The Park Operations department of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is responsible for softscape services as well as sports fields, baseball diamonds, passive grass areas, trails, ponds, and natural area maintenance. The management of such a wide variety of facilities requires the utilization of a fleet of driven and handheld equipment by a combination of skilled and unskilled labour.
Currently, the West Neighbourhood District utilizes paper timesheets to record limited data about daily maintenance work, equipment use, and park assets. No metrics are measured or tracked, and it is difficult to ascertain the last facility visit, overdue tasks, and work completed accurately and efficiently. Facility maintenance may be hindered by physical or environmental hazards, as well as interruptions due to weather, scheduled events, filming, resident use, equipment downtime, or inadequate staffing levels.
It is desired by the department to source an easy-to-use, digital replacement to the paper timesheets to measure relevant data and monitor metrics that will facilitate planning, funding, and deployment of resources. Project needs included that the software solution had to be user friendly, easy to understand, easy to use, and have a low learning curve so that field personnel could concentrate on the task at hand, instead of maneuvering through pages of digital forms. Also, the solution had to track equipment usage and wear as well as any site hazards.
We researched existing standards of operation and maintenance, best practices from other municipalities and compared 3 software solutions: Cartegraph, Productive Parks, and City Works.
Our short term recommendation was for the Parks Board to start with the implementation of the Productive Parks software as it meets most of the criteria needs identified. We also proposed a 6-step implementation plan and made suggestions for future projects to help the Parks Board reach its strategic goals.