The process to determine which projects to funded and which remain unfunded by an agency is best done as an iterative process using different assumptions to create multiple scenarios. However, the spreadsheet tools commonly used by local governments lack the functionality to adopt a multiple scenario approach. Most governments only create a single scenario with a final adjustment done at the executive level. This single scenario of funded and unfunded projects is difficult to maintain in today's challenging budget environment.
The Project Filtering Module, in conjunction with the Multiple Scenario Analysis Module allows of CIPAce™ provides powerful tools facilitating an iterative multi-scenario approach to optimize funding decisions.
Most organizations start by configuring the module to reflect their current process that does not include the iterative process. They find value in the power of application to keep the running totals of requested and approved projects against multiple funding sources.
Out of the box the Module supports a variety of Best Practice validated decision making standards to filter capital projects into funded and unfunded project groups. The standards imbedded in the application include:
- Manual Consensus Decision Standard - Manually process of designation funded and unfunded capital projects. This method is typically used to when an organization uses a flexible consensus approach for project funding decisions
- Partial Funding Allocation Standard - Automated filtering process based on allocation of funding from any funding sources under the Funding Allocation module. This filtering standard is meant to address the situation where an outside funding source such as a state or federal grant will be lost if the project is not funded.
- Fully Funded Allocation Standard - Automated filtering process based on whether a project has been allocated with 100% of the funding needed under the Funding Allocation module. This filtering standard allows easy separation of projects with already guaranteed funding versus those which are still contingent of an external funding source like a grant or gift.
Automated Scenario Iterations ("ASI")
If your organization is ready, The Automated Scenario Iteration ("ASI") features of the Project Filtering Module will empower you to almost effortless create multiple Capital Program Scenarios in a few clicks.
The ASI features of the Project Filter module is designed to leverage the relationships of the synthesized data cost, ranking, and funding information created in the Project Scoping, Project Ranking and Fund Management and Fund Allocation Modules of CIPAce™.
The ASI feature use a sophisticated algorithm to produce a complete new Capital Plan Scenario based on the designated inputs. Here is how this works:
- Designate the project level cost scenario you would like to use as the cost basis for the ASIA from any of the project cost scenarios you have created in the Project Scoping Module. For example you could assume that funding is going to be limited because of the current economic conditions. So you need to move half the projects planned for this years capital budget out one year. However since project costs are expected to increase you use the project level scenarios with an inflation adjusted cost.
- Designate the ranking result that will be used to prioritize the order in which the projects will be funded. For example you could do an initial ASIA based on the asset condition ranking scenario, then create an additional ASIA based on the departmental prioritization.
- Designate the priority of how funds are allocated. For example the order of fund application could designate the use of federal and state grants before bond funds.
- Designate the funding level for each fund. For example you could create a ASI that assumes doubles that amount of federal money that would be available as the result of ARRA funding and to indicate which projects would be funded as a result of this appropriation and supply this information to your congressional delegation.