Customer Stories: Michigan State’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Not all government departments are created equal. Michigan State’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget ( DTMB) is quite unique. They impact the lives of 10 million Michigan residents every year. And yet many people outside the state government are not even aware of their existence. But they make Michigan state government tick. They provide technology, facilities, vehicles and goods each state department need.

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William LaRue, Senior Project Manager at Michigan State Police

William LaRue, Senior Project Manager at Michigan State Police

William LaRue is a Senior Project manager at DTMB. He manages development of several public facing applications for the state especially for the State Police. An award winning innovator at his department, he is responsible for several initiatives including a major data linkage project and an expansive JIRa roll out.

How did you hear about Ubi ?

I stumbled across Ubi during one of my regular exploration for new productivity tools.

What were you planning to accomplish with Ubi ?

We are a team of developers. During our team meetings, we go through our JIRA tickets on a Kanban board. We typically review all the pending tickets and change their status if need be. It is a very collaborative and interactive exercise. The Kanban board is a very visual tool. We can drag tickets from “Pending” to “Under Review” or “Under Review” to “Done”. We were doing it with a mouse and keyboard, where usually one of us take the role of ‘pilot’ and change the board based on team member’s comments. It is a confusing and messy process. Our wish was to have a simple interface on the whiteboard, where anyone could walk up and drag and drop their tickets. We want it to be as simple as moving a post-it note.

Why Ubi ?

We never found a product that could really do what we wanted. Ubi was attractive to us because of the simplicity of its concept. It sounded so magical and practical.

How was your experience setting up Ubi?

We did have a few minor issues with setup, but the support team was great and really helped a great deal.

How does your Ubi set up look like ?

We have 5 installations of Ubi now. They are set up in a variety of ways. We have a projected display on a whiteboard and Ubi is turning that whiteboard interactive. We also have another setup where there is a projection on a table that is turned interactive.

Have you used any of the Ubi apps?

We use the annotation quite a bit as well as the whiteboard. It allows each team member to walk up and take notes during a meeting. No more taking pictures of a whiteboard.

What can Ubi do better?

Make the thickness of writing even narrower to have more precision with writing.

What is the best thing that you love about Ubi?

Ubi makes our meetings more productive and engaging. We get things done faster. And the wow factor never wears off either. We are looking forward to setting up Ubi in more conference rooms and trying out more tabletop installations.