Upgrading the SGPI Document Management System

The department of the City of Montréal, Service de la gestion et de la planification immobilière (SGPI) manages a multitude of information every day related to the implementation of real estate projects (projects, schedules, budgets, standards and restrictions, transactions, special projects, etc.).

To achieve this, the SGPI had implemented its own document system and also used the tool Ultima of integrated document management (gestion intégrée des documents – GID). Various problems encountered over time have led the SGPI to review its working methods in order to increase efficiency and productivity.

In 2018, the SGPI used GPBL Projectwise expertise to upgrade its document management system. The organization wanted to optimize the use of information in day-to-day operations between the branches of its various departments and with its archives centre (Centre d’archives pour la conservation des documents).

About SGPI

The SGPI manages the planning of real estate initiatives to build a city that meets the expectations of Montrealers and related budgets.


Real Estate Services



Tool used


Encountered problems by the SGPI

The SGPI faced a variety of document management issues:

  • Lack of physical space to keep all paper documents
  • Difficulty in bringing together all the electronic and paper documents associated with the same project
  • Blur in everyone’s document management responsibilities
  • Difficulty with traffic and handling of files
  • Loss of documents
  • Difficult collaboration
  • Loss of knowledge
  • Loss of productivity

Document management mandate given by the SGPI

The SGPI has mandated GPBL Projectwise for support in upgrading its document management system.

Main objective

Define and implement a common methodology for all SGPI branches and departments in order to achieve good document management


  • Develop high-performance document management tools tailored to the business reality of the SGPI
  • Optimize the use of the system Ultima for electronic document management
  • Uniform document management processes for all SGPI branches
  • Establish documentary governance

Documentary management optimization strategy

To ensure consistency in the management of electronic and paper documents, GPBL Projectwise has developed a multi-phase upgrade approach based on best practices in document management. Committees have also been set up to adapt standards and best practices in document management to the reality of the SGPI.

Phases of development of the document management system

  1. Document Management Tools: Classification Plan and Ranking Plans (Paper and Electronic)
  2. Procedures and guidelines in document management
  3. Document management process in the context of day-to-day operations
  4. Document Management Policy
  5. Documentary management training plan and guide
  6. Strategy for deploying document management tools and Ultima
  7. Documentary Management Tools Deployment Pilot Project

Monitoring and surveillance committees set up

Monitoring Committee, consisting of one manager per department management, whose role was to review the status of the project, issues and risks on a monthly basis, to ensure commitment and availability of resources and to approve deliverables.

Five project committees (one per branch), each consisting of a representative from all management divisions, whose mandate was to ensure that tools developed or upgraded in document management are tailored to business processes and meet the operational needs of the SGPI.

Challenges in optimizing document management

In developing its strategy, GPBL Projectwise considered various issues that had a direct or indirect impact on the project:

  • Managing the availability of the various SGPI stakeholders involved in holding work meetings
  • Proactive management of changing working habits and methodology among various professionals, beyond a communication plan
  • Implementation of a document management system of considerable magnitude in a rather short time frame
  • Key to understanding the business field, both for new internal and external resources, to develop a document management system that is tied to the business processes of the SGPI
  • Changing the misperception of the Ultima tool among some users into a much more positive image (go beyond demonstrating its usefulness to change the first impression)
  • Transition from paperwork to electronic document management for most SGPI employees

Result: a quality documentary system

Together with the SGPI project manager, the intervention of GPBL Projectwise enabled the implementation of a quality documentary system and aligned with the business reality of the organization. The new classification structure and grading plans were deployed on the SGPI server rather than with the Ultima tool.

In concrete terms, GPBL Projectwise has accompanied the SGPI project manager in the development and implementation of various deliverables for good document management:

  • Document classification plan for SGPI
  • Ranking plans for all SGPI divisions
  • Document management policy
  • A set of document management processes and guidelines
  • Modelling a document management process in the context of day-to-day activities
  • Training plans and guides for the deployment of document management tools

Are you concerned about the document management of your organization?

Contact us to see how we can help you set up a system tailored to your business reality.

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