Friday, 17 July 2020

New Beginning

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy



It was great last week to be invited to present, by what used to be the DWF (the Direct Works Forum) group, which is being re-organised and getting a makeover, a new beginning as ‘Direct Works’.

It will still have a discussion forum, but should be a better organisation to represent Housing Associations, Local Authorities and RSLs employing their own trades staff to undertake repairs and maintenance.

A big thank you to Mike Wilson and Russell Thompson for inviting me. Judging by the volume of recent projects, it’s a good time more than ever, for internal workforces and DLO’s, to share best practice. So I wish them well.

My session was my take on ‘Why we buy some of the best IT and then implement and use it badly” and we had good attendance, many people I am sure have experienced, first hand, a lot of the areas I covered. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not keen that everyone has to suffer and learn from their own mistakes, why not get a leg up from others? So where with systems do you start?

Well, know your market to start with. Too many organisations rush in and buy the first silver bullet they see. OJEU has always provided pre-market analysis as an option, its strange so few take advantage of it. Risks are rarely taken into account too. Who might have thought that software was risky? Sales people never mention risks, do they?

What about alternatives to external software packages? Who hasn’t had their social housing ICT team, offer to ‘write a system for you’? Often I wager, followed by, ‘How hard can it be’? This approach contains risks too, particularly as its more likely your IT team are more skilled at support than writing quality software. When I was a supplier I had a few customer IT teams suggest they had useful things they had written, which might be profitable (for us both) when sold to a wider customer audience. Only one idea ever made the cut and only then after a total re-write to bring error trapping etc, up to scratch. A common problem, quality control.

When we go to seriously buy, do we understand the problems we are looking to solve? A business case generally flushes this out with benefits. I have seen many business cases done afterwards to tick the box. OJEU does try to protect us from ourselves and we should embrace formal process that does that.

After the excitement of the procurement, how well do we resource projects. Regular readers know I always prefer the A-Team, although occasionally it’s the C, D or reserve teams, we can get stuck with. Never try to involve staff who have to juggle their day jobs too.

In DLO’s and internal workforces, often introducing software creates cultural changes for staff too. This is often neglected and the reason why dynamic scheduling is most often far less than dynamic and users are not guided into new roles and behaviours. As with many issues, some are embedded in the phrase, “well we have always done it that way”.

Well I cover all of the above and more in the recording of the session. I would guess there’s half a dozen takeaways, for even the most seasoned DLO systems implementers. If you would like to get access to the session, checkout this link - Zoom.US/DW_HousingITGuy_Jul2020

Related Post: Budget for regular ICT infrastructure or application maintenance & get the best from your previous investment



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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Girlschool – New BeginningGirlschool – New Beginning.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

My Paloma

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy



It was sad to hear last month, of the death of Thomas Schweizer, director of Paloma based in Brighton, who supply housing solutions to a lot of mainly smaller social housing landlords.

I met Thomas on a few occasions, including at a NHF IT Managers conference at Olympia in November 2010. We were on a panel of suppliers together with Martyn Rees of an IBS recently bought up by Capita and John Doughty (anyone remember him from Orchard?).

Thomas was trying to do something differently for the sector, maybe a little quirkily and hands-on, but with his heart in the right place I guess. I have worked with a few Paloma sites, often to look at or assist in migrating Wrapp, Jamm etc, to more integrated alternatives. I understand that a couple of key support staff have also been lost too, over the past year.

Lack of adequate succession planning is becoming a growing issue with software houses, as life and old age catches up with the original innovators from the 1980’s & 90’s. There is no real excuse for lack of succession planning, especially where a few dozen social enterprises depend on continued support of software products. I would guess that quite a number of long time and larger Paloma customers (Worthing Homes & Swansea spring to mind), are already starting to research options. While there is probably urgency to ensure a stable housing system is in place, some structured examination of the market would as ever be recommended.

Like with any organisation experiencing changes like that, losing key staff, some reorganisation or targeted recruitment must be now necessary. I have worked with a few suppliers in a similar situation, with credible product and existing customers, as Critical Friend, to help navigate options forward.

Its fair to say that some other supplier organisations are currently going through transition too, based on the LinkedIn movements I see from my own extensive contacts across the sector. A number still need to put the breaks on the often revolving door of staff changes. Older and more experienced staff are indeed retiring or cutting down to three days a week. Recruiting good staff, training them to be even better with product and letting them develop can be a tough call. Cracking that and having an eye on sensible succession planning too, can make all the difference between satisfied and unhappy software customers.

Related Post: Do less locking of horns over integration - Get your software suppliers collaborating together


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

The Knack - My SharonaThe Knack - My Sharona.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here


Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Minute by Minute

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


I work with lots of clients with all types of ICT solutions.

Users and managers universally will have a gripe about IT and software. Sometimes its justified, often not. On many occasions it can be a case of six of one and half a dozen of the supplier. I’ve lost count of the times

I have told people, with no hint of irony, to think of time using a solution and software as like a marriage. Both parties need to understand each others needs, respect each other and there needs to be a degree of ‘goodwill’ on both sides.

Key to good relationships is to not let it get stale.

When using systems, I often ask how my clients are doing that?

Most actual then reply with something like, “We have a digital champions group”, or a “Process improvement group”. Many have a performance team, but not many have a performance team that is tasked with improvement too. That’s the two sides of the coin isn’t it and both should be feeding each other.

Amazingly most of these internal groups are then criticised, for ‘not much coming out of it’ or ‘not getting things done’.

My question then is usually, “Can I see the minutes of the last few meetings”?

You would be surprised that so many have no minutes and certainly no actions or outcomes. Without those, its just a monthly social get together, over a brew with some quality biscuits. No wonder nothing gets done. Nobody is held to account.

Have a look at groups that meet in your organisation. Do clear actions and timescales come out of meetings, with individuals tasked to deliver? Fail to be formal and your groups will fail to deliver or instigate meaningful change. Minutes potentially hold (sometimes slippery) individuals to account and help you get more from all that staff meeting time. Embrace meeting minutes, they are your friends.

Related Post: User Acceptance Testing, should it ever be a tickbox procedure?


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Cabaret Voltaire – Minute by MinuteCabaret Voltaire – Minute by Minute.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, 19 June 2020

Living On Video

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


It’s amazing how we search these days and clearly when I think about it, less than half for me is on Google.

I spend more and more time on YouTube and other video streaming. When I look at his video consumption, its about 20mins max live TV (usually at mealtimes), and 2+ hours a day on YouTube.

Like with any teenager, the rest is Xbox, games etc, as you would expect.

When you buy most things these days, there is a link or a VR code to a website, sometimes a PDF document, often a site of video content. Video is engaging to humans in many different ways and we seem to retain more from seeing something done, rather than something being merely described. Training experts will also confirm that by actually ‘doing tasks’, we retain the most.

Malcolm Gladwells excellent book ‘Outliers’, shares the other interesting fact that once we achieve 10,000 hours of experience in doing anything, that seems to be the magic switch that converts us from ordinary, to potential extraordinary. Examples are Bill Gates, The Beatles (Weeks doing three gigs a day in Hamburg) and others. Indeed, repeated watching of YouTube videos have a similar effect on me. I (probably like you), have tackled numerous things after watching it done 5 times or more.

Most of those attempts of mine have been successful so far, including dismantling part of a washing machine, and it working when all the bits were put together again. So far so good. 

I know as well, I am not alone on this one. I know plenty of friends and relatives, of all ages who have done the same. A caveat at this point is needed. Do try everything at least once if you can manage it, the first one could have just been a ‘duff one’.

So, if we are doing this in our real outside work lives, why do we not make more of it in our working lives? We have many more facilities such as eLearning available these days and relatively cheap cloud or local storage now available to us. Many clients I work with who have elearning, will have ready baked courses for Office, Word etc. They will not see courses for their primarily systems of record, housing and finance systems etc commonly available.  I don’t particularly blame system suppliers for this either. At best I think their offerings would be very vanilla at best. A possible afterthought too.

Users should not beat up suppliers for lack of training materials, it’s a sad fact that actually the best stuff is homegrown. By that I mean very process specific and tuned in to specific organisation codes, processes and local procedures. When I suggest this it usually brings a few groans and realisation that some work is needed. Opening MS-Word and adding dozens of screenshots into a big humongous document is generally in the mind of my clients. That’s not what is in my mind, thinking in a 2020 type of stylee.

I get two reactions when I mention video with voiceover, 50% horror and 50% excitement. Spooky eh, polarisation. It really needs a local voice to help navigate and explain to users how all those processes hang together in detail. Sometimes clients ask me, “Could you do it Tony?”. I generally answer, would you like my lovely Mancunian tones used for your video, up here in Fife or down in Somerset? Well, you know ‘Garlic Bread?’, ‘Tgipt’, ‘Big Light’, ‘Mars Bar’, ‘Car Park’, ‘Wonderwall’. Well, it will have to be someone truly local wont it?

Most processes can be broken down into about 5 – 7 videos of about 4 minutes in duration. With a basic story board each video can be completed in about 20 minutes. This is a process that takes a little bit of quality time, but actually manages to crystallise a lot of your trainer or subject matter expert knowledge for reuse dozens or even hundreds of times. When new staff start a role, they can easily have some one-to-one training, but have a volume of videos to watch as many times afterwards to absorb the ‘right’ way to tackle any process. This is a key complaint of so many of my clients, achieving consistency.

When supplier software updates arrive that change the UI, or processes are to change, modify those videos, and tell staff they need to update their processes. You could even produce an update video that gives an overview of those upgrade changes. Way more convenient that those ‘programmer speak’ notes of amendments, you get now.

Lastly, people ask, will this not all be expensive?

Well on that one, a variety of free and perfectly adequate utilities are available, such as iSpring FreeCam, or something you may already have for corporate comms use, Adobe Captivate. Outputting as Windows Video files I have found most flexible by far. It’s certainly not tricky.

While it may take some effort to put together, it achieves the equivalent of dehydrating your trainer and re-hydrating him or her, on demand at any future time or place, to be repeated as long as necessary. Face to face training would still occur, but supported with the most convenient way to take on new knowledge.

What on earth is your training team waiting for?

Related Post: We have all seen procurements go wrong. Often its a little external help that makes a massive difference


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Trans-X - Living On VideoTrans-X - Living On Video.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, 5 June 2020

Semaphore Signals

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


Its becoming a perennial problem, retrieving data from old storage media.

I suppose its not new, think the Cascajal Block, Rosetta Stone, papyrus, Roman stone tablets, wax cylinders, typed documents, One Inch tape reels, DAT tapes, Eight Inch, 5 and a quarter, 3.5 inch and zip disks.

The CD/DVD has just persevered so far. All of these historic formats pose different problems, yet all can (at a pinch and with some time expended) pretty much be turned into something readable by humans or trawled via a search engine.

Popularity of the Internet Archive (at https://archive.org ), shows to me the value of getting all that data accessible.

Having our data in old historic media formats, does pose a problem and particularly I have seen many organisations, successfully digitise historic formats and realise space savings, often enough to add a gym for staff. (Do ask me about that one!).

Bringing ourselves pretty much up to date, we are using cloud hosted apps, such as Twitter, Facebook and others to have interactions, that should probably have an audit trail to assist and protect all parties. These apps do allow reasonable tracking of conversations, not for sinister purposes, but to reasonably solve issues.

Putting my cards on the table, I hear of a number of issues where this is not the case, which is very disappointing and not what I generally see. In fairness I am generally working with organisations, looking to improve processes and systems, so I rarely encounter this with social housing landlords, in my working life. I have done my best however, where I encounter this, to point residents in the right direction. It’s the right thing to do.

Some apps these days do not allow access to a clear audit trail. More and more apps are brought into CRM interactions and this area is ever changing. Customer service bods need to be constantly aware of what’s popular.

The Signal Messenger App, is one such (https://signal.org/en/). Since 2018, encrypted end to end messaging. Signal has another interesting feature, that it can self-destruct messages send to users, from five seconds to a week once read. Once messages are gone, they are really gone, forever. So even beyond GDPR. Without taking this into account, much of a valuable audit trail can be lost.

Keen scholars of GDPR will be aware that wilful manual deletion after a freedom of information request is made, is a criminal offense under the FOIA. However, if a message or data was already deleted, or deleted automatically, no crime has been committed. 

From an organisation viewpoint therefore, a separate audit trail would be needed from Signal, if in use.

Spookily enough,  I was interested to hear that Signal was becoming popular with our current batch of newly installed Tory MP’s in the UK. It allows a bigger group than WhatsApp, and I would think the automatic deletion of messages might be a definite advantage, in the current Corona Virus environment and Brexit progressing before the end of the year.

Usually, sensitive documents and media can be restricted for 30 years, before release. It would be very convenient that some decisions are labelled ‘restricted’, about the pandemic response etc. Am I the only one suspecting in 30 years time there might just be a folder, named ‘Signal’, completely empty.

If there is ‘nothing to hide’, lets hope that an audit trail is maintained…. 

Related Post: UAT - I have seen clients fudge testing and it never turns out well...
 

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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Wreckless Eric - Semaphore SignalsWreckless Eric - Semaphore Signals.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Inside Looking Out

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


When looking to improve use of digital channels and self-service, its always essential as a starting point, to know what mix of interactions we have from customers, as a starting point. You are inside, looking out.

I will use the noun ‘customers’, that might be tenants, leaseholders, factors, shared owners and others. These all consume a service and should be treated with the respect that any supplier should provide for them. In everyday life I get agitated when landlords do not see the world that way and ‘customers’ get a raw deal and lack of respect.

I work with many organisations looking to digitise. One of my first questions is often, “what mix of interactions do you receive currently”?

That can be a very difficult question to ask. Could you answer it?

That starting point, enables areas to digitise to be identified. If an organisation already has CRM and uses it throughout the whole business, that may be an easier task. The challenge to that is most often cultural, not an ICT one. Understanding the mix now, is a great starting point to examine alternatives. Here are some hypothetical splits, that will not be too off the mark annually, for many typical housing associations, with minimal digitisation currently.

  • Office visits 8%
  • Phone calls 29%
  • Home visits 11%
  • Emails & letters 12%
  • SMS 15%
  • Payments 19%
  • Misc’ or uncategorised 6%
Now, if you cannot catagorise accurately, then that is a challenge that needs to be addressed. Procure a CRM (or solution(s) to record the data reliably) and maybe develop KPI’s and reporting.

All of the above might well also split into team tasks, from logging repairs, taking payments, responding to queries, complaints, (compliments), ASB, letting issues etc.

This is ground zero of your organisations digital journey. Without this, it is impossible to monitor progress and improvement. Once we have the stats as at now, its essential the management team agrees a target for digital transformation. I always despair a little, when the answer back from management is ‘Just a bit more Tony’. Pick a number and lets aim for that, exceed it and then congratulate everyone afterwards.

In my experience, only by having targets, will we be successful. That’s because moving to a digital mindset is 25% an ICT problem and 75% a transformational cultural change.  The former is essential and enables the latter. Never confuse these estimates, but get both right, to improve internal efficiency and also customer service and satisfaction, achieving more with less.

Related Post: Help your next project go even more smoothly...
 

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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Grand Funk Railroad – Inside Looking OutGrand Funk Railroad – Inside Looking Out.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Special

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


I am sure you like me have often bought goods from eBay or Amazon, when you get strange plugs on them, maybe not for your country/region, or with strange adapters. That’s what happens when products are made and adapted afterwards to use in other ways, situations and places.

Software is much the same.

Great if you are very vanilla in needs and requirements. In that situation, you are likely to have few real gripes. If you are ‘special’, then you might just get quite frustrated with suppliers who refuse to recognise a lot of things they might regard as special, but are just bread and butter to you.

Why would it concern me?

Well anything that concerns my clients, interests and concerns me. Also, having been involved in working for an English software house involved in SocialHousing systems, I have some experience in this area. While different landlords, charities and RP’s in the same country have their quirks, leave England’s green and pleasant land and software has some more specialness to contend with.

Devolved administrations have now control of health, housing and legislation to a certain (or total) degree. This leads to mixed standards, returns and regulations. In Wales or Scotland, to see a system solution default to ‘English Decent Homes’, rather than WDH or the SHQS, is a crime worthy of a small fine. Increase that if you see all three coming up in the solution. Irritating if nothing else. Also, never have an option showing for ‘Right To Buy’ in the solution outside of England. The sensible devolved nations will smile when they remind you it was dropped a few years ago.

Travellers and historians (or maybe just having a passing historical knowledge) of the UK, will know that in Scotland, there is a whole separate and in many ways unique legal system. A job title I have occasionally struggled with over the years, is the ‘Procurator Fiscal’. I have yet to meet one in real life, although different titles and different laws, mean different terminology particularly used in communications. This is a very key difference and I have seen clients change whole systems or create (hated) elaborate workarounds, to get around the issue. Why suppliers are so lax with this I do not understand. In selling to Scotland, most suppliers have to agree and sign a contract conforming to Scottish Law, so you would expect the clue to be right there.

Leave the UK and the specialness gets worse.

Just across the sea from Holyhead or Fishguard and the specialness really starts. While the UK systems of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit work in a very similar way, Social Housing is funded in a particular way in Ireland. Under the differential rent scheme rent paid is directly related to household income and subsidy assists the original build. Worryingly I have seen much rent software exported to Ireland, that fails on this most key of requirements.

Second on the Irish irritation list is address formats. Try fitting a Kerry, Cork or Dublin address & postcode format into a standard UK address control. Its fun, but its rarely right!

Its amazing too how often a change to Country or Region, such as Ireland or Australia can make a big difference in standard functions or date formats. Even more amazing is that sometimes software is deployed to other countries for SocialHousing use and this type of functionality has not always been checked and tested, to operate coherently. Field labels and database column names often irritate too. In some places we have ‘Local Authorities’, in other regions ‘Councils’. Just one example that I have seen anger over in past projects. Suppliers just stating ‘Well that’s just the way it is’, never cuts it.

You would hope that in the new world of SaaS and cloud deployed solutions, most of these problems should start to be designed away. I would hope for that to be the case, but do not rely on it as the silver bullet. Take my advice, always ask where software originated or was designed. It will give you better clues, where to check for possible issues!

If you are a supplier, take some of these thoughts on board. Recognise your customer (& prospect) specialties. Ignore them at your peril !

Related Post: How do you prove your system interventions are truly making a difference
 

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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Garbage - SpecialGarbage - Special.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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