Agency Management System Vendors Blind Spot – Part 3

For the past two days I have beaten up on you pretty badly.  I know that some of you are making progress, but it seems so very slow and it seems like no innovation is happening.  What I do find is that when a vendor does have something new is that vendors struggle to get the information to their client base in a meaningful way.

Girl with Lightbulb

I know that usually the information is sent to them prior to release and again at the time of the release.  I know that in some cases the user group also communicates as well.  However, often there are many items in the release notes and the agency is usually just looking to see what has been fixed or an item they are interested in.

Also, it is not always clear to the agency what a new enhancement does or what it will do for them.  This may also apply to functionalities that were in the system at the time the agency implemented system.  You ask, if it was there when the agency implemented the system, why don’t they know about it?  Learning an entire system and all of its functions at the time an agency implements a system is impossible.

I know that some of your are doubting my comments here.  I was at a user group meeting several months ago.  In a session with around 40 people, the presenter answered a user’s question by asking if they had considered using the “x” functionality.  The user just looked at the presenter with a blank look.  The presenter asked how many in the room knew what the “x” functionality was?  Three people out of 40 raised their hands.  I know each of these agencies so I know this functionality was a part of the system when each of them implemented.  While it is a great functionality and is great for what it does, it is not a necessary functionality to get your work processed.  I feel confident that these users were trained on this functionality, however, in getting your work done on a new system you focus on the basic and not always the cool stuff; even if the cool stuff could make it easier. I have implemented new systems and managed the training over a period of months.  Each of us can only absorb so much at a time.  A user must learn new functions and then understand how they work in their workflows before it is totally understood and implemented.

Do you see the challenge here?  I don’t know the best answer for getting user’s in touch with all the functionalities and the new innovations, but I’m thinking about it.  I am talking to agencies about how they would like to receive this type of information.  I’ll be back with the information when I have it compiled.

While I have put a lot of blame on the vendors the users play a part in this slowness in progress as well.  I will talk about that beginning in tomorrow’s post.  Please comment on these posts and join in the conversation.