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The Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games Experience

14. Post-Games

Post-Games, proper closure of the Project required that a number of activities take place and documents be written. All Mesonet monitoring platforms had to be removed from the field, decommissioned and tracked. The observational and forecast data was archived to be made available to national and international organizations. A number of final reports, evaluations and presentations were required. Senior management was briefed on the lessons learned over the life of the Project so that the larger meteorological program could benefit from those lessons.

The sections below describe the steps that were taken for each of the phases and stages preceding Project closure.

14.1 Decommissioning

The ECCC Mesonet was designed from the onset to be temporary. While the Parapan Am Games ended on August 15, the cost of deploying the Mesonet, its acknowledged utility, and the length of the existing land leases all supported a plan to leave the stations in the field until late fall 2015. Decommissioning of the network started in late October 2015 and was completed by mid-December 2015.

Forty compact stations and two spare stations were removed from their field locations and then taken to the ECCC Port Met Office in Burlington, Ontario, for decommissioning. The stations were disassembled into their component parts, which were distributed to national monitoring operations across the country from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. A large portion of the instrumentation was transferred to Science and Technology Branch, where it is being used to support projects in the Canadian Arctic. Two compact stations were left in operation for ongoing test and evaluation, one at ECCC’s King City Radar site, and the second at MSC’s headquarters office in Toronto.

The 10 ATMOS stations were removed from the field and stored as complete units for reuse by Science and Technology Branch as required.

The three standard MSC Auto8 monitoring stations that were installed at Uxbridge West, Mono Centre and Brantford Airport will not be decommissioned. National monitoring networks will assume ownership of these stations and continue operation for some years into the future. These stations will continue to provide valued reports to the MSC and the numerical modelling community.

The Canadian Coast Guard retrieved the WatchKeeperTM buoy and the TRIAXYSTM Directional Wave buoy for transport to the Port Met Office in Burlington. The buoys will be refurbished for use in the national marine network starting in the spring of 2016.

14.2 Legacy Dataset and ECollab Archive

ECCC's enhanced atmospheric monitoring Mesonet weather observational dataset and associated metadata and information, as well as the forecasts and alerts produced for the Games, are part of a legacy for all Canadians. Recognizing this, ECCC has prepared a Legacy Dataset that will be available through the Government of Canada’s Open Data initiative and associated web portal. Information in the dataset spans May 1 to August 31, 2015, covering both Games periods including the two torch relays. All data and information accessed from the portal will actually reside within ECCC’s internal Data Catalogue. Eventually, the Legacy Dataset will expand to include scientific and research observations collected during that same period. The research datasets and their associated metadata will become available once validated and quality assured.

The Project documents, which are part of the ECCC legacy from the Games, tell the story of the planning, implementation and success of the Games Projects. ECollab, ECCC’s intranet-based e-document management and collaboration solution, allowed for easy collaboration, management and sharing of Project documents among the Project Team. A special ECollab site dedicated to the Games Projects was developed in 2012, during the early planning stages. Over 200 Project Team members were registered users of the site. Key information files and images were stored on the site from ECCC’s Project Office, Project Steering Committee, Monitoring, Prediction and Services, Science Working Groups, integration testing and table top exercises. As a result, the ECollab Games documents will be archived for the future.

14.3 Evaluation

ECCC prepared a suite of questions for each of the three major clients with whom it interacted on a daily basis, as evidenced in the operations cycle described in Section 10. Canadian Heritage, the TO2015 Main Operations Centre and the RCMP federal security unit were asked, “What, during the Pan Am Games, were ECCC’s strengths, weaknesses and areas needing improvement?” The questions were posed between the Games by an evaluation officer who was at arm’s length from the Project, permitting interaction in an unbiased fashion. The interview was scheduled soon after the closing ceremony of the Pan Am Games so that, where possible, suggested improvements could be realized and attained prior to the commencement of the Parapan Games.

Soon after the Games ended in August 2015, the EFSWG developed a detailed evaluation of the interactions between representatives of federal departments and Canadian Heritage’s Pan and Parapan Project Team. The questions were shared with the project teams across departments, weeks in advance of the evaluation interview to provide enough time to prepare responses. This proved to be invaluable, as many responses required detailed review of actions and reactions during the Games and departmental approvals.

14.4 Benefits Analysis and Lessons Learned

As part of the PRINCE2® methodology for project management, two activities in particular are required of any project prior to its closure. The first activity is to perform a Benefits Analysis of the Project. It is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project. The Working Group leads at the Project start understood that new technologies, applications, techniques and products would be tested and evaluated. As the Project progressed, decisions were being made with a “cost for benefit” analysis in mind. Cost, time or capacity meant that some options were not viable. However, where last minute requirements arose, the Project Team strove to find a solution that benefited both the client and ECCC.

The final step in our Games projects was a Lessons Learned review designed to determine and analyze elements of the Project that were successful or unsuccessful. Throughout the Project, the ECCC Project Team tracked Lessons Learned, using the information in a timely manner where possible, or noted for long-term use where appropriate. Many of the insights gleaned from our experience are applicable to any “major events” that ECCC might be asked to support. For example, ECCC will assess all aspects of the Mesonet, including the minute-by-minute reporting and the high-spatial density layout. Much of the computer code and processing capabilities developed for the Games are available for use in the national weather monitoring networks.

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