Summary - Review of Lessons Learned: Accommodation Measures for Unsupervised Online Second Language Evaluation Tests
In the summer of 2020, the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) launched a project on accommodation measures for unsupervised internet tests of second language evaluation in order to develop a platform for people who require accommodation.
- to facilitate access to second language tests for people who require accommodation measures
- to enable departments and agencies to staff bilingual positions during the COVID-19 pandemic
- the review is included in the PSC’s 2021–23 Internal Audit and Evaluation Plan
- the review aimed to capture lessons learned and best practices from project planning, development and delivery
- the review also aimed to examine how the PSC is implementing the agile method to manage projects
- the project was successful, as within a few months the PSC developed and launched a platform that supports remote unsupervised test administration for candidates who need accommodation
- the project was also successful considering the tight deadlines to address the key risks identified, and the challenging circumstances of working on a project in a remote work environment due to the global pandemic
- use of the agile method was seen by several respondents as being a key success factor for the project. which led to positive outcomes for the PSC and test takers
- the project team did not have the proper tools and applications to support tracking of incurred expenditures, which is a key component of the agile method, to detect and address any possible cost overrun in a timely fashion
- the platform was developed according to the highest industry standards while considering PSC future needs for digital solutions
Lessons learned and best practices
Lesson learned: It is important to ensure that the project team includes a project manager, a business analyst, and that all sectors involved in the project work together to coordinate their efforts.
Lesson learned: During the planning phase, it is important to ensure that key stakeholders have a common understanding of the project management approach, how this method will be implemented and the expected project deliverables.
Lesson learned: For digital solutions, it is important in the planning phase to consider a way to develop and document key requirements such as data management and quality, IT security and reporting for communication purposes.
Best practice: The project was successful given that a dedicated project team, including all the required subject matter experts, was put in place and met daily according to the established work plan.
Best practice: The project team benefited from the project governance structure that was established, senior management engagement and support, and good collaboration at all levels of the organization, which supported timely and effective decision-making.
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