Outcomes measurement software is essential for most not for profit organisations so that you can track clients and analyse outcomes data in order to deliver better services and increase your organisation’s impact. You may be using a locally installed database software or an online software system, but do you know if you are maximizing the potential of your software system?
If you are not sure that you are getting the most from your software, then ease your concerns by conducting a quick evaluation of your existing system. An evaluation of your software gives you a reference point to determine if your current system is meeting your organisation’s wants, needs, and expectations or whether you need to switch software systems. It particular, it can help you to:
- Clarify your feelings about your existing system;
- Prove that you are in fact maximizing your existing system;
- Identify areas to improve in your existing system; or
- Show you that your existing system may not be a good fit.
This blog will briefly summarise how to conduct an evaluation of your system and the benefits of a good outcomes measurement system.
7 steps to conducting an evaluation
A good system evaluation involves thinking about the following:
- Strengths and limitations, likes and dislikes of your current system. It’s important to be as honest and specific as you can as this will make it easier to develop a list of action items for improvement later on.
- How you can further improve your systems strengths and how you can reduce or eliminate the limitations.
- Your ultimate goal for an outcomes measurement system to help improve your service delivery and performance management.
- Your “nice to haves” or things that are not necessary at this time and can be let go if budget, time and resources don’t allow them, as well as your “need to haves” or the things you must have now in order to improve efficiencies or satisfy external pressures.
- The gaps between your current system and your requirements of a system.
- Whether your existing outcomes measurement system is capable of filling these gaps and achieving your goals and requirements in both the short and long-term.
- An action plan to help find the right outcomes measurement system for your organisation. Your action plan should identify things that need to be addressed immediately, as well as short and long term action items.
To help you conduct an evaluation of your system, you might like to read our free e-book on 3 steps to Outcomes Data System Health and then complete the associated System Evaluation Worksheet.
Once you complete this evaluation, you may realise that you need a new outcomes measurement system all together, or you may already know you need a new system. If this is the case, then you might like to download our free e-book on 12 Steps to the Right Outcomes Data System and the associated worksheet to help you evaluate some possible solutions.
7 benefits of outcomes measurement systems
Regardless of whether you stick with your existing system or switch to a new one, a good outcomes measurement system should provide you with the following benefits:
- Demonstrate and quantify impact
- Streamline internal processes and paperwork
- Increase service quality and consistency of service delivery
- Improve internal communication
- Transform data into knowledge to improve performance
- Ensure you have a single system to track all data
- Monitor, manage, and support staff
Download our free e-book and worksheet on the 7 Benefits of an Outcomes Measurement Software System for more information on this.
Finding the best outcomes measurement system
So you may have completed an evaluation of your software system, looked at SQI’s various e-books on this, and used the seven benefits in this blog to identify some gaps between your current system’s functionality and your ultimate goal for your software. Although this can be a lengthy process, it can help to ensure you are using the best outcomes measurement system for your organisation by achieving one of three outcomes:
- Maximising the potential of your existing software system if you are concerned that you may not be getting the most from it;
- Identifying ways to improve your existing software system if there are gaps in how it performs now versus your goal for how it should perform in the future; or
- Finding a new outcomes measurement software for your organisation if your current solution doesn’t offer the features and functionalities you need.
Given that this can be very time consuming, you may feel like you need help to find the best system for your organisation. In this instance, you can always chat with a SquaredImpact consultant who can provide you with a “system requirements assessment” and/or a “system change readiness assessment” or can help you to independently compare multiple software platforms for you side-by-side. Take advantage of SquaredImpact’s free 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs and options today.