A traditional organizational approach to technical problems involves ongoing technical presentations, informal networking, informal education in existing problems and solutions, and data publication. Such an approach is ill-suited to SWAN’s mandate. Instead, SWAN’s strategy is to enable business community, academic and governmental collaboration to execute projects that have tangible outcomes of water consumption, using a strong project management approach.
There is little shortage in technically appropriate solutions to existing problems, data to describe such existing problems, and research interpreting the existing problems. What is needed is an institutional catalyst that takes existing technical solutions, research and data, to produce deliverables that can be combined into feasible business proposals, that are solutions to the existing problems. SWAN shall be such a catalyst.
Collaborative Platform, SWAN Portal
SWAN shall have a web-based software portal tool, the SWAN Portal, by which members may collaborate, and which will assist in efficient and effective specification, selection and delivery of solutions through project management. This tool may be customized for use by each member.
By bringing together different and diverse members and partnerships, SWAN Portal-enabled feedback and interaction may lead to new idea generation, reevaluation of perspectives and philosophies of water treatment, and new research avenues being explored.
Through the Portal, project management content and documents may be centralized, and intellectual property and confidential information may also be managed centrally. Also managed centrally will be stakeholder information. Such stakeholders include SWAN members, external parties, customers and vendors.
The Portal shall provide simple yet effective reporting, monitoring, tracking and communication of project success. Templates and document management shall be provided on the cloud. Thus stakeholders may monitor project delivery.
One purpose of the Portal is to shorten the time to deliver a project, while remaining on scope, on budget and on time to the extent possible. For that purpose, SWAN will deliver project plans. It is desired that projects be completed on a quarterly basis.
The Portal will require training to use. Online training will be provided to new members, both for general project management and for particular use of the tool. Established members will have ongoing training, based on personnel turn-over.
The Portal will be configured, in the default setting, to small to medium business culture.
Media and Marketing
SWAN’s media lead will be from provincial government, and will initially be a board member of Innovation Saskatchewan.
After one year of operations, SWAN will introduce a formal marketing program, with a focus on sales, branding and international market entry.
Project management allows collaboration between stakeholders by assigning responsibilities. As different groups know when others are expected to complete responsibilities, and at what cost and specification, the groups that are not responsible for matter can provide timely inpu to that mattert, and plan for their own responsibilities, that depend on the successful execution of that matter. Thus independent groups may plan overlapping work as parts of multidisciplinary teams, and interdependence may be managed with confidence.
SWAN specifies a common project magement approach. Thus common terminology, a common set of tools, templates and reporting format allows a large collaborative group to complete its work.
SWAN uses a customized version of the methodology of the widely accepted PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), which was developed by the non-profit Project Management Institute. In Swan’s methodology, the stages are Proposal, Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monotoring and Controlling, and Closing.
In each stage of project management, Scope, Time Frame, Cost, Quality, Human Resources requirements, Communications Responsibilities, Risks, Integration, Procurement requirements, Stakeholders, Saftey Responsibilities, Claims, Environmental Standards, Record Keeping Responsibilities and Requirements, and Involved Relationships must be identified and specified.
Projects within SWAN’s framework must identify milestones and measurement tools and techniques to track, monitor and control milestone progress, to identify actual versus planned performance. Having milestones achieved, or plans modified in response to risk events, allows stakeholders to have confidence in the execution of a project.