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MISA/ASIM Canada to Create Partnership for MRMv2 Service (Release Date: November 4, 2009)

posted Aug 6, 2010, 9:40 AM by Stacey Murray

TORONTO, November 4, 2009 -- The MISA/ASIM Canada Board of Directors has approved an agreement with IBM Canada that will lead to the release of the first version of the proposed Municipal Reference Model Version 2 service on the Web by the end of 2009.

That means that Canadian municipalities will become the first in the world to have a national service available to them for describing, organizing, and planning their service delivery in a consistent manner using a standard set of software templates and modelling tools.

With the Board’s approval, MISA/ASIM Canada has purchased licences from IBM Canada for the underlying software products. The products include Rational Software Modeler, Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Requisite Pro and Lotus Quickr, among others. To support this initiative, IBM has developed software extensions to automate the flow of information among these products.

Funds for the project were donated by municipalities from across Canada: Edmonton, Fredericton, Halton Region, London, Markham, Mississauga, Niagara Region, Peel Region, Richmond Hill, Saskatoon, Timmins, Toronto, the City of Waterloo and York Region. 

The project has also received funding from the Joint Councils (Public Sector CIO Council and Public Sector Service Delivery Council), in recognition that some aspects of this work may be applicable in a national or inter-jursidictional context.

The MRMv2 service is being developed in a pilot project by a team of IT professionals at the City of Toronto led by Philip Scott. The team is advised and assisted by a Design Review Group consisting of IT and service-delivery representatives from a range of municipalities. Project oversight is provided by a Steering Committee representing all contributing municipalities.

IBM Canada has been providing professional and software-development services to the MRMv2 Project at no cost. KPMG LLP has likewise been contributing essential advisory services from consultants who have been working with the Municipal Reference Model since the first version was developed in the 1990s. Their former firm, Chartwell, merged with KPMG in early 2009.

Both IBM and KPMG see the potential for future or complementary service offerings, both in Canada and internationally, based on concepts developed during the MRMv2 project.

Initial Version Looks Good

All participants in the project are confident that the initial version of the MRMv2 service will deliver the value to municipalities that MISA/ASIM Canada has envisioned, says Roy Wiseman, CIO of the Region of Peel, Ontario and chair of the MRMv2 Steering Committee.

On September 28, Wiseman told a teleconference of the 10-member MISA/ASIM Canada Board of Directors that the Steering Committee viewed a demonstration of the prototype MRMv2 service conducted by IBM Canada at a meeting September 25.

“Everybody there said, ‘This is on the right track; we need to move ahead with this,’ ” Wiseman reported.  “We’ve seen enough now to be confident in the direction we are going.”

He told the Board that the major challenge for the pilot-project team for the remainder of 2009 will be to harness the IBM tools so that they will serve the analytical needs of municipal officials in a simple, user-friendly fashion.

“We need to do a lot of work in determining the 10, 20 or 30 things that people will want to do out of the box so they can accomplish those things with one or two keystrokes, perhaps by clicking on a link or function, rather than having to go right into the tools to build things such as a new table, report or analysis framework,” Wiseman said.

“The good news is that we will be able to do it.”

Daya Pillay, president of MISA/ASIM Canada and manager, e-Commerce & Web services for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the Board is looking forward enthusiastically to the launch of the national MRMv2 service. 

“It has the potential to enable municipalities to understand, evaluate, and compare each others’ service delivery systems using common terminology, something never possible before in Canada or anywhere else,” Pillay said.