District Creates Project Management Office


James Fine. James Fine, office chief of the Project Management Office

A new office at the District aims to improve the consistency and efficiency of District water resource projects.

The Project Management Office (PMO) was recently created to support the cooperative funding process and other District initiatives. By reviewing and refining the current procedures, the PMO will find ways to improve the process, said James Fine, the new office chief of the PMO.

“Our goal is to work with the different bureaus in the Resource Management Division that handle cooperative funding projects to develop a consistent system,” he said.

Fine recently came to the District from Scheda Ecological Associates where he was vice president/Tampa branch manager. He has worked in the water industry for 22 years.

He said his office will start by coordinating the implementation of new templates for contracts based on categories. Projects will fall into one of the four categories depending on the type and complexity.

Fine is supported by a staff strong in managing projects with a broad knowledge and varied backgrounds at the District. Six staff members were purposely chosen for the new PMO positions from different bureaus of the District so that they would have an understanding of the various bureaus and be able to easily collaborate with other staff members.

Those six are: Jennifer Brunty (FARMS), Rita Harrod (Water Resources), Scott Letasi (Engineering & Watershed Management), Michael Peck (Springs & Environmental Flows), Matt Preston (SWIM) and Randy Smith (Water Supply).

Other long-term goals for the office are creating a process to rank and select cooperative funding projects, develop consistent guidelines for managing projects and creating a database to centrally house all the project information.

Since the Project Management Office is new, Fine notes that the goals will be constantly evolving.

“We will be reviewing what we are doing to determine what works and what doesn’t, and seeking input from staff around the District,” he said.