, as well as the WCU Network Re-design Project submitted by Westoba Credit Union.

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba promotes safety and health in Manitoba workplaces and aims to help prevent and reduce the occurrence of workplace injuries and disease. Working with its partners, the WCB promotes safe and healthy workplaces, facilitates recovery and return to work, provides compassionate and supportive compensation services for workers and employers, and ensures responsible financial stewardship. For more information, visit www.wcb.mb.ca.

The WCB Assessment Rate Model calculates premium rates for all Manitoba Employers covered by WCB. In early 2015, the WCB Board of Directors approved commencing a major multi-year, multi-million dollar project to create and implement a new assessment rate model that would incorporate six core changes to the current WCB rate model.

The objective of the Rate System Implementation Project (RSI) was to completely modernize and transform the rate setting model by enhancing its sensitivity to employers’ prevention efforts while at the same time reducing its complexity. The RSI Project was charged with delivering transformative changes that would enhance transparency on rate calculations, improve data quality, and create leading edge applications and tools for Employers to manage and understand their WCB information and how their future rates may be affected by their current and future experiences.

The project's main lessons learned included: 

  • Stakeholder Analysis - the time spent early on in the planning phase to analyze external stakeholders, develop a plan to engage with them and follow through was critical to the project's success.    
  • Scope Management - a “principle-based” top-down approach for defining the model features and rules at a high-level was developed.  This approach enabled the SC to approve high-level business rules and rate setting model features during the early planning stages and made subsequent scope decision-making more efficient at later stages ensuring their alignment to the approved principles or rules.  
  • Quality Management - quality management strategies were put in place to ensure that processes were in place to plan, monitor and assess quality of the multiple project deliverables.  For example, multiple “parallel runs” (for three annual assessment cycles) at both the actuarial vendor site and at the WCB were conducted to compare the data outputs, ensure they were consistent with zero defects. 

The key factors that resulted in a successful implementation for the project were:

  • Project Management Expertise - two experienced, PMP accredited Project Managers were assigned to the project. These two Project Managers were able to leverage their specialized areas of expertise (e.g. communication, technical, etc.) in all areas of the project.   
  • Stakeholder Analysis - key stakeholders were early on in the planning phase.  Information was provided to this group in advance of messaging being shared with broader audiences in order to gather feedback/identify issues on rate model changes.  This group helped the project secure awareness, engagement, participation, collaboration and buy-in.  
  • Risk Management - a plan was established early on to clearly identify and quantify risks as well as plan and implement the appropriate risk responses. One example of risk identification was to use predictive rate simulation to identify which employers, employer groups or industries were most affected by the new rate model.  Appropriate mitigation strategies were then developed from this analysis.  

The project’s top three project outcomes included:

  • Quality - quality was met or was exceeded in all areas of the project! Feedback on the new model and predictive modelling capabilities has been very positive. As a result, new rates were produced and communicated to employers with zero defects and very few questions about the new model.
  • Schedule - the project was completed on time and all key milestone schedule targets were met as per the baseline schedule.
  • Budget - the project team took great pride in exceeding project expectations by delivering the project 22% under the approved baseline budget.

For more information on the PMI Manitoba Project of the Year, contact the organizing committee at poy@pmimanitoba.org.

PMI Manitoba is the local chapter of the Project Management Institute which is the premier advocate of Project Management world-wide with over 500,000 members.   The local Manitoba Chapter has approximately 850 members.



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