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Public Transit - Interview with Maxime LaRoche, Project Portfolio Advisor

About Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM)

STM is a public transit government business enterprise. STM is at the heart of Montréal's economic development. As a public transit corporation, STM is a key component to economic growth in the Montréal area contributing to citizens' quality of life and protecting the urban environment. The corporation develops and operates an integrated transit network, courteously providing riders with fast, reliable, safe and comfortable transportation. We have 4 subway lines, 68 stations and 202 bus routes.

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What were you looking for in a portfolio and Project Management Tool?

We wanted an easy-to-use software tool to centralize all the data of the project portfolio in our organization.

What issues did you want to solve by purchasing a Portfolio and Project management tool?

With the portfolio and project management tool we were able to draw up a long-term strategic plan, break down the relevant initiatives into portfolios and evaluate the projects according to defined metrics. This in return has given us an accurate and realistic picture of all the ongoing project and the projects pipeline.

Why did you choose Sciforma?

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We chose Sciforma as it provided us with insight into all of our projects, including budget, project evaluation and execution, real-time tracking and reports. This has helped us improve our productivity and initiate innovative solutions.

Who benefits from Sciforma the most at your company? How and why?

We used to store all of our project information on an Excel spreadsheet or in Access. It was difficult to have a complete overview of the portfolio and the projects over time. We could not forecast yearly spending. It was really hard to create scenarios based on the available financial resources and to track the money allowed for each portfolio each year. As for the documents related to the project, sometimes we had 30 different versions. Hence version control was an issue. Now all the stakeholders benefit from the Sciforma tool as it can safely share all relevant information and keep track of the latest documents. This helps us organize our business better, collaborate more effectively and plan and track records in an effective manner.

What issues did Sciforma solve?

  • Portfolio optimization and scenario creation: we were able to copy all of our projects and build scenarios depending on budget, project evaluation and project execution.
  • Dynamic reporting: with the Sciforma report tab, we were able to track real-time indicators and view reports based on the data in our system.
  • Document/issue management: we have been able to keep track of document changes.
  • Keeping track of project charters and approvals: we can now create a log of all the communications in the project (track all the questions, whether they came as email or phone calls). Everybody is able to access the same information.

Was Sciforma able to adapt to your own processes?

During the customization of the platform, Sciforma asked a lot of questions concerning our needs. Using online conferences, we validated every form and were able to do a lot of the work before the installation on our servers. When we were ready to go live, the consulting team of Sciforma did a great job of helping us manage the system by ourselves.

How does Sciforma facilitate team collaboration?

The collaboration tool is used extensively. When we receive a new project, we input a lot of information. Project number, portfolio name, business outcomes, project manager, company sponsor, the three year forecast etc. We save the project and publish it. Now the team can work in collaboration. Phone calls and emails are stored so that everybody can see what is going on with the project. Everybody can access the same information which makes this a powerful tool.

How does Sciforma help your company become more effective, innovative and competitive?

Using a software tool powered by a strong and customizable database allows us to have higher data quality in the system. STM leverages the capabilities of Sciforma to support its portfolio management processes, and to ensure that each project performs by constantly monitoring the delivered benefits that are unique to each project, defined at the corporate level. This in return has helped us improve our productivity, come up with innovative solutions and stay ahead of the competition.

What are the benefits that you see for your company? Are you thinking about upgrading to Sciforma next release?

At this moment our company is satisfied. In the short term, we are looking to expand the number of features we use and our user base before moving on to another version.

Who would you recommend Sciforma to?

I would recommend Sciforma to any company that needs a customizable portfolio management software solution. This solution does document management, project scoring, project tracking and much more.

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