Transitioning from Manual FMLA Tracking to a Cloud Solution: Part IV
Step 5: Make the Purchase!
After the business justification process has been completed, we’ll assume you received the stamp: ‘APPROVED.’ The last step of the process is making the purchase, but remember with purchasing, comes great responsibility.
Double Check Security A purchased solution is only as strong or secure as its weakest component, so be sure to only enter a relationship with a company that has demonstrable security certification. A good place to start is to confirm that your preferred vendor is ISO 27001 certified. What should this mean to you? You can be assured that your preferred vendor is abiding by strict data security protocols, which means you can be confident that your information is protected, and you can sleep at night.
Kick Things off on the Right Foot Have you had to experience productivity-inhibiting downtime due to necessary software updates? Anymore, these types of updates should occur seamlessly to you the user; in other words, software updates should not negatively affect you during regular hours of use of the software. Don’t begin your relationship with your preferred vendor without a service level agreement which provides you with a clear understanding of any downtime. This document should also guarantee to you a minimum uptime, which should be in the neighborhood of 99.9%.
Training, Training, Training No solution is acceptable that does not provide some type of customer support and training. These days, training and support comes in many fashions. It could be comprised of an online knowledge base, which includes FAQs, email support, live support or even video tutorials, which provide a clear demonstration of how the software solution should be used. Just be sure you understand and are comfortable with the type of support offered by your preferred vendor.
The best way to learn the ins and outs of new software is to practice using the tool. Regardless of whether formal training is a part of your software agreement, now is the time for you, the purchaser, to roll up your sleeves and interact with the software – provide an example and be the teacher.
Adoption You know users will get hooked when they begin to experience the features of the software which simplify and increase the productivity of their work experience. But, how do you engage them? Just as in training, you as the purchaser need to engage with the software and utilize it frequently enough that it become second nature. Without this type of engagement, it is likely the software will not be adopted by your staff and only be used at a peripheral level.
Talk About Your Buying Prowess After a period of initial use of the product, a follow-up to the business case ROI analysis, mentioned in Part III of this series, should be conducted to financially confirm the value of the software purchase. Not only should you be able to complete an analysis of any changes in average FMLA days used per employee, but you should also be able to analyze other improvements related to direct measures of success. These measures of success include quantifying various activities related to the number of cases associated with each user. Metrics include average tasks, communications, attachments and letters completed per quarter. Improved efficiencies should be reflected in the increasing number of activities completed per quarter. After you’ve calculated the improvements you’ve made, show your boss.