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Providing critical project and
change management for a
historic capital building project

Case Study

Working in partnership with the Division of Facilities Planning & Management, members of the Office of Strategic Consulting’s project management team laid the foundation and built the framework to support 60 distinct but related projects that enabled the construction of the new Computer, Data & Information Sciences building.
By the Numbers


unique moves of people,
equipment, and offices


square feet of
space to consider


different facilities
impacted by the moves


service building annex before construction
Service Building Annex, May 17, 2022. (Photo by Althea Dotzour/UW–Madison)

In September 2021, UW–Madison received a $175 million commitment to build a state-of-the-art facility to house the School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS). The Division of Facilities Planning & Management (FP&M) was tasked with leading this major effort, one of the most visible capital projects in the university’s history.

To enable the capital project, the building site—which was then the primary home of FP&M’s Physical Plant—needed to be vacated. Of all the proposed solutions to relocate Physical Plant operations, the FP&M team selected the plan that benefited UW–Madison the most, even though it was also the most complex. A series of distinct but related projects were executed to ensure that the functions of key facilities were maintained during the transition. Because many complex moves and an aggressive timeline required close coordination, Strategic Consulting project managers and coordinators were enlisted to support these critical projects, while also facilitating vital communication and reporting across project teams, as well as to leaders (including the development of regular progress reports for executive leaders).

The plan affected more than 350,000 square feet across 12 facilities, and it required 60 different moves of people, equipment (from desks and computers to entire stores and shops), and even animals. It also included the demolition of the long-standing and storied Physical Plant buildings (the Service Building and Service Annex). As with many recent projects, the pandemic and supply chain issues added unique complications to the logistics of this project.

The significance of these changes and the number of people impacted necessitated a particular emphasis on change management.

Our Approach

To support this critical project, our project management experts:

  • Established and implemented meeting standards for cross-functional teams, including developing and managing agendas, facilitating discussions and decision-making, managing documentation, and communicating meeting results.
  • Leveraged project management tools to create a shared project collaboration site with up-to-date information and reporting tools.
  • Guided individual teams to stay on task by cataloging and communicating critical issues, keeping those issues visible, providing updates, and addressing residual concerns.
  • Identified and communicated risks and barriers across teams and to division leadership.
  • Advocated for additional support staff to accomplish project tasks, such as a field representative on the construction site.
  • Assisted with creative solutions in the face of logistical challenges due to supply chain issues.
  • Partnered with FP&M leaders to direct change management efforts to facilitate the understanding and acceptance of large-scale moves, closure of historical buildings, and other workplace adjustments.
Office of Strategic Consulting Image


The expertise, tools, and structure that the Strategic Consulting project management team brought to the enablement phase of the CDIS project were instrumental in paving the way for the construction of the new CDIS building. The completion of this building project allows UW–Madison to move forward and serve Wisconsin and the nation in remarkable ways. In addition to being acknowledged for their contribution to the success of this transformative project, the team was recognized as providing project management expertise that is the gold standard for high visibility and high-priority projects at UW–Madison.