In response to the immediate climate change risks facing New York City, particularly in vulnerable communities, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness in addressing environmental challenges. The city is partnering with FUSE to implement this initiative, focusing on streamlining DEP’s internal support offices and building a culture of performance improvement. Starting in April 2024, FUSE Executive Fellow Martin Challinor will engage with DEP leaders and stakeholders to understand organizational needs and aspirations. He will thoroughly review best practices for establishing a PMO and supporting change management within complex government structures. Simultaneously, Challinor will conduct a horizon scan to identify opportunities for efficiency improvement in DEP’s cost centers, particularly in IT, human resources, procurement, payments, and budgeting. The ultimate goal is to operationalize the PMO and initiate high-priority efficiency improvements, laying the foundation for DEP’s enhanced capability to respond to climate change by April 2025.

Throughout the fellowship, Challinor will work towards developing relationships with DEP stakeholders, conducting a literature review of PMO best practices, identifying efficiency opportunities in critical areas, designing the PMO structure, and implementing operational changes. The PMO’s success will be measured by its ability to institutionalize new practices, improve performance in critical areas, and generate buy-in from across the Department. Challinor will play a pivotal role in overseeing the establishment and operation of the PMO, ensuring its alignment with DEP’s goals and contributing to building a more agile and effective agency capable of addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change in New York City.