How technology is keeping CSIA at the head of the game

How are you using technology and systems to support your organisation and staff to achieve business goals?

Whatever your answer is to that question, it’s imperative to take the time to review your processes, ask some key questions and investigate new systems or tools.

We understand it can take time to find the right technology or system to implement – it’s a big decision and often a big investment. It’s also something that should be at the top of every CEO and senior executive’s agenda for building a sustainable organisation.

Here at CSIA, we are in a time of exciting growth, which means we are delivering more projects and it is really important to us that we walk our talk.

We looked at our current practices in project management and decided that they were not scalable.   So to make sure that we could produce the most effective and efficient outcomes from our work, we turned to technology for help.

The organisation needed one central repository where the team could prepare project plans, create budgets, allocate tasks, manage workloads and communicate about the projects.

CSIA CEO Belinda Drew made the decision to introduce an organisation wide cloud-based project management system that would be available for everyone to use.

“The team needs to be focussed on delivering activities that promote and advance the community services industry,” Ms Drew said.

“We went with an Australian owned and designed system because it meets all our needs and streamlines the process including approvals, simplifying it in a way that would support our work.

“It also needed to be a solution with the ability to integrate email and contacts and able to be customised to meet current manual processes and plans.

“And with all the time we spend on our phones, especially out of the office, the system can be accessed through desktop or mobile devices,” Ms Drew said

What was really important about our choice was the work we put in up-front to decide which solution to use.

We had to dedicate time and some resources to finding this solution. What was helpful was coming up with a list of questions developed to drive the investigation process:

  • How will this software improve the efficiency of the business?
  • Is the solution scalable?
  • Is it customisable?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • What is the best way to measure ROI?
  • Who will handle the implementation process?
  • Will we be able to integrate third party applications?
  • Do they provide data backup?
  • How easy is it to import and export data?
  • Does this company provide technical support?
  • Are there training and consultation hours available?
  • How much training is required to get team up to speed and using solution?
  • What are the minimum system requirements?
  • What is the pricing structure?
  • Does the solution meet security and compliance requirements?
  • How often is the solution updated?

“Being a smaller organisation, we had the opportunity to involve all staff in reviewing and implementing the system.”

“The system has gone live. We have an internal champion managing the implementation process who also fixes any issues along the way.

“The community services landscape is changing and although technology can be helpful it can also provide organisations real challenges,” Ms Drew said.

But before you start thinking about a new system or technology, here are five key considerations to help you during the process.

  1. Testing it out – Does the new system provide you with a test environment with the options for trialling different components? What is the process of transitioning to the live environment?
  2. Process Transformation- Find a system that can be customised to suit your important processes but be open to new processes that will improve efficiency and effectiveness within your team.
  3. Getting the buy-in of the team – Consider how you will communicate your implementation plan – that is who are your users and how are you going to engage with them for buy-in and a smooth take up. This is integral to the success and long-term use of the system.
  4. Data Management – Will the new system copy any existing data and if so does it need to be ‘cleaned’ prior to the copy?
  5. A smooth transition – Will the implementation cause any disruption to the business? You will need to put plans in place to minimise an impact.