NCR Networking Meeting – 2012-11-20

Location: NCR – Le Salon, National Arts Centre

Subject:  “Portfolio Management – optimizing management of projects”

Registrants: 35 – 25 present

Presentation: Attached

Speaker: Verna Lawrence-Toy,  MBA, MoP, CQIA, HRSDC Enterprise Project Portfolio Manager, Chief Financial Officer Branch, Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)

Verna joined HRSDC in 1999 after a successful career as a quality improvement analyst in the banking and service industries. At HRSDC Verna has developed and implemented many processes in business planning, operations, and most recently the implementation of the Policy on the Management of Projects, and the Policy on Investment Planning, Assets and Acquired Services. She also conceptualized and implemented the Portfolio, Program and Project framework within HRSDC and credits much of HRSDC’s success in portfolio management to this network. Verna leads a project management forum that is attended by up to 22 Canadian government departments and agencies.

Abstract: Your organization has a limited amount of resources to provide quality products and services to Canadians that it has been mandated to deliver, and even more so during this time of fiscal constraint. Resources spent on projects not aligned to the strategic direction of the organization represents capacity that can be gained back for use on those projects that are aligned. Portfolio Management does exactly that. It identifies all projects underway in an organization and allows management to identify:

·      Which initiatives to invest in;

·      Whether or not to continue to invest in existing initiatives;

·      How to ensure efficient and effective delivery; and

·      How to maximize the return on investment.

Simply put, Portfolio Management is about doing the right thing.


Summary Report: Verna outlined how HRSDC determines which projects are of greatest strategic importance to the Department, and to Canadians. The attendees found Verna’s presentation most informative as it exposed those attending to some new concepts and sought to make a link between the management of projects and quality principles. Verna presents well and clearly has broken some new ground with her Portfolio Management efforts. Attendees and those visiting this page would be well-advised to register for the 2013 Ottawa Public Sector Quality Fair where Verna will be conducting a workshop that picks up where she left off at this event. 

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