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The 6-Part Scorecard Software Checklist
It’s time to choose scorecard software—and you’re not thrilled to start the process. This checklist will make it easier. (Really!)
You’ve created a corporate scorecard because you recognize what an excellent strategic framework it is. You agree that it’s one of the best ways to align your strategy with your objectives and that it can help you sharpen your processes across multiple perspectives.
But you might be thinking it’s time to take your scorecard to the next level—and one of the best ways to do that is through scorecard software. We recognize that the software procurement process may not be something you’re looking forward to. In response, we’ve created this simple, straightforward checklist, so you can be sure to make a well-thought-out decision and end up with a solution you’re thrilled about.
The 6-Part Scorecard Software Procurement Checklist
1. Clearly define your end users and decision-makers.
Even if you’re the person helping your organization find the right scorecard software solution, you might not be actively involved in using it once it’s procured. Thus, it’s important to identify the end users and administrators before you hop to the next step.
2. Scope the features you want and the budget you have.
Once you’ve identified key users of the software, you’ll need to determine what features they need and the budget you have to work with. This is as simple as asking these individuals what problems they’re trying to solve. Do they need assistance putting together monthly or quarterly reports? Are current review meetings a mess? Is strategic collaboration a little less strategic than it should be? Ask the folks you identified in step one to make these problems clear. Once you have that down, you’ll need to have a clear picture of the budget you have to work with so you don’t fall in love with a solution you simply can’t afford.
3. Define your procurement and contract process.
For many organizations, the procurement and contract process is outlined in an RFP (which you can read about in step four).
If you’re a county, state, or federal organization and can purchase from the General Services Administration (GSA), that’s great. You won’t have to bid (because you know you’re already getting the best price) and can easily purchase a solution in bulk.
Even if you don’t have an RFP, you’ll still need a documented process of the features you want and need, a way to evaluate the different applications, and enough time for the back-and-forth between your organization and the vendor’s.
4. Manage your RFP.
If you’re a public-sector organization that’s looking for the right software for the right price, you’ll likely need to send out several RFPs. This RFP process should include some kind of clearly understood scoring method, and you’ll need to allow for enough time for the software organizations responding to adequately answer your questions. Our advice? Don’t rush this process. Give yourself plenty of time to comb through the solutions you are considering so you don’t end up with a less-than-reputable solution.
5. Conduct a live demo with your information and your decision-makers.
You shouldn’t ask every software solution you come across to give you a demo—just the top two or three on your list. We personally prefer to give our in-depth demos live, as it’s easier (in our opinion) to answer questions and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The demos will ideally include part of your organization’s own scorecard so you can understand if it works well in the software. Your key decision-makers should be in attendance, as should anyone who will be using or administering the software. This is the time to really pay attention to your top software choices. Is the demo easy to understand, or are you completely lost? Who is giving the demo? Are they answering all of your questions adequately? Jot down your notes and honest thoughts during this process to review afterward.
6. Choose your scorecard software based on what fits your organization best.
You’ve done your due diligence—now it’s time to select your software! Cost will be an important consideration here, but you may not want to select the cheapest software on your list. Weigh how much time and energy you’ll save with how much you have budgeted to find the right balance for your organization’s efficiency.
Steps For Software Implementation
Once you’ve chosen your software, there are a whole bunch of steps and things you’ll need to think through to get it up and running correctly. At the highest level, you’ll want to do the following:
- Define what you want your objective or measure layout pages to look like with your software vendor.
- Implement a pilot (test) account in one of your divisions or departments so you’re comfortable with how it’s going to work. This could be an example scorecard or a single objective, measure, or initiative.
- Build out everything in your scorecard software. Finish importing all of your data, and work out any issues you find along the way with the vendor’s software support team.
- Conduct training within your organization. Everyone should fully understand the software, how to use it, and why you’re using it. Be sure to point them to one individual in your organization for any questions they may have.
- Roll it out across your organization.
Further Reading & (Free!) Tools
It’s easy to get enamored with a cool website, an enticing marketing video, or a slick software demo and decide that you must be using a particular solution. But this doesn’t mean that particular software will be right for you. Using the checklist above is a good way to ensure you’re being diligent about scorecard software selection. Also, we suggest the following tools, which can be a big help during this process:
- The Ultimate Reporting Features Checklist: This tool shows you 10 categories of tools you may (or may not) need, 42 individual features and descriptions to choose from, and criteria for determining the right software for your organization.
- 29 Questions To Ask Your Software Vendor: This handbook provides a list of important questions you’ll want to ask before signing on with a vendor, like “Will we get unlimited support team access?” or “Do you have customers in our industry?” You can find the link for this handbook below—click below, fill out the form, and get started!