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Appendix C: CCG Integrated Investment Planning Framework Details

CCG’s Integrated Investment Planning Framework was created to guide the Agency through the creation of it’s firstever Investment Plan. The framework built upon sound planning practices in place in the past to:

  • Align CCG with the requirements on the new TBS Policy on Investment Planning – Assets and Acquired Services; and
  • Leverage lessons learned from previous planning cycles to improve the level of integration across CCG in the planning process.

A high-level view of CCG’s Integrated Investment Planning Framework is included in Section 2.6. This Appendix provides additional detail on the activities undertaken in each step within the Framework.

The following figure depicts the ten steps in CCG’s investment planning framework.

Each individual step in the framework is described below.

The framework begins with CCG’s Direction, Mandate, Strategy and Priorities. The articulation of CCG’s direction and mandate provides the context for making CCG’s investment decisions. The direction and mandate are enshrined in other documents such as legislation, the Report on Plans and Priorities and CCG’s Business Plans. Changes to the Agency’s direction, mandate or priorities should never be introduced in the Investment Plan.

The next three activities in the approach combine to provide a capability-based analysis to serve as the basis for
investment decisions. Capability analysis begins with an articulation of the capabilities that CCG requires to execute
its mandate now, and in the future, on a program-by-program basis.

Each program also completes an analysis of current and anticipated capabilities based on:

  • the number and condition of existing assets;
  • the expected future condition of existing assets;
  • already-planned investments to add to the asset base or to extend the life of existing assets; and
  • externally acquired services.

The program requirements are compared with current and anticipated capability (from assets and acquired services)
to identify any current or future gaps in the Agency’s required capabilities. Understanding and articulating the
capability gaps of the organization in the short, medium and long term will guide investment as each investment
will be expected to address one or more gaps in program capabilities.

Alternative analysis is the stage in the process where options to satisfy capability gaps are identified and evaluated.
The goal of this activity is to ensure that investment decisions are optimized based on a reasonable suite of options/
alternatives which may include:

  • One-for-one asset replacement;
  • Replace with a different type of asset (technology, configuration, etc.);
  • Asset purchase or lease; or
  • Have the service provided externally.

The result of the analysis will be a preferred option which will be developed into an investment proposal. As such,
Alternative Analysis serves as the bridge between capability and program gaps and investment decisions.

Once a preferred option is identified to address a capability or program gap, a project proponent is identified and
tasked with preparing an Investment Summary Note (ISN) to document sufficient detail about the proposed
investment for project prioritization and the allocation of funding. The ISN contains key details about the project
such as:

  • Project description and rationale;
  • Size and timing of investment required;
  • Identification and evaluation of risks associated with the investment; and
  • Provisional project prioritization score (to be discussed below).

Note: ISNs can be prepared at any time during the year by project proponents, but they are collected and reviewed
together annually as a part of Project Prioritization.

The objective of project prioritization is to determine which investments will be made in light of the scarce resources available to the Agency. Prioritization takes place in three stages:

Stage 1 – “Pure” project prioritization

“Pure” prioritization is completed at the COE level and focuses on articulating the true requirements and priorities of the Agency. The goal of pure prioritization is to rank projects in order of priority in the absence of internal or external constraints.

Project proponents use CCG’s Priority Ranking Framework to assign each project a score on eight criteria across three categories that permit the collection of information needed by Investment Management Board to make effective investment decisions. The categories and criteria are:

Once projects are scored using the Priority Ranking Framework, they are compiled, circulated for comment within CCG, and reviewed on an organization-wide basis.

While the “Pure” prioritization list cannot on its own determine how CCG will spend its capital funds in any given year, it is a valuable tool to articulate the gap between funding levels and funding requirements as well as the Agency’s investment priorities.

Note – the Investment Project Priority Ranking Framework is designed to be a Decision Support Tool for CCG management. The purpose of this prioritization framework is to collect the information required to make the best investment decisions for CCG. It is not intended to be a mechanical determinant of project priority or to decide which projects get funded without the application of judgment.

Stage 2 – “Practical” project prioritization

Practical prioritization determines which of the organization’s priorities will be funded based on the application of constraints such as internal capacity to deliver the project, contracting lead times and industrial capacity as well as financial constraints. CCG’s Integrated Technical Services (ITS) and Major Crown Projects (MCP) groups are involved to integrate internal and external capacity to deliver on the proposed investments; Integrated Business Management Services (IBMS) is involved to outline the financial constraints facing the Agency.

Practical prioritization takes place at a cross-functional meeting that includes the key internal stakeholders for CCG’s investment plan. The purpose of this meeting is twofold:

  • Serve as a peer review within CCG of each COE’s proposed investments (including the priority ranking scores assigned to the investment).
  • Integrate the input of CCG’s project delivery and financial management organizations into the order of priority for the proposed investments.

The result of pure and practical prioritization is a list of proposed investments that can be implemented over the five year planning horizon, but with a focus on the upcoming year. Each investment will be assigned to one of four categories:

  • New Starts/ “Tier I” Plan Projects to be funded out of the current fiscal year’s funding envelope.
  • “On Deck”/ “Tier II” Plan Projects that are unable to be funded within the current year’s allocation due to lack of funds but not due to lack of capacity – activities that could be executed now if funding was available. Note: may also include future phases of ongoing projects that can be accelerated to avoid slippage.
  • Future Starts High-priority projects identified for implementation in future years (when capacity to implement the projects is available both inside and outside CCG). Investments can be confirmed and scheduled to begin in future years when capacity constraints are no longer applicable.
  • External Funding Source Projects that are not affordable within CCG’s major capital funding envelope.

Stage 3 – Investment decision

The results of the pure and practical prioritization exercises are presented to CCG’s Investment Management Board for review and approval. This is an important step in the process because it allows senior CCG management to provide a final allocation of available funding reflective of the organization’s priorities. While each COE works with a notional funding envelope when putting forward their proposed investment list, IMB may shift funding between COEs if high-priority projects are left unfunded on one COE’s list.

As a part of this stage in the Investment Plan Development, CCG also works with other Centres of Expertise within DFO to communicate the Agency’s requirements and to assist those COEs with their own project prioritization. The affected DFO COEs are Real Property, and Information Management & Information Technology. Representatives from Resource Management & Financial Allocation within Integrated Business Management Services coordinate a review meeting between relevant CCG stakeholders and those COEs to ensure that the proposed CCG-related investments within those COEs are the highest priority of the Agency.

Once the investment list has been approved by IMB, CCG prepares its Investment Plan documentation. While the Investment Plan only needs to be submitted to TBS every three years, CCG and DFO plan to revise the Investment Plan annually (as we have done previously with the Long-Term Capital Plan). This approach ensures that the organization is always forward-looking when making investment decisions.

Once investments have been included in the Investment Plan, they are still subject to project approval before
implementation. CCG has adopted a risk-based project approval process internally that applies a similar philosophy
to the one used by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) when determining the authorities vested in each
department. It is at this stage that the Project Complexity and Risk Assessment (PCRA) is first completed for each
project, which implies that no money can be spent on a project before this step. Details of the CCG project approval
process are available on the CCG Intranet.

CCG has a strong track record of very rigorous monthly project progress reporting. On a monthly basis, CCG’s Investment Management Board (described above in Appendix B – CCG Organization Structure and Governance) reviews the budget, scope, timeline and risks associated with every planned and ongoing investment within the Agency. Projects showing issues on any of these dimensions are required to report to IMB regarding the causes, mitigations and proposed solutions on a project-by-project basis. In this way project issues are identified as early as possible and highlighted to Senior Management for attention, decision and remedial action.

In addition to the project-by-project review, the effect of project performance is also evaluated on a regional basis (to help identify any areas that are consistently faced with challenges in project management effectiveness and to develop long-term solutions to issues) and national basis (to provide a holistic view of the budget, timeline and resource impacts on the agency as a whole).

This has proven to be an extremely effective and successful framework for CCG, and is a significant contributor to the Agency’s ongoing successful track record for project delivery.

Activity 10b: Annual Integrated Investment Planning Process Review

On an annual basis, the Resource Management and Financial Allocations team will conduct debriefing sessions with Integrated Investment Planning Process participants and stakeholders and revise the process as necessary to ensure that it is meeting the planning needs of the Agency.