Embarking on a Transformative Journey: Project Services Modernization (PSM)

September 27, 2023 – In an era of rapidly evolving technology, governments worldwide are challenged to modernize their information technology (IT) systems to serve their residents efficiently. Accompanying the need to modernize is the need to continuously evaluate and improve processes. Recognizing the need for change, the California Department of Technology (CDT) is stepping into a new era of innovation with the launch of the Project Services Modernization (PSM) effort. This ambitious undertaking seeks to modernize California’s approach to project planning, procurement, and oversight. By incorporating feedback, lessons learned, and best practices from diverse sources, CDT aims to create a customer-centric environment that enables all State departments to make the best choices regarding their project development and implementation methodologies while continuing to protect the State’s vast and diverse investments in technology and ensuring efforts to modernize critical government systems and services are delivered on time and on budget. 

The Need for Change 

California remains a worldwide leader in the technology space and effective project planning, procurement, and oversight continue to be critical factors enabling digital transformation. However, government organizations often struggle with cumbersome processes, outdated systems, and organizational inefficiencies that hinder successful project delivery. The PSM effort is born out of recognizing that traditional processes and methodologies may no longer align with the demands of a fast-paced, technology-driven world. CDT has always sought improvements and advancements to its planning, procurement, and oversight activities, but the extent of these improvements remains insufficient. A fresh perspective is overdue—a step toward the future focused on modern, adaptable, and collaborative approaches to project management.

Harnessing Collective Wisdom 

A distinctive feature of the PSM effort is its commitment to gathering insights from multiple sources and laying the foundation for a well-rounded approach to modernizing project delivery by actively engaging public and private sector stakeholders and experts. The project team is mining feedback, reviewing lessons from past projects, and drawing inspiration from private industry and academic research.

Key Pillars of PSM 

  • Holistic Lifecycle Approach: We envision an adaptable and agile approach to the IT project lifecycle. From the initial planning stages to project closure and subsequent analysis, every step will be scrutinized, optimized, and integrated for maximum efficiency and transparency. 
  • Adaptive Project Governance: Flexibility and adaptability are crucial in the dynamic world of technology. We will enable departments to tailor their governance structure and processes in response to changing project requirements and market conditions while continuing to effectively manage and mitigate risks and issues. 
  • Continuous Learning and Improvement: Learning from successes and failures is pivotal for growth. We are committed to creating a culture of constant learning, where insights from each project are carefully analyzed, documented, and utilized to refine future endeavors. 
  • Technological Integration: Modernization is impossible without robust technology integration. We will leverage cutting-edge tools to automate and streamline processes, improve collaboration, and enhance project monitoring. 

Challenges on the Horizon 

While the vision is compelling, CDT must overcome resistance to change, ensure buy-in from all stakeholders, and manage the complexities of multi-year projects, to name just a few. 

The Promise of a Transformed Future 

As the PSM effort unfolds, customers can anticipate a host of benefits. PSM represents a transformation comprehensive series of process improvements aimed at streamlining the State’s approach to planning, procuring, overseeing, and assimilating insights throughout the IT project lifecycle.  

 CDT commitment to embracing project delivery transformation for the betterment of Californians ushers in a new era of efficiency, innovation, and collaboration by drawing inspiration from diverse sources and reimagining how it manages IT projects. As the PSM effort unfolds, the State will modernize its processes and set an example of how government can evolve in tandem with the technological landscape.  

 Stay tuned for in-depth articles exploring the improvements and methodology in the coming weeks.