February is synonymous with pink and red everything, bouquets of roses and heart shaped containers of chocolate in every size. It’s a time where many reflect on the relationships that they want, the ones they have and where they all stand.
When it comes to finding (or keeping) a partner, many put together a check list of all of the attributes they hope their person might have. Many also end up compiling a list of red flags to stay away from, a catalog of no-no’s found either through their experiences, or second hand ones.
We encourage you, while you are taking stock of your relationships, to evaluate the one you have with your Emergency Management Operations platform. Yes, that rabbit hole.
Similar to your personal romances, there are things that should be expected out of a software platform, a set of simple standards. There are also key points that serve as writing on the wall and should be acknowledged as reason enough to put a platform firmly in the Friend Zone.
Some green flags to look for
You can easily customize and change solutions.
We know, we know. We aren’t supposed to change people to fit who we want them to be. When it comes to platforms however, this capability is a MUST. There are going to be times when processes change, team members take on different roles, or there are new expectations to be met. You need to make sure that your organization has a platform that is capable of digesting what you need and adjusting accordingly.
The platform is end-user friendly.
Ideally after the introductory period, your end-users will be able to easily jump into the system and intuitively find their way around. We do understand, however, there are going to be times when some additional help is needed. Having a platform that offers training that targets different levels of users is a great sign that they are not just here for a good time, they’re here for a long time.
You can expand your solutions.
When it’s time to take the relationship to the next level, the software should be able to handle it! Having a platform that is able to lend its capabilities to other departments is important for if and when you would like to expand organizational situational awareness.
There are consistent customer-driven enhancements.
You deserve a platform that is constantly improving and being further developed. A relationship where feedback and honest conversation gets transformed into actionable and viable outcomes? Outstanding.
We give you permission to ghost
They aren’t speaking your love language.
Having practitioners available to you when it comes to choosing the solutions your organization needs, as well as implementing them, is game changing. Being given the opportunity to work with someone that can relate to you on a professional level, and can make experienced-based recommendations can be incredibly helpful.
No-code development isn’t an option.
There is no reason why you should have to wait for an available software engineer to build what you are capable of making. You are a strong, independent admin, and should be treated as such.
Notifications cost extra.
When it comes to emergency management, communication is a key operative. Charging customers for the ability to adequately notify end users is not something we advocate for.
You can’t communicate with your EOC and outside partners.
platform that is meant to help with EM Operations should always allow you to be able to speak directly, and create a common operating picture, with your EOC. If you are not able to simply share information and data with those who benefit from or require it, how is that software any better than a paper and pen process?
Time to Make Up or Break Up
Now, these are not the only points to look for and we of course encourage you to add your own deal makers and breakers.
Wherever you are in your EM operations platform journey, we hope that this list will help you navigate where you would like to take this relationship: whether it be taking it to the next level, or deciding that you might just be better off as friends.