1. Solid Foundations

A system implementation should not be viewed simply as a roll-out.  Implementing an organisation-wide system such as a Client Information System is significant and disruptive – what is the best you can hope for?

Here is the journey of Pam Copeland, part of the Client Service team at Relationships Australia (SA).

The initial implementation outcome for administration and client service staff may be some like being able to make appointments, record attendance at appointments, invoice clients and receive payments, or do end of day banking.

Kate Brett, Regional Manager at Relationships Australia (SA) talks about the positive impact Penelope can have on practitioners and regional management.

The initial implementation outcome for practitioners may be that they know who they are seeing and when, can record their session notes, and can share information with their team leaders and managers. For funders, the initial implementation outcome needs to ensure they are getting the correct information in a timely fashion.

These are all a reflection of solid foundations, and will vary by organisation. The Penelope Excellence consulting team is able to offer a range of services to ensure that your organization has solid Penelope foundations, including:

Pathways to Penelope Excellence – Implementation or Post Configuration Review

Community sector organisations are very focussed on where their financial resources are spent to meet their organisational objectives. Achieving the benefits of an investment in Penelope does require a particular skill set. We have 4 different models which can be scaled to community sector organisations to assist them with an initial implementation of Penelope or implement the improvements identified in the Configuration Review (depending on the scale of the recommending Improvement Roadmap). Each of the 5 pathway options provides for different scales of involvement from our team and each has different advantages and disadvantages.

Find out more about the Pathways to Penelope Excellence.

Penelope Excellence Configuration Review and Improvement Roadmap

Penelope Excellence Consulting can conduct an extensive review of your Penelope installation to diagnose what is working well – or not so well. We can then develop pathways to improve your installation to ensure that you are realising maximum benefits from your investment in Penelope.

Penelope Upgrade Consulting

Version 4 is almost with us and it provides a whole new frontier of exciting and challenging changes. Penelope Excellence Consulting can help you understand these changes and how they should be implemented in your Agency.

Program and Practitioner Statistical Reporting Tool

Our extensive and flexible statistical reporting tool allows program managers to track their performance over multiple years. This can provide team leaders and practitioners with valuable information about their workload and their contribution to the Agency’s objectives.

Our consulting services can help you use this tool to identify data collection issues and develop strategies to ensure that your systems are being used in ways that are most informative and that meet your unique requirements.

“I would recommend the Program Statistics report and workshop. Every organisation struggles to obtain regular meaningful reports from the back end of Penelope, so this is a good solution to get some basic data summaries out, which can be sliced and diced as you wish. Plus you are able to observe trends over time. Congratulations should go to the Penelope Excellence team for their skills and hard work in putting the queries and reporting tools together, and packaging them up with training so they are useful for other organisations. The reports and workshop are not cheap, but having been through a workshop, yes I think it is good value, particularly with the team’s willingness to get the reporting tool working as well as possible for our Penelope structure.”

–  Amy Spadarro  Manager, Data Reporting & Analysis, Interrelate

Penelope Online Learning

How your staff use Penelope has a direct correlation with how well they have been trained. Unfortunately most organisations experience staff turnover which can necessitate regular, time consuming and expensive staff training in Penelope. To address this problem, online training will soon be available for administration staff, client service staff, practitioners, team leaders and managers.

Penelope FaHCSIA Health Check

If you have concerns about the quality of the data you provide to FaHCSIA, Penelope Excellence Consulting can analyse and assess this data and develop pathways to improve it.

FaHCSIA Error Prevention, Investigation and Rectification Workshops

FaHCSIA needs to have the most accurate possible picture of the services they fund. Online workshops are available to ensure your staff have appropriate skills to make best use of the FahHCSIA web services interface and provide accurate data.

“The FaHCSIA Error Prevention, Investigation and Rectification workshop was well paced and time was provided for questions at each stage. I learnt that separating errors into categories such as Athena, data etc and having a spreadsheet of errors are great ideas. I would recommend this training to others and would like to include some power users and use the webinar as further development of their training.”

–  John Carroll, Anglicare Sydney

“The whole Penelope Excellence team had a very friendly approach towards the whole presentation, continuing to ask questions and our input which resulted in further discussions which was very helpful to me. I would recommend this training to others. The staff members at Penelope Excellence Consulting really go beyond just the presentation and maximise the time allocated with the workshop, leaving enough time for Q&A’s.”

–  Shariff Apichatskuldej, Marymead

Penelope Excellence Managed Service

Penelope Excellence Managed Service is designed to:

  • Provide the Agency with a cost effective alternative to maintaining a skilled Penelope business analysis and support team that have experience in the sector.
  • Continuity and access to a team of highly skilled Penelope specialists who have a deep knowledge of the Agency’s requirements and configuration.
  • A focus on ensuring that the Agency realise the benefits from their investment in Penelope maintenance and implement new features and product enhancements as they become available
  • Access to quality project management and change management practices, processes and experience gained from implementing and supporting Penelope for more than 4 years
  • Close integration with the Athena support and development teams, meaning that application issues are investigated and resolved efficiently where possible
  • Access to resources for ongoing configuration changes and requirements

A Penelope Excellence Managed Service can provide the Agency with access to the following services:

  • Initial Implementation and Major Version Upgrade Support – available bi-annually, this service includes ensuring a strong understanding your business requirements and configuring Penelope to meet those business requirements for your services (including testing and refinements).
  • AISR Penelope Online End User Training – provides your end users with access to Penelope Online End User Training for their roles on how to use the system. The courses are based on generic process and will not reflect the Agency specific process and procedures. Online End User Training can be tailored to specific the Agency processes via negotiation.
  • Application Services – ensure that Penelope is kept current and that minor upgrade new product features are introduced and implemented quickly. Access to advanced application services to develop documents, automated workflows, configuration changes and testing management.
  • Reporting Services – access to the Penelope Excellence Reporting Suite along with any upgrades to this suite annually plus development of reports within Penelope or using the ODBC connection facilities.
  • 1st Level Support – the Penelope Excellence Managed Service team will act as the Agency’s primary point of contact for Penelope support requirements taking responsibility for liaising with Athena Software to respond to and resolve issues.
  • Penelope Infrastructure Management – provided in conjunction with your hosting service, Athena Software will provide full management of your Penelope infrastructure environment including applying version upgrades and copying production data to test.

Get access to cost effective expert Penelope skills:

  • Low risk investment to access high quality and experienced Penelope skills
  • Current skills
  • Access to proven practice process and experienced gained from years implementing and supporting the Penelope Case/Client Information System for many clients across multiple parts of the Community Services sector.
  • Lower cost than recruiting, up-skilling and training own staff in Penelope, business analysis, project management and change management skills
  • Staff can focus on core service processes and functions
  • Proactive application monitoring and management
  • Pathway to realising benefits available from the Penelope Case/Client Information System

Guaranteed resource availability

  • Continuity of resources
  • Flexible and scalable resource capabilities
  • Reduce risk of resource dependency

Continuous improvement

  • Proactive and continuous introduction of new features and functionality
  • Benefit from continual product research, development and implementation experience
  • Ongoing process review and streamlining
  • Maximum return on investment

Find out more about each of the 3 stages:

  1. Solid Foundations
  2. Embedded Practice
  3. Understanding Social Impact

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