There is nothing quite like springtime in upstate New York.
It’s mid-April, the sun is shining, the grass is greening and the flowers are budding. It is a time where people are filled with energy to “get out there” and confront obstacles and make the changes they know they need to do. It’s the Season of Renewal.
Well, if you use Software as a service (SaaS) and leverage applications over the Internet to help run and manage your organization, there is also a season of renewal. Sometimes it is annually, sometimes monthly, but you do get a chance to “re-up” your commitment to using the tool. This is often seen as a time to review the costs and see what you can do to keep them as low as possible, or to subtract or add functionality. But it is also a perfect time to do some self-evaluation with your team and the way you are using the tool.
Often the value of a software tool, such as a database management system, is lost in bad data management practices and inconsistent usage and deployment. Interrupt-driven tasks and regression to old habits don’t help either. And a few rogue individuals who won’t follow operational procedures can really make your data inaccurate - or just plain wrong.
So, when it is time to renew your software tool, plan a review of your team’s usage. Invite input from users who are champions, as well as users who struggle with the process. Include the following questions.
- What are the main goals for using the system? Are the goals being met?
- What are the main problems with using the system? Why are these problems happening?
- Do we need to buy different functions or even a different software system? What are the costs / changes involved?
- Do we need to change how we use the system? What are the costs / changes involved?
- Do we need additional team members to get an optimal value for our system efforts? (IT support, related groups, …) How can we engage these people?
- What should we use the system to achieve in the future? How will we measure this and how often?
- If we make the identified changes, can we see a strong return on investment for using the software?
A fresh outlook on your daily processes can sometimes yield unexpected benefits. Consider if springtime is the right time for renewal for your organization’s software practices.
If you are a COMET customer, feel free to reach out to your account manager for tips and support in improving your team's usage of the COMET system. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org - we would love to work with you!