MRM Concepts
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Included here are document which define the principles, rules and definitions used to develop the content of the Municipal Reference Model (MRM). The MRM is composed of:

  • A number of types of components, e.g. Programs, Services, etc. defined by the MRM. A complete set of component types and their definitions is provided in the "MRM Definitions document.
  • Many instances of each type, e.g. ‘Fire Program’, ‘Fire Suppression Service’, etc.;  these could be thought of as a complete and consistent set of examples drawn from existing municipalities, that conform to the rules for defining an MRM-standard municipal business model, and serve as a short cut or template for creating one.  The complete set of instances for Canadian municipalities is contained in the "MRM Reference Model for Canadian Municipalities" (available to MISA members and other authorized MRM users.)
  • Several facts (a.k.a. properties or attributes) about each instance that vary with its type, e.g. for the ‘Fire Suppression Service’:
    • Service Type: Public
    • Service Output Type: Intervention
  • Several relationships (a.k.a. links or connections) between an instance of one type and instances of other types, e.g.:


Administering Program

‘Fire Suppression Service’

‘Fire Program’

‘Fire Inspection Service’

‘Fire Program’

  • This relationship is a fact expressing the rule that instances of Services are administered by instances of Programs

Every component in the Reference Model complies with a set of rules specific to that type of element. These rules are defined in the "MRM Modeling Principles and Rules" document and also in a specialized technical format in the "MRM Metamodel". Generally, the rules determine:

  • What is a valid instance of each type;
  • What facts must be supplied about each instance;
  • What relationships between instances must be declared.

Although these rules apply to the content of the MRM Reference Model for Canadian Municipalities, they are also intended as a guide for individual municipalities creating their own versions of an MRM-standard business model.  Adhering to the principles allows municipalities to gain the most benefit from MRM features, including the ability to analyze and compare service delivery profiles, operations and performance with other conforming jurisdictions.

MRM Concepts

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MRM Core Reference Documents, describing the principles, rules and definitions that are used for the MRM
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
MRM Definitions DOC (137 KB)  more ] R. Wiseman 2014-03-28
MRM Modeling Principles and Rules DOC (1.14 MB)  more ] R. Wiseman 2014-03-28
MRM Quick Reference Guide DOCX (172.7 KB)  more ] R. Wiseman 2014-03-28

MRM Reference Model of Programs and Services

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The MRM Reference Model of Programs and Services contains pre-populated instances of representative Canadian municipal programs/sub-programs and services/sub-services - drawn from actual inventories compiled by individual municipalities across Canada and validated to ensure that they conform to the model rules and definitions.

This catalogue is not intended as a standard defining a complete or “right” set of programs and services with the “right” properties and relationships. Rather its purpose is to provide a quick start to municipalities wishing to apply the model, as well as a concrete illustration of the principles underlying the model. Experience has shown that jurisdictions will gain value from the MRM, only by going through the effort of understanding the principles and applying them to developing their own service catalogue. Like many such methodologies, the process is as important as the product.
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