It’s all about teamwork: Building a modern system for a modern city

When you’re replacing a system as complex as the one that manages all municipal building and land-related services, you need a diverse team of subject matter experts tackling it together.

When you’re replacing a system as complex as the one that manages all municipal building and land-related services, you need a diverse team of subject matter experts tackling it together. Matt Brozincevic and Emma Passmore are two of the seasoned City veterans contributing to this project, helping to build Ottawa’s entirely new Land Management System (LMS).

The LMS is part of the City’s five-year modernization project to provide residents with digital access to building code services, planning and development, right of way, heritage and urban design, and committee of adjustment. The LMS replaces the 20-year-old Municipal Application Partnership (MAP) software, which currently requires residents working on construction projects to submit applications either in person at a City service counter or by email.

Finding the sweet spot where technology, business needs and software capabilities meet

The LMS subject matter is highly technical and that’s where Matt’s expertise comes in. Matt brings a deep understanding of the processes and regulations tied to construction projects, large and small.

“Imagine how many different processes are tied to ‘land’,” Matt explains. “It can include development with all its infrastructure, buildings that go on the land, zoning, building code enforcement, conservation, demolition, sign installation – the list goes on.”

For Matt the biggest challenge he’s encountered is the complexity of building code services.

“It’s not as simple as reading a meter and issuing a bill. There are 17 different workflows involved,” says Matt. “We receive about 10,000 building permit applications every year and our team’s task is to figure out how the LMS can be set up to match all those workflows – and do it better than before.”

In addition to the building technology smarts that the LMS must incorporate, there are also business requirements. That’s Emma’s piece of the puzzle.

Emma is a Business Analyst, focused on analyzing any gaps between the product and the business requirements. She has been involved with the project since its early days when the City was defining the requirements for MAP’s replacement.

“Getting to build a system from scratch is an opportunity you don’t get many times in your career,” Emma remarks. “It’s been exciting to figure out the needs of our staff and residents, what the system can do and how we can deliver the best possible service to everyone.”

Collaborating to reimage and rollout a 21st century solution

The LMS customer portal will be released in phases. The first release went live earlier this month. When the LMS is fully implemented, clients will be able to apply for, check the status of, and securely pay for building-related services, request inspections, and download documents all from a single portal.

“To track an application now, the client needs to call us, leave a message if the lines are busy, and wait for a return phone call,” Emma explains. “Compare that to the speed and ease of the LMS’s online, instant self-serve approach. It simply becomes a few clicks, anytime and anywhere.”

For both Matt and Emma, working on the LMS project has been a highly stimulating and collaborative opportunity.

“I’m inspired by the learning that’s come with this project. It let us strip our whole operation down to its base parts and reimagine how we can improve the delivery of our services to residents,” says Matt.

“It’s so collaborative and the whole team is very goal oriented and all pulling together,” adds Emma. “We’ve been doing this for three years and we realize the value of our work stretches well into the future.”

For more information on the Land Management System visit Engage Ottawa.

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