On first read, the title of this article may sound quite silly. How to add ETO (Efforts to Outcomes) software to your tools for performance management? Buy some performance management software and voila! Right?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. While ETO software is incredibly powerful in its ability to revolutionize your organization’s performance management, outcomes evaluation, and more, one doesn’t simply open the box and start tracking outcomes, much as we all wish that were possible.
Instead, organizations looking to implement ETO software as one of their tools for performance management need to put some serious thought into their goals and objectives. Often, it’s also important to take a hard look at current organizational practices and consider which of these are or aren’t serving the organization effectively. Finally, training one’s administrative staff, service providers, and contractors in the correct use of the software is hugely important in effective implementation.
But don’t worry – in this article, we’ll break down each of these important pieces and help walk you through the most important steps and considerations. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, keep reading to find out how to add ETO software to your tools for performance management in an easy and effective process.
Before you can begin evaluating your organizational performance, you have to know what metrics you want to evaluate it on. But how do you begin to think about what methods of evaluation will work best for your organization? We’re glad you asked.
Review your mission statement – While hopefully you know your organization’s mission statement inside and out, it never hurts to look at it with fresh eyes. What is your organization’s goal? How can you keep the big picture in mind as you start to implement your new ETO software?
Translate your mission into specific outcomes – Missions are important, but they often talk in abstract terms about grand utopian visions for social change. If yours is one of these, or even if it’s more specific in nature, it’s important to think about how you could break it down into specific outcomes.
Consider inputs and outputs – Translating these goals into specific, measurable, and quantifiable areas is the next big step, and it’s easy to be so focused on outcomes that inputs get completely neglected. When thinking about your goals, don’t forget to think about operational performance, capacity, evidence and effective utilization of resources as an important component of this process.
Of course, just as it’s important to know where you’re going, it’s also important to know where you are and where you’re coming from. Taking the time to acquire baseline performance metrics for your organization is an important and often neglected step when rolling out new tools for performance management.
Training for employees may sound like an obvious consideration, but it might not be as straightforward as you would think. Here are some things to consider when thinking about your rollout and training programs:
Start Early – Organization administrators often try to implement the software first and then involve their employees later. While there’s nothing wrong with starting at the top and looking at the big picture considerations first, waiting until too late to get service providers invested in the process can end up being a costly mistake. For those who are doing service delivery on a day-to-day basis, new program evaluation software will have a large impact on their processes and how they’re doing their work. Involving service providers directly will ensure ETO software is set up for their success.
Length of training – It’s easy to think that an hour or two of training will be enough – after all, all your employees need to learn is where the buttons are, right? Actually, implementing new tools for performance management is complex and it’s important for end users to understand the why, not just the how, in order to effectively, correctly and consistently enter data.
Point of Service – If your software plans include point of service access for service delivery providers working directly with the populations you serve, it’s important to provide access to training and resources in these environments, not just back at the main office. People will learn differently by actually using the tool on the job, and the questions that may arise in the moment will be very important to the success or failure of the rollout.
Finally, and perhaps most important, adding ETO software to your tools for performance management is not a one-time endeavor. Revisiting your goals, your current practices, and employee education and training on a regular basis are critical to making the best use of your technology tools and creating the best outcomes for your organization and the people it serves.
By using these basic strategies, your organization will be up and running with ETO software in no time.