Podcast 2

Managing the Funding and Finance Challenges of Large Communications Systems Development

Topic/Title: "Managing the Funding and Finance Challenges of Large Communications Systems Development"

Description: The City of Houston, Texas, has undertaken a large project to build a shared radio system for all city users. Planning has been underway for several years and funding has been lined up from multiple sources.

Participant: Tom Sorley, Deputy Director of Radio Communications Services, City of Houston, Texas

  Listen to Full Interview (duration time: 21:34:00)

Questions:
  1. Can you tell us a bit about Houstonís project and share your background with it?
  2. How did you come up with funding for such a large project, estimated to be over $130 million?
  3. How have you dealt with grants that look to fund smaller, standalone projects?
  4. Why do you say it is important to bring agency grant and finance people into the project early on?
  5. Did the finance committee have any involvement with the RFP or evaluation?
  6. How do you build a defensible cost distribution model for sharing costs across participants?
  7. What are the challenges in scheduling and synchronizing funding cycles across various grants and other sources?
  8. Do you have individual milestones spread across multiple funding sources?
  9. What other unanticipated funding and finance challenges have you faced with your project?
  10. Where do you find out about best practices and lessons learned by others?
  11. How do very large projects, such as Houstonís, vary from smaller ones?
  12. Are there any regulatory or technology clouds on the horizon that may impact your project?
  13. What carry-away messages do you have regarding managing funding and finance challenges?

  Written transcript of interview