DC Water

2020 PMO of the Year Winner: DC Water

Learn more about 2020 PMO of the Year Winner: DC Water - IT Project Management Office.

Washington, D.C., USA

Safe, clean water is the source of life for a community. Users need—and expect—unlimited and affordable access to the resource 24/7. For the IT project management office (PMO) at DC Water, that means coming up with innovative solutions to protect the labyrinthine 1,900 miles (3,058 kilometers) of wastewater pipes in Washington, D.C. Case in point: an AI-based tool that taps into a deep learning neural network model to locate defects. The so-called “facial recognition for sewer pipes” doesn’t just eliminate the risk of human error. It slashed the cost of scanning and coding flaws by roughly 75 percent. Another project by DC Water and industrial automation company GrayMatter uses technology to monitor the water quality in public drinking fountains—and turns them off when readings hit a certain level. Not only has the system been deployed in DC Water’s hometown, but other jurisdictions are buying the tech—creating another revenue stream for the org. All that bleeding-edge tech is amazing, but it also has to deliver a business solution. “We are not-for-profit. So we’ve got to be really careful with the dollars that we spend,” said Tom Kuczynski, DC Water’s vice president of IT. “It’s important that we achieve the results and the benefits from the investments that we make. That’s what the PMO helps us do.” And the PMO of the Year winner does it with great efficiency: Between 2014 and 2019, it helped DC Water’s on-time, on-budget delivery rate jump from 35 percent to 80 percent.