Riverside, Calif., has developed a project management system called “The Hive.” The system helps the city meet its project management needs while providing holistic and real-time access to the state of a program.

“We knew we wanted to improve IT governance in the city,” says Lea Deesing, the city’s chief innovation officer. The Hive is an in-house portal. It uses Microsoft SharePoint technology to validate the project management process framework compliance. The setup works to improve the communications among project stakeholders.

The Hive currently hosts more than 700 projects for Riverside’s Department of Innovation and Technology. More than 100 active projects are hosted in the system at any given time.

For example, Riverside usually receives more than 500 calls per month for computer issues. If the problem will take some time to fix, a project is filed. This allows added visibility into the status of the project and who is working on it. The system provides automated communications to stakeholders as the project progresses.

Several project management tools exist, including many that are cloud-based. Riverside, however, chose to use SharePoint because it has the necessary features and is user-friendly.

The system uses a collaborative platform that gives access to all city employees. Its open, secure access improves communication among stakeholders, making it easy to collaborate across departments. The system’s dashboard view increases transparency because it can show all projects from different departments. Task-level views within the portal give supervisors insight into who is working on what project and why a project might be stalled.

The system’s functionality was recently demonstrated at an Executive Leadership Team committee meeting and proposed as a potential citywide project management tool. Currently, departments including public utilities, public works, fire, economic development, human resources and marketing are using The Hive.

“In my 30 years in IT, I have never been so happy and excited about a project,” says Deesing. “Riverside is a model for executive teamwork, and The Hive is a tool that has taken that teamwork to the next level. I’m looking forward to helping increase the culture and maturity level of project management processes within the city and to other interested government agencies.”

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