About the SQI

Since 1984, the mission of the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI–formerly SIQ) is to make available buildings to government departments and public agencies and also to provide them with construction, operation, and property management services. Its real estate is an asset worth 4.2 billion dollars and has approximately 5.5 million square feet of space in over 1,300 buildings owned and leased across the province of Quebec. It includes office buildings, health care and social services facilities, as well as specialized facilities.

Over the years, SQI’s legacy systems caused a lack of consistency between the business fields and presented some issues regarding data integrity. Furthermore, the systems were built with a technology that is now outdated and that no longer adequately addresses the business needs. Plus, the offer in terms of expertise becomes increasingly rare on the market.

The challenge

In 2010, the SQI undertook the PESA project (project on the evolution of their business services), which aimed to modernize their property management systems and to review their business processes by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by leading-edge technologies.

The preliminary analysis assessed the cost of the project at 75 million dollars. Following this evaluation, the SQI decided to limit investment to 49 million dollars.

To successfully deliver with fewer resources and budget, the organization chose to modernize their systems using Agility, taking into account the following:

  • Functional software is the best way to measure progress.
  • Conversations are more important than the process in place.
  • And acceptance of change, depending on the context, is more useful than following a rigid plan.

Our solution

Pyxis’ experts have contributed to the implementation of an Agile development and management process. They actively participated in the development of the new methodological framework, the support of the Agile transition, and the adaptation of the Agile approaches to the specific context of the SQI.

Our Scrum Masters coached several Scrum teams, conducting the meetings specific to the Scrum framework. They helped the Product Owners with their new role and coached executives and stakeholders regarding the improvement plan. They supported SQI’s four Scrum Masters with knowledge acquisition and supported the organic architecture team to facilitate decision-making, communication, and collaboration.

Our Agile coaches coordinated the writing of the methodological framework and Agile training plan for the development support team. They coached the teams regarding the implementation of the Agile process. They implemented adapted tracking tools for product management as well as a design and planning process based on user cases. They assisted the project manager, functional analysts, Product Owners and business architect throughout the Agile transition project.

Our functional architects also took part in the project. Among other things, they conducted workshops held before the beginning of the project as well as operational committees. They guided the project delivery teams to ensure that their work had a good architecture. They incorporated development and continuity guidelines, concepts, and principles to ensure systems consistency and integrity.

Productivity

The monthly acceptance of software increments has enabled the development of a flexible product; harmonizing business processes and enabling users to devote their time to more relevant activities.

Commitment of the teams

The commitment of project teams and the involvement of business managers transformed the client-supplier relationship into a true partnership.

Quick delivery and reduced costs

Increments delivered by the development teams have been integrated and deployed at the end of each iteration in the acceptance environment, allowing the delivery of a system that actually meets the business needs, completed in 14 months within the budget allocated to each release.

The SQI’s experience is, for me, a great demonstration of the benefits that large-scale projects reap from using Agile methods even with limited resources while respecting the constraints of public bodies.

Mathieu Boisvert, Agile Coach and COO at Pyxis at SQI — Agile Transformation

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