City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Starting the week of June 9, 2008, Cedar Rapids, Iowa experienced flooding of catastrophic historic proportions. The Cedar River crested June 13 at 31.12 ft, 19.12 ft above flood stage and 11.12 ft above the previous record set in 1929. The floods impacted over 7,000 parcels of land. This flooding event infiltrated well past the 100 and 500 year flood plains, making it unpredictable by today's standards. While properties throughout Cedar Rapids along floodways were impacted, most of the damage occurred in the downtown business district and the surrounding neighborhoods. The flood impacted three hundred twenty-five City of Cedar Rapids facilities. A partial list of those that experienced substantial loss include the Veterans Memorial Building/City Hall, the Public Library, the Public Works Facility, the Central Fire Station, the Animal Control Facility, the Transit Facility and Bus Garage, the Water Pollution Control Facility, the Paramount Theatre, the US Cellular Center and a recreation center. The City faced a daunting task to implement a complex project structure to manage the short and long term recovery.
In July 2008, the City engaged MainStream GS for an initial six month effort to stand up a project management office and enable a project management discipline to drive fact based decision making to support the recovery effort.
MainStream GS deployed a highly seasoned program manager with proven real world experience in humanitarian crisis management to lead this six month engagement. This PM was aligned directly with the city manager and city government and business leadership to enable the PMO and project management capabilities to support the recovery effort.
Enabled initial PMO capability within the City of Cedar Rapids to support the recovery effort and serve as and enduring asset for the City and the community.
- This included coaching and mentoring new lead project manager for the City on project management tools, concepts and techniques.
- This included enabling fact based decision making process and tools to support recovery efforts such as risk management processes and project notebook for tracking and attacking issues
Enabled deployment and use of collaboration tools to support cross government and business teams management and coordination of flood recovery actions
Improved speed and impact of city leaders decision making through fact based decision making coaching and mentoring
- Working across city manager, city council, county leadership, business leadership, NGO's, neighborhood organizations
Public/Private partnership organization (Economic Planning and Redevelopment Corporation) launched to support on-going economic planning and development needs.
Enabled a project scorecard across Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) including City, Not for Profit Human Services, and Not for Profit Housing Foundation. Over 2,100 home owners are directly impacted by the success and timeliness of the effort. The city staff and city council have been ongoing partners to ensure impacted families have appropriate housing solutions in the short term as well as the long term.
Enabled and sustained communication to encourage timely and fact based decision making for impacted home owners and small business teams.
- Recruited and developed community business groups to demonstrate leadership through regular presentations in community group meetings, radio, and television and newspaper interviews. This has proved critical in support of small business needs.
- Facilitated neighborhood and city organization strategies needed to support the sustained participation in community planning.