Sciforma user testimony: Stopwaste.org
SF Bay Area Recycling Wizards Clean Up With PS8
Doing my job without PS8 – I don’t even want to think about it! Meghan Starkey
Meghan Starkey has a lot of garbage on her mind; specifically, the 500,000 tons her organization plans to prevent from going to landfills in Alameda County on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay each year.
Meghan is Senior Program Manager with stopwaste.org, a government agency that coordinates numerous programs to reduce, reuse and recycle much of what gets thrown away in 14 Alameda County cities and two large sanitary districts. Their ambitious goal calls for 75 percent of what used to be trash now be recycled by 2010 through an ambitious program of education, curbside recycling and green building guidelines.
The Harvard grad started with the organization in 1994 educating the public about composting, and today heads stopwaste.org’s MIS function. “We used to be pretty old fashioned,” Meghan recalls. “We couldn’t efficiently analyze what things cost, or keep track of projects.”
In 1998 she identified the need for project management software as the work, budget and responsibilities for the agency increased. “We have more than 50 projects going at any one time,” according to Meghan. “We went with PS8 and to date have never even considered the alternatives.”
But she got much more than just a software package, saying Sciforma has been “extraordinarily responsive” to her needs. “Last year we had to change how we coordinated between accounting and project management functions, and Sciforma worked closely with us to change the interface and make an extremely difficult project a huge success,” she said.
Presently 15 people use PS8 at stopwaste.org, including program managers and accounting personnel. “We have a $50 million annual budget, and as a public agency it’s important to know how we’re spending the money. PS8 lets us accurately track staff time so it can be billed back to individual projects.”
To provide flexibility and facilitate a range of tasks over a county-wide area, teams are organized as self-managed groups, and Meghan says PS8 is great at keeping tabs on all of these projects simultaneously while providing an agency-wide picture of what’s going on. And with a decade of experience under their belts, they can now take a long view and see what various programs cost year to year.
“We build our entire budget off of the reports generated by PS8,” Meghan says. “We track deliverables, costs and budgetary impact easily – everyone at every level of the organization depends on these reports. I don’t even want to think about doing my job without PS8!”