Case Studies

Capital Planning At Harvard University

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CASE STUDY CAPITAL PLANNING AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY PROFILE • Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. • 2,400 faculty members and more than 10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals; 6,700 undergraduate students and another 15,250 graduate and professional students. • More than 25 million gross square feet in over 650 buildings OBJECTIVES • A single repository for capital plan information for reliable data. • Less time and fewer resources required to administer, submit, and consolidate capital plans. • Eliminate static spreadsheets and manual reporting processes. • Integration of systems to provide a single point of entry for all related capital project data. • Analytical tools to support the financial evaluation of the capital plans. • Integration with multi-year financial plans, interim reporting, and the annual operating budget. • Robust set of reporting and analytical tools. Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States and is ranked annually as one of the top national universities. Its main campus is located in Cambridge and neighboring Allston, Massachusetts; it also has campuses in Washington, D.C., as well as Florence and Fiesole, Italy. Harvard owns more than 25 million gross square feet in over 650 buildings. These buildings are the responsibility of Harvard's 11 principal academic units – ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study – and many administrative units. In 2011, the Executive Vice President established a process whereby the University consolidates capital projects of schools and units into one integrated plan that aligns with academic, strategic, and financial priorities. The University invested $467 million in capital projects and acquisitions during fiscal year 2015 and $597 million in 2016. With the new integrated planning process, Harvard anticipated the need to move away from manual spreadsheets and develop an enterprise automated solution. The solution not only had to be able to capture and consolidate five-year capital project information of almost 1,000 projects, but it also had to be available for stakeholders to update and to report plan and project data on a daily basis. Recognizing the decentralized management of its physical plant, Harvard met with its schools/units to develop requirements that met users' needs. After its research, Harvard selected the EcoSys TM software platform because of its ease of use and configurability to meet all stakeholder needs. Based on Harvard's experience with EcoSys, key business stakeholders expanded its use to cost controls and are now looking at expanding the use of EcoSys to include contract management. SOLUTIONS • Implementation of EcoSys for developing proposed capital projects, enhancing data integrity, and submitting capital plans. • Both monthly and periodic progress monitoring for analysis of planned and active projects for stakeholders.

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