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Tracking the usefulness of your shiny toy

This is the third blog in the “shiny toy” series: see part 1 here and part 2 here. 

Cue lyrics… Never gonna give you up! Never gonna let you down! Never gonna run around and desert you…. 

It’s almost like Rick was talking about holding yourself accountable for moving forward with the shiny new toy we’ve been talking about for the past few months.

Now, Rick’s great and all, but the lyrics really strike a chord. To ensure you get the utmost functionality from your new 3rd party gadget, you can’t give it up, definitely can’t let it down and not give it a chance, and never ever decide you’re going to run and desert it.  In my last blog I had written about two buckets for process change: bucket A (updates due to new tech) and bucket B (updates due to process gaps).

B can come without A, but A can never come without B. You will ALWAYS have to updates processes when you update your technology. If you have not found a product that doesn’t require this, you are a unicorn and I would like to clone you and install you in every agency in the country. Seriously.

The “two buckets” in my last piece came with homework: run through the steps. How do we determine the outcome of the process this toy is enhancing, and roll out the new toy along with the new processes? You have had a few months with this. I recommended 2 to 3 months to guarantee a solid sample size to reflect on with your team.  

Implement tracking
I am a firm believer that if it’s not in Hawksoft, it didn’t happen–which in turn means anything we add to our tech ecosystem should be easily reportable to see the successes or failures of this new process. I live and die by Activity Reports in HawkSoft, which give me visibility on what my team is doing on.

To track how things are progressing with what we have thought long and hard about adding to our stack, we need a solid reporting methodology. As of today, not all HawkSoft API partners have built two-way API connectivity yet, so you may be using 3rd party systems that do not write back to HawkSoft. You might be asking yourself, how on earth do I track this? Let’s break down your two options.

Track using the 3rd party software
Many opt to track things in the 3rd party software. This comes with its set of flaws. Most importantly, the 3rd party’s functionality isn’t front and center as to how it’s affecting the specific account your team member might be viewing. Remember earlier in this section when I mentioned I’m a firm believer that if it’s not in Hawksoft, it didn’t happen? Put yourself in your team members’ shoes. Phones are ringing, texts are coming in, a complicated COI request is sitting and waiting for completion. Do you think your team has the time to verify if “X” was completed by a 3rd party software? No! Out of sight, out of mind is likely the approach they’ll take. 

Track using HawkSoft
If you create a process in HawkSoft using action steps, however, you can add a great amount of value to your team members experience and your clients. That little Action Menu sequence you document at the beginning of each action is the key to tracking success. It maintains reportability in Activity Reports, and the Log chain automatically documents what was done.

You can customize your communications list to include continuations of that Action Menu sequence. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me for a more in-depth look at our process.

Use this to track how the process is working. Check in with your team frequently to see if they see the process as a benefit, or if they have any suggestions on improvement. Lastly, revisit this again in 3 months’ time to see if any amendments made have added increased value.

Blog Author:
Bogus Handzel
Chief Operating Officer – Handzel & Associates Ltd.
Chicago, Illinois