Following the amalgamation of several municipalities, the city of Longueuil now manages several boroughs that were using different methodologies and work instruments some of which were manual while others were computerized. All management and coordination of the work was done manually. Responses provided to citizens were inconsistent from one borough to another. Each sector managed its issues differently and neither employees nor citizens had any way of verifying the progress of their requests or complaints. The city’s senior officials promised, in the spring of 2008, to implement a fully operational system for citizens by November 2009. The city had already accumulated a six-month delay for a schedule that was considered to be aggressive. The mechanical shops were using the old COBOL version of Guide and wanted to migrate to the new version of Guide Ti.
SECTOR: City with more than 100,000 citizens
PROJECT: Migration to Guide Ti for vehicle fleet A new request and complaint system
CONTACT PERSON: Brigitte Brault, Department Head, Applications and Project Management
IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD: November 2008 to November 2009
The city’s fleet is made up of 600 motorized vehicles and more than 700 pieces of equipment and accessories. More than 200 employees use the software solution on a regular basis.
• Standardize operational processes throughout the city
• Centralize information in a single database
• Provide Web-based access enabling users to enter their requests directly
• Enable other systems in the city to communicate with each other and avoid data duplication
• Improve services offered by reducing the time required to process requests
• Provide employees more autonomy
• Mechanical shops: ensure rapid transition and uninterrupted operations
• Ensure that the interfaces, with Oracle and fuel management, are 100% operational once Guide Ti is turned on
• Resistance to change by some of the staff
• Wide divergence of opinions concerning the business processes to be established
• IT felt that the project’s time frames were too short given the interfaces that had to be developed and improvements to be made to Guide Ti
• COGEP had never before developed interfaces in real time for Oracle
“It’s easy to collaborate with COGEP because the team is very open-minded in searching for solutions to issues while adopting a constructive approach. We greatly appreciated the team’s availability and support during implementation as well as the training provided to the project members. I really enjoyed working with COGEP and its team.” – Benoit Dumont, Public works representative for the project
Due to a lack of internal resources, the city of Longueuil contracted an external project manager. The individual had little knowledge of the project or the complexities of the city. COGEP took on the role of educator to ensure that the project manager, who was representing the city, was able to adapt to the operational context specific to Longueuil. While the mandate was being carried out, the external project manager mandated by the city had left and COGEP had to complete the project with a new project manager and start over the education process about the project, the challenges and the new operational processes.
Consequently, the COGEP team had to assimilate rapidly the city’s internal address management system (Oracle programming developed by the city) to adapt Guide Ti to the functional architecture and data models. Half way through the project and given the magnitude of the challenges ahead, few of the city’s employees believed COGEP capable of fulfilling its mandate within the time frames agreed upon. The flexibility of Guide Ti`s technology and the expertise of COGEP`s team were key to respecting the deadlines.
THE COGEP TEAM
Four COGEP experts were heavily involved throughout the project:
• A project manager
• A system architect and trainer
• A functional analyst
• A developer
RESPECT OF DEADLINES AND BUDGETS
COGEP showed exemplary leadership throughout the project to ensure that deadlines were respected and that the solution was fully operational as planned. The action plan for the mechanical shops was spread over a four-month period while the request and complaint management project was operational within six months enabling the city to respect the promise made by its officials. Concerning the migration from Guide to Guide Ti in the mechanical shops, we were within the budget set at $30,000 or less. Regarding the request and complaint management project, we respected that budget as well, set at $150,000 or less.
Naming a steering committee was a key component allowing changes to business processes and permitting us to integrate new features in 2010 such as confidentiality management and statistical reports of project time frames. This strategy contributed to making our solution more efficient and more popular with users. The project also enabled COGEP’s development team to improve its knowledge of real-time connectivity with Oracle databases. This level of knowledge will be essential for future projects in the public and parapublic sectors because some organizations in these sectors use applications supported by Oracle databases.
“During each implementation, COGEP was on site to advise and support us. During the last implementation, our Guide Ti – request and complaint project, COGEP demonstrated considerable flexibility and especially in-depth knowledge of its system. Each time, COGEP was able to advise us, make adjustments to its system and especially walk through the whole process with us. The end result today is a system that’s simple, efficient and stable, one on which the city of Longueuil counts enormously.” – Daniel St-Hilaire, Analyst, Electronic Information and Computing Resources
“The migration from Guide to Guide Ti was accomplished quickly with no loss of information or operational downtime. Guide Ti is very easy to use and satisfies all our needs in terms of managing our vehicle fleet.” – Gilles Drapeau, Vehicle Fleet Administrator