Sharman didn't get what he wanted on CRM program management - but has ensured Council will know what is happening to the bigger technology picture on which $35 million will be spent

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At the Standing Committee meeting that heard, in some detail, what had gone terribly wrong with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiative, Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman did his best to get to see the Program Management Plan that was used to direct the creation and implementation of the CRM.

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Executive Director Sheila Jones, second from the right, telling Councillor Sharman that it would be inappropriate to give him what he wanted

Executive Director Sheila Jones said it would be inappropriate to release that information.  Sharman huffed and puffed and said he would meet with Jones privately.

The decision to stop the development for as long as 18 months until there was a Program Management Plan in place that could be delivered upon was quickly agreed upon at the Committee meeting. No blame was going to be put upon anyway. Whatever lessons there were to be learned would be taken up.

So – what came out of whatever meetings Sharman had?

A bit of context here:  The city was working on the CRM program and at the same time ramping up for the Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP) a much more ambitious and expensive ($10 million) initiative that impacts and involves every piece of technology used by the city.

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Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman.

Sharman decided to move his focus, and displeasure, from CRM to ERP and brought several Staff Directions which were approved.

Council was looking at an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program update which they received and filed but not before  adding the following Staff Directions:

Direct the City Manager to provide the Corporate Services Strategy Risk and Accountability Committee with an overview of governance and project management structures for corporate projects, including but not limited to, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Asset Management System (EAMS), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI); and

An initial review to be brought to Committee in May 2020; and

Direct the City Manager to provide the Corporate Services Strategy Risk and Accountability Committee with regular reporting on project status including key deliverables and timelines, risk assessments, change management plans, and readiness assessments.

Councillors Sharman and Kearns have a solid understanding of what the technology is all about – they will now be able to keep their “noses in and fingers out” of the work Staff is doing.

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Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte

And well they should.  When City Manager said that the city will be spending $35 million on technology in the next few years Councillor Shawna Stolte almost gasped – she was having difficulty with a $10 million spend.

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