<ul><li>SofTools develops and markets innovative web-based business management software products to serve the needs of Cor...
User Guide – Contents <ul><li>The User Guide is broken into a number of sections </li></ul>Page 4  Page 4  Page 4  Page 4 ...
<ul><li>Welcome </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This guide will help new users to understand basic principles of your web-based tool...
<ul><ul><li>This section explains the key issues facing modern organisations  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 years ago many...
<ul><ul><li>In responding to the current economic climate and the ever increasing competitor performance / customer expect...
<ul><ul><li>The SofTools software platform is known as a Performance Support System in that it provides the operator or ma...
Business Processes <ul><ul><li>Each SofTools application is used to address core business processes, and specific issues a...
<ul><ul><li>This section provides an overview of the application and all of the core modules.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...
<ul><ul><li>There are usually two levels of access security.  You will first need to log-in to the server, and then to sig...
<ul><ul><li>The first thing you will notice is that the homepage is split into frames.  There are typically three frames t...
Homepage – Navigator <ul><ul><li>The homepage navigator is divided into distinct sections that will often reflect the foll...
<ul><ul><li>In order to offer a complete ‘performance support’ environment all SofTools applications contain a number of s...
<ul><ul><li>Once logged in for the first time, it is important to check user details [Click on the ‘My Profile' option on ...
<ul><ul><li>This section explains how to capture your work using the interactive templates.  Each template (or ‘tool’ will...
<ul><li>New work can be created in three different ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Starting in Homepage Navigator </li></ul>...
<ul><li>Managing your work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Case Navigator – found on the left hand side of the screen, is used t...
<ul><ul><li>Business and management methods are captured in the form of interactive templates that contain one or more inp...
Case – Data Entry Cell Types Cell Type Description Text Entry Simple Text Entry, although the number of characters may be ...
<ul><ul><li>The people section is used to allocate people to the project.  This has two core functions. </li></ul></ul><ul...
<ul><li>The ? </li></ul>Case – People [Resource Allocation]
<ul><ul><li>QuickTools are typically simple business methods that can be applied quickly and easily, and that can have a s...
<ul><ul><li>The Document Management (Quick Links) tool enables effective document management of all associated project res...
<ul><ul><li>The links function is particularly useful when managing projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any tool can be l...
<ul><ul><li>The Admin option presents standard file management alternatives.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete will delet...
<ul><ul><li>The people section is used to allocate people to the project.  This has three core functions. </li></ul></ul><...
<ul><ul><li>Print (case output) options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The print option is the prime method of viewing the com...
<ul><ul><li>? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul>Case – Print Templates <ul><ul><li>TIP   Use of print tempaltes makes pri...
<ul><li>Emailing others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each case can be emailed to colleagues for review or information.  The email...
<ul><li>User support </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Consultant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The most immediate form of conceptual supp...
<ul><ul><li>This section explains how to get information out of the system in the form of reports or export routines </li>...
<ul><li>Maintaining Visibility and Control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where the application is being used to monitor and contro...
<ul><ul><li>Creating new reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The report writer is very flexible and reports can be set up q...
<ul><ul><li>This section presents standard modules that support the capture and sharing of knowledge </li></ul></ul>SECTIO...
<ul><li>The ‘Glue’ of Knowledge Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The knowledge management elements described in later sect...
<ul><li>A rich learning environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For new users or users simply wanting to be reminded of some of ...
<ul><li>Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Another rich source of information that grows over time, a...
<ul><li>Working with files and folders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can see all of the ‘cases’ saved in the database by acces...
<ul><li>Building and tracking competencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Expert Profiles matrix presents a matrix style report...
<ul><li>Managing and sharing knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents and other data sources such as web sites used by ex...
This section provides an overview of the support mechanism and underlying technology SECTION 7 – SUPPORT AND TECHNOLOGY
<ul><li>Supporting effective use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are five levels of user support ranging from online conceptua...
About the Technology <ul><li>The SofTools web-platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For the technically minded amongst you, you m...
This section provides an overview of the function that enables the creation and editing of Performance Reports, and the Im...
<ul><ul><li>In the same way that Files are saved in Folders, Reports sit within Report Groups. There are four basic types ...
<ul><ul><li>All report types use the same Reference information form, and this is the starting point for creating any new ...
<ul><li>Run the report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the report has been created, the ‘Go’ option will display the report on ...
<ul><li>Matrix Reports show summary information (such as the number or the total value of cases).  The data presented and ...
<ul><li>Editable Reports are the same as List Reports but when displayed they allow one or more of the displayed columns t...
Grouped Reports
<ul><ul><li>This is probably the most complex of all functions in the application, but one of the most useful for dealing ...
<ul><ul><li>Reports can be copied and moved in the same way as files are managed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Save as csv or ta...
This section provides an overview of the module that Administrators use to initially configure and then Administer the app...
<ul><li>All system configuration functions are contained in the ‘Admin’ area.  Access to this module is tightly controlled...
<ul><li>My Details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As well as allowing Administrators to set up user log-in details, this function p...
<ul><li>User Stats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The User Stats function allows Administrators to check on usage of the system ove...
<ul><li>Keyword Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords are used to tag templates, cases and other resources such as attache...
<ul><li>Contact Type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit this list to change the way users are classified on the system.  This is p...
<ul><li>This is one of the most complex areas of the system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When an application is set up for a clie...
<ul><li>Edit Homepage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First select and configure the type of homepage required </li></ul></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>Edit Menu Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First define the groups for the homepage navigator – how do you want the in...
<ul><ul><li>The System Configuration options are advanced functions and should only be modified by fully trained expert Ad...
<ul><ul><li>The best practice interactive templates are referred to as business ‘tools’.  These templates are the primary ...
<ul><li>Turning Language Options on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By default, the language options are not enabled, they can be en...
Admin – language options 2 <ul><li>Main Page Icon Hover Text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The icons on the main page (Help, logou...
<ul><li>Case Navigator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The wording on the case navigator is created using the ‘Generic Phrase’ text ...
This section identifies the ways in which the Return-on-Investment in the application can be maximised SECTION 10 – RETURN...
Value Proposition <ul><li>SofTools web-based software applications deliver two core dimensions of sustainable performance ...
Performance Impact <ul><li>All applications utilise the same core web-based platform that integrates common modules: inter...
Scalable, flexible and easy-to-use platform <ul><li>Typical software applications develop functionality based on what is t...
Senior Management Visibility, Control and Confidence Desired business benefits Senior Managers’ ability to …. Feature SofT...
Consistent Application of Best Business Practice Desired business benefits Operational Managers’ ability to …. Feature Sof...
Contact SofTools <ul><li>SofTools Limited </li></ul><ul><li>Head Office </li></ul><ul><li>Greenlands, Henley-on-Thames, RG...
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SofTools 2009

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Presentation of the core features and functions of the SofTools web application

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SofTools 2009

  1. 2. <ul><li>SofTools develops and markets innovative web-based business management software products to serve the needs of Corporates, medium sized enterprises and Public Sector organisations. Their applications enable client teams to sustain performance improvement and increase visibility and control of operations. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SofTools Limited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greenlands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Henley-on-Thames </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RG9 3AU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>United Kingdom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>t. +44 1491 412400 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e. info@softools.net </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>w. www.softools.net </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>About SofTools
  2. 3. User Guide – Contents <ul><li>The User Guide is broken into a number of sections </li></ul>Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4 Page 4
  3. 4. <ul><li>Welcome </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This guide will help new users to understand basic principles of your web-based tool. The Application has been developed to make it quicker and easier to manage routine or special tasks and will enable you as teams or individuals to develop core capabilities through four stages reflected in the need to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assess opportunities for performance improvement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build skills, capabilities and effective processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sustain consistent application of best practices </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grow through effective knowledge sharing & continuous improvement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: The Application has been configured to meet your current business needs, however as these change over time new functions will be added as required. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to use this guide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of you will prefer to dive into the product and ‘play’ (the activists) whilst others will prefer a more structured approach to learning (the theorists). There is no right or wrong answer - you should choose the style that suits you best. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This guide contains advice and guidance on some of the general features contained in the Application, but also information specific to your particular needs. We would recommend that you spend a few minutes browsing through the guide so that at least you know what it contains, and how to get started. </li></ul></ul>SECTION 1 - OVERVIEW
  4. 5. <ul><ul><li>This section explains the key issues facing modern organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 years ago many successful businesses turned out products and delivered services that were late, over budget and did not meet customer expectations - today those companies are likely to go out of business quickly. The current economic climate is challenging the traditional approach to leading and managing modern businesses. It is impacting everything from the way strategy is set, the processes and systems used to support operations, to the recruitment and development of key staff. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no time – five year strategies have become two year plans with implementation actions in the next quarter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no budget – relentless drive to become more efficient and effective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no compromise – if we don’t meet customer expectations then someone else will </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gary Hamel summarised this challenge with a twist on a well-known phrase: “Those that live by the sword will be shot by those that don’t!” </li></ul></ul>SECTION 2 – BEST PRACTICE
  5. 6. <ul><ul><li>In responding to the current economic climate and the ever increasing competitor performance / customer expectations, companies must develop their key people in line with current business imperatives in a way that results in an ‘enduring and flexible capability’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Assess. The starting point is to understand current business performance and capability gaps in relation to the ability to deliver business targets. If there is no clear link between the development activity and business performance then it has no value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Potential for technology: use performance scorecards to identify performance gaps, use self-assessment checklists to identify capability gaps and development planners to support the concept of continuing personal development – “Don’t view training and operations as disconnected”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Build. Next, identify and build ‘best practice’ into organisational processes. Once team and individual development needs have been identified, competencies can be developed in a number of ways. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Potential for technology: make training available as and when required (JIT training) – “Don’t throw managers in at the deep end”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Sustain. Once new skills have been acquired, it is essential that they are applied consistently and correctly over time. If there is no associated change in behaviour then there will be no impact on performance. An aspect of long-term memory however is that retention of new concepts and ideas falls off over time, and with it the confidence to apply new techniques. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Potential for technology: use e-Learning solutions and interactive best practice templates to reinforce theory as and when concepts are applied in practice – “Don’t start with a blank piece of paper”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Grow. Finally, whilst developing skills in an individual will impact their performance, this effect can be leveraged dramatically when all members of a team work to a common method using a common business language. Furthermore, the adoption of a common way-of-working remote teams to share their knowledge more effectively, and ensuring that when one member of the team leaves their knowledge doesn’t leave with them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Potential for technology: by using common electronic templates on a shared database, users can review and learn from the past and the work of others – “Don’t re-invent the wheel”. </li></ul></ul>Performance Support
  6. 7. <ul><ul><li>The SofTools software platform is known as a Performance Support System in that it provides the operator or manager with the techniques, information and access to expertise that enable tasks to be performed effectively and efficiently. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As well as reflecting the latest management thinking, the techniques deployed in all SofTools applications were developed whilst working with client teams to effect organisational change in the real world - constantly analysing what worked and why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This drive to continuously improve performance is relentless – many clients becoming increasingly frustrated by the slow start, mediocre performance improvement and rapid benefit fall-off of their current improvement initiatives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If we can’t achieve dramatic and sustainable performance improvement then we run the risk of failure”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whilst software isn’t the complete answer, for many it will be a necessary enabler. But most traditional software applications reflect what is technically possible as opposed to what the real operational needs are. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The current economic climate has also brought an increased focus on new approaches such as knowledge-management and e-learning. However they often result in disappointment as they fail to impact on performance. The reality is that they should not be seen as the end goal itself, and to impact on performance they require a business context. </li></ul></ul>Performance Support
  7. 8. Business Processes <ul><ul><li>Each SofTools application is used to address core business processes, and specific issues and opportunities depending on current client needs. These may include the following business and team processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business critical processes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Product Development (NPD) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Business Development (NBD) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Initiatives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Operational Excellence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Experience (CE) management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Governance and Compliance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Team processes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Ideas Capture, Screening and Prioritisation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Critical Issue Tracking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Risk Management – strategic, operational and programme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Critical Decision Making </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Development Planning (PDP) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Effective Meeting Management </li></ul></ul></ul>The general Business Accelerator (BusX) application is used throughout this guide
  8. 9. <ul><ul><li>This section provides an overview of the application and all of the core modules. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: your specific application will not utilise all of the functions available as it is preferable to keep each application as simple as possible in order to achieve ease-of-use. This section shows what is possible, and will expand your ideas for how the application can be adapted to meet future business needs as and when they occur. </li></ul></ul>SECTION 3 – WEB-BASED APPLICATIONS
  9. 10. <ul><ul><li>There are usually two levels of access security. You will first need to log-in to the server, and then to sign in as a registered user. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1) Server log-in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To access the Application simply open your web-browser and enter the Application URL – this will be forwarded to you by your system Administrator. In order to gain access to the Application you will then have to enter a server log-in and password - note that the password is always case sensitive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: you should not put www in front of the URL address unless directed to do so. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2) User log-in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before you will be able to do anything you will also need to log-in as a user. Your default user name will be the first initial of your first name followed by your surname, i.e. ‘JBloggs’. Your default password will be the same as your log-in name. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: from the Homepage Navigator on the left of the homepage screen you will typically have an option to access your own details (My Details) – you should change your password if you are concerned about the security of your personal work. Note: your password will not be visible on the screen. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: The text displayed on the log-in screen can be modified by the System Administrators. </li></ul></ul></ul>Logging In TIP Once you have logged in for the first time, same the site as a favourite within your Internet Explorer window
  10. 11. <ul><ul><li>The first thing you will notice is that the homepage is split into frames. There are typically three frames that provide a conceptual model relating to the business need, and ‘matrix’ style report giving an overview of current work activities and a simple and quick way of accessing the most commonly used functions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>a) Header & main menu </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The top framed displays the user name and date. It also contains the main menu bar that is accessible from all parts of the Application. This means that wherever you are in the Application you can get back to the homepage (Home) or to any other area with a single click. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>b) Homepage Navigator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The most commonly used functions are all accessible from the ‘one-click’ navigator frame on the left. You will see that functions are grouped according to the activity you wish to undertake – typically these will be in three sections as per the next slide. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>c) Graphic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The graphic contained on the homepage is bespoke to the business issue that the Application is used to address, and will also give access to the underlying core functionality in the Application. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>d) Performance Report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More sophisticated homepages are used as ‘digital dashboards’ – presenting key performance data gathered from the database in one screen. This is particularly useful where the Application is used to help the monitoring and control of operational activities. </li></ul></ul>Homepage – Overview <ul><ul><li>TIP A ll applications can be configured to reflect specific needs and priorities </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Homepage – Navigator <ul><ul><li>The homepage navigator is divided into distinct sections that will often reflect the following categories: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> A. My Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-click access for users to get on with their work. Typically includes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to ‘My Work’ and ‘My Profile’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> B. Ways of getting information into the system [INPUTS] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-click access for users to get on with their work. Typically includes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to start new work or search of existing files and folders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> C. Ways of getting information out of the system [OUTPUTS] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus is on the need of managers and those responsible for monitoring performance. Typically includes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Red-Amber-Green performance reports </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Portfolio reports for projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Registers of issues and risks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> D. Getting Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus is on transferring learning and knowledge across users and teams – specifically relevant for new employees. Typically includes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expert resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User guide </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Glossary of terms </li></ul></ul></ul>TIP When using the application for the first time, take fifteen minutes to explore each option on the navigator. Make a list of any questions and ask your coach for support
  12. 13. <ul><ul><li>In order to offer a complete ‘performance support’ environment all SofTools applications contain a number of standard building blocks. These exist in all installations, but individual modules will be turned on or off depending on local configuration needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Management Reports </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where the application is being used to monitor and control operational performance, management and status reports can be defined. When run, they pull information dynamically from the database thereby avoiding the need for managers to create special reports. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Best Practice templates </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Business and management methods are captured in the form of interactive templates that allow the user to complete common or complex tasks simply by following a systematic process. These templates may have been selected from the existing SofTools tools library or they may have been created specifically for a business unit or team – reflecting their preferred way of working. Templates ensure that every member of the team will follow an identical process based on the best way of performing that specific task. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Files and Folders </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As templates are completed, they are stored in a shared database on the Internet or corporate intranet as files or ‘cases’. Saved files can be found through the Files & Folders ‘explorer’ style view – making it easy for teams to work together, and for people to learn from each other and the previous work. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Expert Resources / Knowledge Cube </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documents and other data sources such as web sites used by experts can often be a rich source of information. These are linked into a comprehensive keyword search engine to make them easy to find. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Online coach </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For new users or users simply wanting to be reminded of some of the concepts that support the best practices, the Online Coach provides a rich learning environment. The Online Coach reflects differing learning styles, allowing users to choose whether to learn as they work, or whether they prefer to review concepts or the work of others before applying the ideas themselves. For the activist, the concepts are available through the Virtual ConsultantTM – a pop up guide that is linked to the input forms in the templates. </li></ul></ul></ul>Standard Modules <ul><ul><li>TIP Before understanding the features of the application, stop and think about the business benefits you are seeking to achieve </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><ul><li>Once logged in for the first time, it is important to check user details [Click on the ‘My Profile' option on the Homepage Navigator]. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Me and My Company </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This contains useful contact information such as name, role, and email / telephone contact information and can be entered and updated by the users themselves. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Login </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Administrators will assign user log-in name and password. However, the password can be changed by the user at any stage. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: the number of ‘*’ in the password box does not reflect the number of characters in the password!. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Additional options will be available only to Administrators: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>By default, all users will initially be set as ‘Experts’ – this allows competencies and competency levels. This has relevance where the system is used to track and present an Expert Profiles matrix to allow users to quickly find people that can help them resolve specific issues – refer to the section on Expert Profiles. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can also set the preferred Homepage for each user – this ensures that users have the most relevant and interesting information available to them as they log in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>System Options </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This section can also be used to add the typical number of days that a user is available to work on projects and is used where the system is used to track a high level of resource availability – refer to the section on Case – People. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Photo </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is possible to upload a small electronic picture to the server. </li></ul></ul></ul>My Profile
  14. 15. <ul><ul><li>This section explains how to capture your work using the interactive templates. Each template (or ‘tool’ will reflect best practice principles as defined by your business or industry experts. The templates should reflect the way people work, and should make it quicker and simpler for individuals and teams to operate – providing a ‘common business language’ across the organisation. </li></ul></ul>SECTION 4 – ENTERING DATA [INPUTS]
  15. 16. <ul><li>New work can be created in three different ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Starting in Homepage Navigator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Homepage Navigator will typically offer an option to create a new project, sales plan, strategy …. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This can be done using a blank template or it can be based on client defined best practice examples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) Starting in a Report [refer Reports] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The floating navigator on the right of the screen will allow a new case to be added at the point at which a report is being reviewed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3) Starting in the Online Coach [refer Online Coach] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whilst using the Online Coach to learn about a new business method, use of the ‘+’ will also create a new case. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: whether starting from the Homepage Navigator, a Report or the Online Coach, you will be asked to select a Folder to save your work in before being allowed to proceed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4) Starting in Files and Folders [refer Files & Folders] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finally, in this section, a new case can be created by simply clicking on the ‘+’ button alongside a folder. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: in this case, the system will ask you to choose the type of case (project, sales plan, risk etc) before proceeding. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Reference Form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When a new case is created, a new window is displayed, showing the reference information for you to start entering data. You will need to complete the Reference form for the case. This allows the system to create the case with the minimum amount of information needed: title, description and owner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may also be asked for other information such as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identifiers (ID): used to allocate unique identifiers for a case. This field will sometimes take information from the ‘parent’ folder, and can be set to ‘auto-number’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords: used to make it quick and easy to find in the future </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Versions: used to track formal version numbers where required </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once complete, you need to click on the save button. Only once the reference information has been saved will the addition buttons appear on the left hand side of the frame, and you will be automatically moved to the first input form in the template. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: at any stage, should you need to return to the Reference form you only need to click on the ‘R’ at the top of the ‘case Navigator’. </li></ul></ul>Case – Start New Work
  16. 17. <ul><li>Managing your work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Case Navigator – found on the left hand side of the screen, is used to manage all the common tasks required to complete work – covered I the following pages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: it is worthwhile taking time to explore the case navigator bar down the left hand side of the screen. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: the ‘Refresh’ button allows graphs to be displayed correctly once data has been updated in the relevant input forms. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Saving your work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The save button on this frame is highly important. Because of the way Internet Explorer works, closing a page [frames] will result in loss of data unless saved. Whilst a reminder message is presented, it is recommended that the save button is used regularly when entering data, and is used before moving forms. </li></ul></ul>Case – Navigator <ul><ul><li>TIP Get into the habit of saving your work regularly </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><ul><li>Business and management methods are captured in the form of interactive templates that contain one or more input forms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: these allow the user to complete common or complex tasks simply by following a systematic process. All the input forms contained within this section are known as a ‘Template’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Input forms are laid out in a logical sequence that reflects the best practice process or business method that has been adopted by your organisation. Where the process is large, input forms are broken in separate frames. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The first form in any tool is the Reference Information ‘R’. Once the reference information for a case is saved, more toolbar icons become available, and the system automatically shows the next form in the process of there is one </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Entering data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each template enables the capture and storage of different types of information. Each input cell will either allow text, or will be a special type of cell: drop-down lists, combo-boxes, date look-up, and keyword look-up – refer Cell Types (next page). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: some cells will not allow user input as they will be read-only, security restricted, or formula cells. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: Some grids or forms allow rows to moved up or down. This is tool and grid specific and is a feature of a tool when it is designed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Saving your work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get into the habit of saving your work on a regular basis using the save button on the top right of the data entry page. You will note that if you try to move away from an input form without saving you will be given a warning message. </li></ul></ul>Case – ‘Process’ or Input Forms <ul><ul><li>TIP take some time to explore the case navigator bar down the left hand side of the screen. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Case – Data Entry Cell Types Cell Type Description Text Entry Simple Text Entry, although the number of characters may be limited by the system Scrollable Text Entry Simple Text Entry, where a scroll bar is presented on the right of the text entry box. These are used where there is expected to be a large amount of text to be entered Number Entry The system validates the entry of data into these fields, only allowing numbers to be entered (including a decimal point) Characters such as currency symbols are not allowed Simple Drop Down Where the field required a selection from a list, a drop down option is provided where there is a downward pointing arrow on the right of the cell. When clicked, the list of options is displayed, allowing the user to select only one Combination Pop Up Where multiple items are allowed from a finite list, a pop up box is used showing all the available selections. The user is then able to click on a single item, or select multiple items by holding down the CTRL key and clicking as normal on the additionally required items Date LookUp The user is able to enter text in these fields, as well as use the clickable calendar button that pops up a calendar or clicking on the ‘NOW’ section will enter the current date into the field Person LookUp Clicking on the ‘…’ button on the right of the cell shows the standard user list and allows either multiple selection of people, or a single person, depending on the type of lookup field that is required. Typing in the field is also allowed, where a list of people matching the typed text will appear to select from, using the cursors to move up and down the list, and ENTER to select. The list gets intelligently refined as the user types External File Selection This is another ‘…’ button that opens up a message box that allows the user to browse the local file system (windows explorer) and select a local file to reference from the cell. Be aware that local files to the computer in use will almost certainly not be available to other users, so selecting c:my documents est.doc would not be available to other users Formula Field These fields are already highlighted in light blue, and get their content from another area of the case automatically, and so are not available for editing Secure Cell Secure cells are only noticeable if the user has less that Full Read Write access, where the cell will show ‘******’ in the field to disguise the content and stop editing. These types of cells are used mainly to hide financial data from external access. Audit Cell Audit cells are used to record changes to values within a case. They can be any type of the cells listed above, but do not allow direct changes. Instead, they have a small ‘key’ button next to the cell. When clicked this loads a pop up window that allows the cell to be changed. Any changes are recorded (current user, date+time etc). The user making changes to these cells also has the option to enter a description as to why the cell is being changed. Quick Tools count This is a special kind of field that shows the number of Quick cases associated with the specific cell – refer QuickTools . These are typically Action Items. The number of items is clickable and represents the total number of Actions associated. Clicking on the number takes the user to the editing area, where these Actions can be edited deleted, or added to. Special / image Some specialist cells will contain images such as ‘stars’ or ‘arrows’. These are used as an alternative to text based cells, and are typically list cells offering selection from a number of discrete options
  19. 20. <ul><ul><li>The people section is used to allocate people to the project. This has two core functions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify the team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The case owner, and people selected in individual case cells (such as a Project Sponsor) will automatically be added to this section. However, it can also be used to identify all those that need to be involved in this piece of work. By stating the role of each person, it is easy to see whether the team is balanced in terms of numbers and their profiles. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manage and track resource / time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where it is important to track and manage critical resources (people’s time) across projects and other work activity, then the people section can be used to do this. It is not a detailed time planner, but will capture a person’s contribution to a particular project or case over a period of time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: this information can then be used to produce a top level resource or ‘loading’ report that can inform decisions about resource allocation and balancing across the entire portfolio of work activities. </li></ul></ul>Case – People <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>The ? </li></ul>Case – People [Resource Allocation]
  21. 22. <ul><ul><li>QuickTools are typically simple business methods that can be applied quickly and easily, and that can have a significant impact on the performance of the team. The number of Quick Tools available will vary between configurations, but here is a description of some of the common ones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool to capture specific costs associated with the work being carried out. This is particularly useful in a project environment where budgets need to be monitored and controlled tightly. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>99% of decisions will always be made in people’s heads. However, for critical business decisions, where a significant amount of expenditure is required, or where buy-in is essential to implementation, it is useful to capture the thought processes in a structured and systematic way. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Insights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool to capture insights or lessons learned as the project progresses. This is key to enabling teams to learn from the past and from each other. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick KPIs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool to assign Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to a piece of work. This is useful in a project environment, where KPIs can be used to capture project objectives. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool to plan and structure team meetings based on a three stage approach: Objectives, Agenda and Logistics. Once completed, the meeting outline can be emailed to those invited and entered in their Outlook diaries in the usual way. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Notes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not all information of relevance can be captured in the structured forms, so the Quick Notes option allows comments and short notes of explanation that may be of use or relevance to others. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Risks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most teams are effective fire fighters – but the Quick Risk tool enables a more proactive approach to managing risk, thereby dealing with concerns before they become crises. Effective use of the tool typically results in a significant saving of time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool to capture tasks at a more detailed level, or to manage the resolution of issues that arise as the project progresses. </li></ul></ul>Case – QuickTools
  22. 23. <ul><ul><li>The Document Management (Quick Links) tool enables effective document management of all associated project resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents might include a PowerPoint presentation used to provide an overview of the work, a Microsoft Project file used for detailed planning, an Excel spreadsheet used for detailed budgeting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents can be linked in to individual cases in two ways: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>File Link: this creates a link to an existing file but leaves the file where it is. This is best where the organisation or team use a shared access drive and folder for all work. E.g. a link to x:financesprojectabc.xls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>File upload: this will make a copy of the selected file and upload it to the server that is running the application. This is less dependent on a common shared access drive, but has the drawback that it will not be automatically updated when the original file is updated. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: whilst the cost of hard disc storage continues to fall, file size should be kept as small as possible as large files tend to consume ‘bandwidth’ and will therefore be slower to download </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: The file upload size limit is set in the Admin area by a system administrator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: Within the case detail, some cells may allow references to this list of files. This ensures that all attachments and links are recorded in the same place </li></ul></ul>Case – Document Management <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><ul><li>The links function is particularly useful when managing projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any tool can be linked to any other tool to show that there is a relationship between them. This is not as complex or sophisticated as creating task-to- task dependencies, but it can be used to track the relationship between a project and the current business KPIs for example. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: this is an advanced feature and is typically turned off </li></ul></ul>Case – Links <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><ul><li>The Admin option presents standard file management alternatives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete will delete the case permanently from the database – presenting a warning message beforehand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copy will ask the user where they would like the new case to be saved in the folder structure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move will ask the user where they would like the case to be moved to in the folder structure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: the folder tree will display in expanded mode unless there are more than 30 folders, in which case the user will need to expand the tree using the ‘+’ button </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There are also two options that are typically only available to system Administrators and super-users: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best Practice allows cases to be assigned as ‘best practice’. These will then automatically appear in the Online Coach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Triggers are sometimes used as a means of automatically informing those named in the People section of a change in the nature of a projects (such as its status) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: Copying and modifying cases is often a quick and easy way to progress work (why reinvent the wheel) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: it is often useful to have at least one example case of each type classified as ‘best practice’ as this is an excellent way for new members of the team to learn </li></ul></ul>Case – Admin General <ul><ul><li>TIP If you need to remove data from input forms quickly you can use the ‘clear’ button found in the top left hand corned of each input form </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><ul><li>The people section is used to allocate people to the project. This has three core functions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Group Security section is used to set levels of access (security) to the project or case. This can be done on an individual level (Advanced feature) and group basis, and can be set as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No access (these users will not even know this project exists) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read Only access allows users to view but not change the input forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Full Read/Write access allowed users to edit all fields </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Limited Read/Write access is an advanced feature that allows selected users to view selected input forms but not others. This is particularly useful when working with people from outside your own team or business such as customers and suppliers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: To reset the security of all sub-cases select the tick-box option at the bottom of the group selection table </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Folders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The setting of security on folders is particularly important. When new cases are created, they are placed in a chosen folder, and will assume the group security of the folder. In this way, so long as cases or projects are placed in the right folder, the user should not have to re-set security. </li></ul></ul>Case – Admin Security <ul><ul><li>TIP best to keep the system as open as possible in order to make work visible and share knowledge. However, where necessary, access to work can be kept very tight </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><ul><li>Print (case output) options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The print option is the prime method of viewing the completed project or case, for the purposes of printing the case. You will be guided through a four step process. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 Choose which input forms you want to print </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 Choose which QuickTools you want to print (sub-cases refer to tasks or costs contained within individual forms such as the workplan in project management templates) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3 Choose graphs and addition resources such as People and Dependencies to print. This area also allows security and Page break options </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 Choose whether to output in print or save mode, or to Archive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: when selecting the Print mode, the case will be displayed without objects such as buttons. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: users will still need to right-click on the frame and select the print option in order to send the case through to the selected local or networked printer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: A common question / problem when printing is that the printer does not print any background colours, meaning the report looks different on paper than it does on screen. This is a setting within Internet Explorer, and can be changed by going into Tools / Internet Options / Advanced and scrolling down the list to find the printing options. The ‘Print Background Colours’ should be ticked. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Saving the case allows you to save a web case as a single file – this is called a web-archive file (mht) in Internet Explorer. This is particularly useful when you need to share your work with others who may not be system users. TO do this, select File | Save As from the internet explorer main menu, and select MHT as the file type </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Snapshots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A snapshot of cases can be captured at any time using the ‘Archive’ option. Once created, previous snapshots of the cases will be available from the Admin option on the case navigator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Large fonts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is also possible to display print outputs in large fonts. This is particularly useful when presenting the case information to a group using an LCD projector. Note: in Internet Explorer version 7 + this same effect can be achieved by holding down the Control button and selecting the ‘+’ key. </li></ul></ul>Case – Printing
  27. 28. <ul><ul><li>? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul>Case – Print Templates <ul><ul><li>TIP Use of print tempaltes makes printing and exporting data as simple as possible for the user? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>Emailing others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each case can be emailed to colleagues for review or information. The email will use the local email system such as Outlook or Lotus Notes, and will forward a URL link directly to the case. For the recipient to be able to view the case, they will obviously need to be a user on the system with the appropriate level of security. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: because the URL is often very long, the system uses a truncated unique identifier for the link. It is important that this appears on a single line in the email window or else it will not work as a dynamic link. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the link has been created, simply edit the email note you want to send. </li></ul></ul>Case – Email <ul><ul><li>TIP Make sure that the person receiving your email has a user log-in to the system. If they don’t is it better to export the case in pdf format using the print option </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>User support </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Consultant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The most immediate form of conceptual support is via this Virtual Consultant TM . This is available using the ‘?’ button in the top left hand corner of each input form. It asks simple questions that should explain what is required and elicit clear concise answers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This window stays on top until the calling window is closed, allowing you to review the help information while entering data in the case </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online Coach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where this is insufficient, the help button on the case navigator can be used to take the user directly to the ‘On-Line Coach’ for the tool. This is covered in more detail in the section on Knowledge Management. </li></ul></ul>Case – Getting Help <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. <ul><ul><li>This section explains how to get information out of the system in the form of reports or export routines </li></ul></ul>SECTION 5 – CREATING REPORTS [OUTPUTS]
  31. 32. <ul><li>Maintaining Visibility and Control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where the application is being used to monitor and control operational performance, management and status reports can be defined. When run, they pull information directly from the database, thereby avoiding the need for managers to create special reports. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports are classified as one of three standard types: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Table or List reports: this is the most common type of report and presents a list of cases with specific information for selected cells is presented in columns. These reports are read-only </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Editable reports: these reports are similar to table reports but allow users to edit information in the report. This is particularly useful for review teams where several cases need to be visible together, and updated quickly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Matrix reports: these reports group information from many cases together to show the total count or value of a particular item. These reports are useful for viewing an entire portfolio of cases (projects, sales pipeline) from across all teams in a single report </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: reports will not necessarily show all cases but will apply filters to screen out unnecessary information and just show cases of relevance to the reviewing manager or team </li></ul></ul>Reports – Viewer <ul><ul><li>TIP some reports show data in graphical format. These are useful for explaining status and progress to others, and each graph can be cut and copied into PowerPoint presentations for sharing with others </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. <ul><ul><li>Creating new reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The report writer is very flexible and reports can be set up quickly with no knowledge of database programming. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: This is a specialist function and is not made available to standard users. This is covered in more detail on the Administrator training programme and in later modules. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the report reference information is set up, columns are selected by choosing cells to display from the underlying cases. The report writer allows a high degree of customisation and configuration. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: before creating a new report, think about what information it needs to present, who will use it and how often it will be reviewed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with graphs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where appropriate, reports can be presented in graphical format. Most standard forms of graph are available including: line charts, scatter diagrams, bubble charts, Gantt charts. However, there are still some limitations in terms of the display form based on the limitations of web-technology. </li></ul></ul>Report – Builder <ul><ul><li>TIP when drilling down into individual cases using the ‘go’ button, reports can be set to show the case using large fonts. This is useful when presenting to groups </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><ul><li>This section presents standard modules that support the capture and sharing of knowledge </li></ul></ul>SECTION 6 – MANAGING KNOWLEDGE
  34. 35. <ul><li>The ‘Glue’ of Knowledge Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The knowledge management elements described in later sections rely on the set of Key Words that have been created within the application during the initial application configuration. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is often a good exercise to ‘define your business in 100 key words’. These key words, be they customer names, process definitions, customer markets, internal departments, then provide an easy to understand way of segmenting your data that is wholly specific to your organisation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Key Words (and allocating them to bits of data) then allows users to search on experts, cases, Frequently Asked Questions, internal documents, external resources etc – which enters the realms of true knowledge management. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: Key word groups are set up by administrators, Individual keywords within these groups can be set up by users as they are required </li></ul></ul>Key Words <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. <ul><li>A rich learning environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For new users or users simply wanting to be reminded of some of the concepts that support the best practices, the Online Coach provides a rich e-learning environment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Online Coach is accessed via ‘?’ button on the Case Navigator. The opening screen in the online coach will display the complete list of templates contained in one or more modules. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: your application will contain one or more modules depending on the number of business processes addressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the appropriate template has been selected, use the arrow to enter the online coach. You will see that there are a number of alternative ways in which users can learn more about a particular topic – each reflecting a different learning style. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from concepts: shows a 2-3 page conceptual help file that explains the process underpinning the process and how it is to be applied in your own organisation or team </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from best practices: allows users to view the work of others – specifically cases and projects that are considered by experts to reflect ‘best practice’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from experts: presents a list of users that are considered to be experts in this field. This list will also show contact details </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from resources: show a list of documents, presentations and other templates that may be relevant </li></ul></ul></ul>Online Coach
  36. 37. <ul><li>Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Another rich source of information that grows over time, are managed FAQ forums. Forums can be set up to cover any topic area, such as a sales process, a new project, and a research programme. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: not all system will have activated the forums as these are often covered with the functions in your existing intranet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once established and used, FAQ Forums quickly grow, and when managed by a forum administrator, who will oversee the content, they become a place for people to look for information on specific subjects, as well as sharing their knowledge with others in the organisation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can often become part of a companies Intellectual Capital (IP), providing a storage medium for the information that people hold that often goes with the person when they leave a company. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: At the bottom level, People are free to enter new questions or comments, or reply to existing entries. Replies are shown as ‘threads’ where the items are shown together if they are related </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation through each forum is achieved via the Forum Navigator on the left. Content is then reviewed / amended or added on the right frame. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: Forum administrators have rights to remove or edit any content posted by any users. Users only have the permissions to add new content, or amend any content that they published in the first place. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: an example of a forum that is used in every application is the User Guide FAQ’s, which are available from the Homepage Navigator menu. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat Rooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An alternative way of sharing information within a team is to use Chat Rooms. These are less structured, but allow for a real-time exchange of ideas amongst a remote team. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: use chat rooms to capture discussions that would normally take place in emails – in this way the information is shared more broadly, and is not lost when the project or case is completed and closed. </li></ul></ul>Forums & Chat Rooms <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  37. 38. <ul><li>Working with files and folders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can see all of the ‘cases’ saved in the database by accessing the Files and Folders screen (Projects/Files and Folders) from the main Homepage Navigator. This will show all of the work that has been completed by individuals and teams across the business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: you will only be able to see files and folders where you have permission to do so – refer Case – People & Security. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The window is separated into three frames which show the folder view (hierarchy), the current folder, and the contents of the current folder. The structure of the folders is defined by the system administrator and can be modified to suit the changing needs of the business over time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: the view (hierarchy) can be many levels deep, so a file can contain a number of linked files underneath it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Search option is accessed via the button underneath the main folders frame. Enter the criteria you want to search by and simply click the search button. Your search can be saved, making it quicker and easier to use a regular search routine. </li></ul></ul>Files and Folders <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  38. 39. <ul><li>Building and tracking competencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Expert Profiles matrix presents a matrix style report when users are listed down the left, and competencies along the top. Each person can be assigned to show attendance at a training workshop or a coach able to mentor others (M), or can be more formally assessed using a five point scale: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 – basic awareness of the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 – understand the topic but needs supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 – can work unsupervised to a satisfactory standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 – is considered to be an expert (thought leader) in this field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 – can coach and mentor others in this topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: this matrix is particularly useful in larger organisations where the person with the expertise is often not known to others with a specific need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: keywords (that reflect the core products, services and capabilities of the organisation) are used to tag all cases, resources and work completed in the system. An organisation should have at least two people with a high level of proficiency in all key topics </li></ul></ul>Expert Profiles <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  39. 40. <ul><li>Managing and sharing knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents and other data sources such as web sites used by experts can be a rich source of information. These are linked into a comprehensive keyword search engine to make them easy to find. Once captured in the system, access is gained to them through the Expert Resources area or ‘Knowledge Cube’. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The ‘Knowledge Cube’ or ‘Expert Cube’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is a two dimensional matrix (where the axes reflect two or more keyword groups) that shows the number of resources available in each cell (keyword combination). This is a fast way of gaining access to relevant resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the number in the relevant cell is selected, it will display the relevant resources, a brief description, and a click to load button. </li></ul></ul>Expert Resources <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. This section provides an overview of the support mechanism and underlying technology SECTION 7 – SUPPORT AND TECHNOLOGY
  41. 42. <ul><li>Supporting effective use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are five levels of user support ranging from online conceptual help to email technical support. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1. User guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>this user guide provides a useful overview of the product and information on the general operation of the Application. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Virtual Consultant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when completing work online using the interactive templates, each form contains where we call a ‘Virtual Consultant’. This can be accessed by clicking on the ‘?’ in the top left hand corner of each input form. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Online coach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For those that want to understand more about the underlying concepts and techniques, you should visit the ‘Online Coach’. This area of the Application can be accessed from the main menu, and contains a rich source of online support material. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Programme Leaders / Administrators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each corporate installation will have one or more internal experts known as administrators. These people will have been trained to a high level of expertise in the Application, and will be able to answer conceptual and user application questions. Your first call for support should be via your local contact – details contained at the front of this user guide. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. System FAQs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finally an online FAQ Forum has been set up that contains answers to the most frequently asked questions. This is also accessed via the main menu behind the help option. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: when using the Application for the first time, think carefully about what it is you need to do before clicking on too many buttons – it is easy to get a little lost! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A complete glossary of terms and frequently-asked-questions are available from the ‘Help’ option on the main menu. There is also typically a Glossary of Terms available from the Homepage Navigator that provides a quick explanation of each of the keywords directly accessible from the homepage menu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: once you are familiar with the basic operation of the Application, we would recommend that you spend ten minutes just browsing through this User Guide and the System FAQs </li></ul></ul>Getting Help <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  42. 43. About the Technology <ul><li>The SofTools web-platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For the technically minded amongst you, you may be interested to know that: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The SofTools platform is developed using the latest web technologies and is the most advanced ‘performance support system’ on the market today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The application runs on industry standard databases produced by Microsoft (SQL server) and Oracle (9i) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The application can be accessed over the Internet or client Intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The database is backed up daily, (although users are responsible for the active management of their own data) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users must have Internet Explorer (v5.5+) installed on the ‘client’ machine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are no downloads or plug-ins required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ SofTools Inside’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All SofTools applications worldwide use the same core source code, whilst allowing local configuration of all core modules by consultants or internal Administrators. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This has the advantages of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid application tailoring and alignment to client specific processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making all applications stable and easy to install / maintain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring that applications address real business issues </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. This section provides an overview of the function that enables the creation and editing of Performance Reports, and the Import / Export of data SECTION 8 – REPORT WRITER
  44. 45. <ul><ul><li>In the same way that Files are saved in Folders, Reports sit within Report Groups. There are four basic types of report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: most frequently used reports are configured so that they can be run with a single click from the homepage navigator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>List Reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List Reports are the standard reports that present selected data from selected tools. They present data in a formatted table and will typically be used for performance reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Editable Reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editable Reports are the same as List Reports, but they allow users to enter data directly into the report and can therefore be used for multiple-case editing and a single save </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matrix Reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matrix Reports show summary information (such as the number or the total value of cases). The data presented and the axes of the matrix are determined by the lists contained in two selected drop-down cells </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Import Routines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finally, Import Routines allow for the import of data from multiple cases in a single operation </li></ul></ul>Reports and Report Groups <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  45. 46. <ul><ul><li>All report types use the same Reference information form, and this is the starting point for creating any new report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: once the report is created, simply click on the ‘R’ icon to edit the reference information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First, select the type of report from the 3 generic report types: List, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matrix, or Import Template </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Name and description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each report needs to have a simple name that will make it quick and easy to find by others. It should also have a more complete description of the report </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Owner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The default report owner will be the active user. This is useful should system users want to request a change to a standard report </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Save </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finally, as with cases, you will need to save your entries before moving on! </li></ul></ul>Report Reference Information <ul><ul><li>TIP ? </li></ul></ul>
  46. 47. <ul><li>Run the report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the report has been created, the ‘Go’ option will display the report on the screen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: the easiest way to create reports is to configure the report and then to view it on screen to see if it is correct </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The basic set up of a report will select the type of report and whether it is to be editable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advanced case filtering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports can be configured to show a sub-set of the cases contained in the database by setting one or more filters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: dynamic reports will allow users to select filters at the point at which the report is run </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Column selector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for the selection of the columns to be displayed in the report </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Report formatting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for the formatting of the columns in the report. Standard options will include: bold, italics, size and colours. Other formatting such as text alignment is also allowed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Graph display </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some reports benefit from being displayed in graphical format. Standard options include: line charts, Gantt charts, bar charts, polar diagrams and bubble charts. Monte Carlo analysis is also available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports can be set to allow individual cases to be loaded, or deleted or copied using standard buttons that will appear on the right of the report. There is also an option to select the active form tat will be shown when a case is opened from the report </li></ul></ul>List Reports
  47. 48. <ul><li>Matrix Reports show summary information (such as the number or the total value of cases). The data presented and the axes of the matrix are determined by the lists contained in two selected drop-down cells </li></ul><ul><li>Step 0 – Select titles and format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As well as setting standard display options such as titles, it is also possible to display the cumulative value from a selected cell as opposed to a simple county. Where values are selected, such as £s, the cell display can also be formatted – such as £#,### </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphs can also be set to show the cumulative data – such as stacked bar charts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 1 – select X and Y axes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The two axes of the matrix will be determined by the selection of two drop-down cells. The system will present a template showing only those cells that are eligible for use in the matrix report </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 2 – configure selective rows and columns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finally, whilst all the available drop down options will be presented, it is possible chose a sub-set of the list and to change how each will be presented on the final matrix report </li></ul></ul>Matrix Reports
  48. 49. <ul><li>Editable Reports are the same as List Reports but when displayed they allow one or more of the displayed columns to be edited </li></ul><ul><li>This function has the following benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow much faster updating of data contained in multiple cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows management teams to use reports to capture the outputs from meetings such as Go / No Go decisions on projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: Editable Reports do not allow data from multiple cells to be displayed in a single (stacked) column </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: The floating navigator toolbar on editable reports offer a number of options to allow spell checking and printing and exporting </li></ul></ul>Editable Reports
  49. 50. Grouped Reports
  50. 51. <ul><ul><li>This is probably the most complex of all functions in the application, but one of the most useful for dealing with the mass import of new data from other systems via files saved in Comma Separated Format (csv). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The initial set-up is exactly the same as for List Reports, but will then follow a four step import process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 1 – Default folder and owner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When multiple data entry is made, cases need to be saved in a single folder and with a default owner [but this will be over-written if the owner is one of the input fields] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 2 – Quick Data Input </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This option is used where data is to be entered directly into a table as opposed to imported from a spreadsheet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 3 – Create Spreadsheet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is often easier to create a spreadsheet with the correct column headings and formatting, and then forward this to those responsible for gathering the data together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 4 – Upload spreadsheet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the spreadsheet has been identified and uploaded to the system, this function will transfer data into selected columns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: that data can be validated using the ‘tick’ in the floating navigator before saving as cases on the system </li></ul></ul>Import Routines
  51. 52. <ul><ul><li>Reports can be copied and moved in the same way as files are managed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Save as csv or tab delimited format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows reports to be exported so that the data can be imported into other applications or used for mailshots. [Note: csv stands for Comma Separated Value] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows links to a report to be emailed to other system users for review and analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Copy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows reports to be copied and modified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: this is typically a much faster way of creating reports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows reports to be moved to another report group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows security to reports to be set for groups or named individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delete </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows reports to be deleted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: it is a good idea to keep a disciplined approach to the management of reports </li></ul></ul>Report Administration
  52. 53. This section provides an overview of the module that Administrators use to initially configure and then Administer the application on an ongoing basis SECTION 9 – CONFIGURATION
  53. 54. <ul><li>All system configuration functions are contained in the ‘Admin’ area. Access to this module is tightly controlled as system Administrators typically have control over all files and folders </li></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic setting up and editing of users and user groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Application Configuration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced features for customisation of the look, feel and functionality of the application </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System Configuration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced features typically used by expert Technical Administrators only </li></ul></ul>Administration options
  54. 55. <ul><li>My Details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As well as allowing Administrators to set up user log-in details, this function provides users with the opportunity to modify their personal detail </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A key role of the Administrator is to ensure user details, security and access levels are correct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Administrators will not be able to view passwords, but they can reset them if users have forgotten. If a password is removed or set to blank, that user will no longer have access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit User Groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users need to be assigned to one or more user group for the purposes of security and access to files and folders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: It is often advisable for Administrators to be part of all groups and so have access to all files </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Groups versus Users and Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once groups have been created, users and tools are assigned to groups using simple two dimensional matrices </li></ul></ul>Admin – Users 1
  55. 56. <ul><li>User Stats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The User Stats function allows Administrators to check on usage of the system overall and by individual users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expert Competencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The system can be used to track levels of competency for selected users. Users are assigned a score of 1 (aware) to 5 (expert coach). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternatively, when used for development, users are classified as either having attended a course or a Coach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: This function is often used simply to inform users about who is the local expert in a business topic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Templates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is an advanced function designed to allow ease automatic set up of new users. This needs to be set up by SofTools technicians and may not be available to all users </li></ul></ul>Admin – Users 2
  56. 57. <ul><li>Keyword Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords are used to tag templates, cases and other resources such as attached files. Keywords make it easy for users to search the system for Expert Resources that may be of future relevance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords are placed in groups to make them easier to search. Some systems will present Expert Resources in a two-dimensional matrix, where the axes are defined using two keyword groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords are initially defined by System Administrators but this list can be modified using the ‘+’ or edit options at the top of the screen. If the ‘description’ field is used when adding a new keyword it will automatically be added to the Glossary of Terms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drop down options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use this option to change the drop down options used on various templates. Select the current drop down at the top of the list, and then modify the list using the ‘|’ separator bar between words. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: it may take up to 30 minutes for the new drop down options to be visible on the templates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: existing data may be lost if a drop-down is no longer available </li></ul></ul>Admin – Application Configuration
  57. 58. <ul><li>Contact Type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit this list to change the way users are classified on the system. This is particularly useful where the application is being used to manage customer and supplier contact details. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expert Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use this table to review all of the resources (documents, pdf files, web links etc) that have been uploaded to the server by users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Upload User Manual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Click here to change the User Guide associated with the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Duplicate ID check </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use this feature to check that the same Unique ID has not been allocated to two or more cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: this can only occur where the folder structure is being used to provide the ID and a case has been transferred from one folder to another </li></ul></ul>Admin – Application Configuration
  58. 59. <ul><li>This is one of the most complex areas of the system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When an application is set up for a client, there will be a default homepage that all users and groups will use. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, the application will allow bespoke homepages to be created by Administrators on a group by group basis. This provides another way of managing access to restricted areas and can dramatically simplify the application – groups only see what they need to see. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The process is broken into two phases: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1. Edit Homepage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First select and configure the type of homepage required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Homepage Navigation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Then define the homepage navigator – what does each button do? </li></ul></ul>Admin – Homepage Configuration
  59. 60. <ul><li>Edit Homepage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First select and configure the type of homepage required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the name given to this homepage? This should reflect the group or the team that will select this homepage as their default </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Default </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specify whether this homepage is to be the default for new users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Homepage type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select the style of homepage – referring to the various options available. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: You will need to configure each homepage differently depending on the selection made here </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Image File </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where a graphic is to be displayed, you will need to find and upload it to the server </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a report is to be shown on the homepage – creating a management dashboard, select the report from the displayed list </li></ul></ul>Admin – Homepage Configuration [Edit Homepage]
  60. 61. <ul><li>Edit Menu Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First define the groups for the homepage navigator – how do you want the individual click through items to be presented in a logical order? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Edit Navigators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Then define each click through in turn specifying: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display name: what do you want the click through option to be called on the navigator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display window: choose where you want the active window to be displayed. Choosing the right frame will keep navigation simpler </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link type: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permission: choose whether the option should be available to all users or to those with specific permissions i.e. Report Administrators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu help: the text that will appear over the menu item when the mouse hovers over it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: depending on the selections made, some fields will be mandatory to complete in the lower frame </li></ul></ul>Admin – Homepage Configuration [Homepage Navigation]
  61. 62. <ul><ul><li>The System Configuration options are advanced functions and should only be modified by fully trained expert Administrators under the guidance of SofTools technicians. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System Parameters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These options change the basic look and feel of the application. Options range from selection of homepage logos and colours, to visibility of system features such as elements of the case navigator. The parameters are shown in alphabetical order </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System Info </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This form provides technical information on this specific version of the application. This area is key for Technical Administrators that will take responsibility for the internal installation of the application </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Version Upgrades </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This table presents the current version number and the most recent system upgrade feature. Use the ‘+’ option to view the complete list of version upgrades completed since the initial launch of the platform </li></ul></ul>Admin – System Configuration
  62. 63. <ul><ul><li>The best practice interactive templates are referred to as business ‘tools’. These templates are the primary way in which users enter data into the system and provide a common approach to the management of business issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This table is used to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Activate or deactivate Tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assign keywords to tools. Once set, all resources (files, experts) assigned the same keywords will automatically appear in the Online Coach associated with the tool using the same keywords </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specify whether a tool is a quick tool or not </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Note: The tools activated during the configuration period are normally those specified in the software license. Activating new tools may breach the software license </li></ul></ul>Admin – System Configuration [Tools]
  63. 64. <ul><li>Turning Language Options on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By default, the language options are not enabled, they can be enabled within the system admin area, under System Parameters, by setting the ‘Multi-Lingual’ option to ‘Yes’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Selecting which languages are required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the multi-Lingual option is turned on, two new areas become visible in the System Administration area, under the Middle Tab. One of these is ‘Languages’. Clicking on this option will show all of the available languages, with the default language (English) and any other selected languages will appear at the top of the list. To enable further languages, simply tick the language, and click the save button. Those language selected in this list will be the only ones shown to users when editing any language specific help. We will refer below to these as the ‘enabled languages’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language Options on User Homepages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Homepages can be created in any language by the administrators in the Admin area. The menu options that normally appear on the left and any options that appear on the right can all be defined in any language. The creation and compilation of homepages is not part of this document, but is mentioned because of its relevance to language independence. It is recommended that if different languages are required, then a homepage also needs to be created for each language. At the time of defining what language will be used by a user, the relevant homepage is also selected. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permissions required for editing the language specific text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In order to edit any of the language specific text, the user needs to be given the permission ‘Site Administrator’. This is defined in the user administration area. Having this permission will enable the user to edit the language text. The following functionality is only available to users with this permission. </li></ul></ul>Admin – language options 1
  64. 65. Admin – language options 2 <ul><li>Main Page Icon Hover Text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The icons on the main page (Help, logout, and the administrator options), all have a small icon shown to the right of the text. Clicking on this option will allow the user to edit the text shown in any of the enabled languages The page displayed shows the current text (for the default language of English). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also shown at the top of the page are flags representing the other enabled languages? Clicking on a flag will allow the user to edit the text for the given language. The five blank lines shown allow further text to be written, and the Bold, Italic and Underline options are self explanatory. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The other options available on the drop down list at the top show the other images available on the main homepage. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tool Help Pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The help available to the user when entering case information for case tools (e.g. the Project Tracker or the Innovation tracker tool) which is available behind the help button on the top left of each grid, can be defined in each enabled language. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In order to edit this text, an administrator needs to go into the System Admin Area and select the option called ‘Language Specific Help’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Under ‘Tool Help Pages’, a list of the enabled tools is displayed. Clicking on a tool shows a list of grids on the right (in a drop down box). Clicking one of these grids and then selecting a flag (language) will then show the help text for the tool (in the selected language) in the lower half of the page. If there is no text shown, this indicates that no help text has yet been specified. In this situation. Clicking on the middle icon will fill the text with the current help text (in English). The user will then be able to translate this into the selected language. </li></ul></ul>
  65. 66. <ul><li>Case Navigator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The wording on the case navigator is created using the ‘Generic Phrase’ text within the ‘Language Specific Help’ area of the System Administration area. This text is edited in the same way as the Tool Help Page Above </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand the ‘Generic Phrases’ from the tree, then click on the phrase required to see the language options on the right as normal. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changing the language displayed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Having changed all of the text for languages, we then have to make sure that the correct language is displayed of the correct user. This is simply a case of changing the language for the user within the User Profile (where the Homepage is also selected) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When Multi-Lingual is enabled, each user will have the flag of their selected language displayed next to the date on the main homepage (beneath their login name) – Clicking on this flag will allow the user to edit their own profile </li></ul></ul>Admin – language options 3
  66. 67. This section identifies the ways in which the Return-on-Investment in the application can be maximised SECTION 10 – RETURN ON INVESTMENT
  67. 68. Value Proposition <ul><li>SofTools web-based software applications deliver two core dimensions of sustainable performance improvement: </li></ul><ul><li>1) give the key decision makers increased visibility and control over operations, and </li></ul><ul><li>2) enable operators of all core processes to consistently apply best practice techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>Our applications are used by corporate and public sector clients to dramatically improve performance in core operational and enabling processes. Typical outputs include improved effectiveness and efficiency, and reduced costs and time-to-market. </li></ul><ul><li>These advance applications also embed the principles of the business management and continuous improvement cycle: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan - definition of strategy and operational activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Execute - effectiveness and efficiency in implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect - monitoring, reporting and analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn - continuous improvement & knowledge management </li></ul></ul>SofTools offer a leading-edge technology platform and portfolio of software solutions that sustain performance over the long-term and create a culture of continuous learning and growth [ 3 & 4 ] - whether in the field of business planning, sales delivery, project and programme management, or analytic trouble-shooting. Traditional approaches to performance improvement typically result in short-term gains [from 1 to 2 ], but performance fall off after the initiative has lost focus can be dramatic - resulting in little or no long-term performance improvement. Furthermore, the failure to link new skills to business processes and technical systems guarantees a poor return on the investment. To survive and grow in the current economic climate requires a different approach.   £ Profit & confidence <ul><li>SofTools applications impact overall business performance and deliver competitive advantage in three ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased senior management visibility, control & confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistent application of best business practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A culture of continuous learning and knowledge management </li></ul></ul>Plan Reflect Execute Learn 1. Visibility & Control 2. Best Practice Process 1 Process 2 Process 3 Process 4
  68. 69. Performance Impact <ul><li>All applications utilise the same core web-based platform that integrates common modules: interactive ‘best practice’ templates, flexible report writer, performance monitor, online coach, expert profiler and knowledge cube. </li></ul><ul><li>Applications are designed to maximise the impact on performance improvement, and fall into one of three classifications depending on the business need addressed: </li></ul>Accelerator Applications – driving the value chain Tracker Applications – building team performance Action Learning Clients are drawn from all industry sectors, both public and private, including: Allergan, Bayer, BOC, British Nuclear Fuels, CIPD, Coca-Cola, Computershare, DLO, DWP, EDS, Henley Management College, LeCroy, MoD, NHS Trusts, Health Authorities, New England Seafood, Nokia Mobile Phones, Richmond Foods, Ritchie Group, Saudi Arabia Tourist Commission, SCRAN, Springboard HA   Accelerator Applications Management and continuous improvement of all core processes in the corporate value chain A Tracker Applications Monitoring, control and optimisation of team activities and operating performance T Action Learning Toolkits Providing ‘performance support’ for management leadership and development programmes L Vision & Strategic Change SofTools Platform Innovation & New Products (NPD) Procurement & Supply Chain Management Operations & Projects (PPM) Marketing & Brand Management Sales & Bid Management Customer Service & Support Continuous Improvement Corporate Governance & Compliance Scorecards (KPIs) & Critical Issue Management Risks & Opportunity Management Insight & Knowledge Management HR & People Development
  69. 70. Scalable, flexible and easy-to-use platform <ul><li>Typical software applications develop functionality based on what is technically possible – often resulting in products that have little impact on performance and significant resistance from users. SofTools follow a development principle of ‘simplicity’ and ‘business focus’, and are committed to a systematic market-driven process of continuous platform innovation and improvement. </li></ul><ul><li>SofTools applications can be installed on client (intranet) servers, or can be hosted on a secure client server based in the SofTools London data centre. Once set-up, client administrators have control over site administration and settings. Internet hosting has the advantage of allowing easy access for support purposes and to facilitate the quarterly upgrade process. </li></ul><ul><li>Over an intensive six year development period the SofTools platform has evolved from use of simple Excel templates to a full thin-client web-based open platform, utilising the latest proven Microsoft and Oracle back-end database engines. The core of the platform is therefore scaleable, flexible, easy-to-use, provides anywhere anytime access, and 'future-proof'. </li></ul>Configuration Templates Client content www Users Access Server Database Data Options Internet Explorer version 5.5+ Options Internet (ADSL) Client Intranet Options Windows 2000 svr+ Internet Information Server IIS6+ Options MS SQL Server Oracle <ul><li>Options </li></ul><ul><li>SofTools applications </li></ul><ul><li>Accelerator </li></ul><ul><li>Tracker </li></ul><ul><li>Action Learning </li></ul>
  70. 71. Senior Management Visibility, Control and Confidence Desired business benefits Senior Managers’ ability to …. Feature SofTools functions Configure reports for both groups and individuals that reflect appropriate levels of security and access permissions    Security and Permissions Administrator control over individual and group security to manage access permissions (None, Read Only, Read Write) Customise, modify and update management reports without the need for technical support    Report Writer Use of Dynamic Reports and a flexible and easy-to-use report writer that requires no technical input or knowledge Minimise time and effort for data entry with no duplication of effort or repeat mistakes    Central database Single point of entry with multiple access as required, including interface with external systems as required Track performance and status using simple Red-Amber-Green reports for critical issues, risks and opportunities    Status Red-Amber-Green Red and amber ‘open item’ reporting including action planning showing ownership (who) and timing (when) Access reports anytime, anywhere (including remote access across secure internet connections)    Web access Full web-based application that sits on a secure internet server or client intranet, and requires no downloads or plug-ins Have critical issues and risks automatically flagged and escalated for management attention    Triggers and escalation Exception reports that embed email & data triggers to inform key stakeholders of status changes Monitor at a high (strategic level) but quickly and easily drill down into detail where required    Report Drill-down Dynamic reports allow one-click access (drill-down) to cases containing work activity Electronically approve, assign for rework or reject work activities at formal review    Audit and Sign-off The use of Editable Reports and audit cells allow the tracking of formal review points including ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ Allocate work priorities based on business needs and criteria – resulting in an automatic update of portfolio views    Prioritisation criteria Use of custom prioritisation fields and automatic sorting of performance reports to reflect scores View activities and progress by business defined classifications and groups   Performance Reports Client defined grouping and filtering of cases in reports to reflect group security, permissions and client keywords View the entire portfolio and programme of operational activities in a single screen   Portfolio Reports Portfolio display of activities as a single table from ideas to projects to business results Ensure a link from current business objectives and imperatives to the strategy and the Annual Business Planning (ABP) process   Key Performance Indicators Dynamically links cases such as Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] to Change Projects Monitor change and continuous improvement activities by stage and status (Idea, Feasibility, Business Case etc.)   Change Management Client defined reporting of project activities grouped and filtered by phase A T L
  71. 72. Consistent Application of Best Business Practice Desired business benefits Operational Managers’ ability to …. Feature SofTools functions Ensure that all teams are using a common approach based on best practice processes and tools    Interactive templates Interactive templates contain all team inputs and documentation - providing a common single quick access point Access expert resources and other relevant documents that provide justification and rationale for actions    Document Management Dynamic links to project data and expert resources using pre-defined key word tagging Effectively communicate progress upwards to the senior managers, sideways to other managers and downwards to the operational teams    Management Reports Pre-defined management reports provide standards updates on team activity with drill down to detail as required Reduce dependency of the team on a single expert or operator – allowing work to be transferred seamlessly    Expert Profiles Tracking and visibility of levels of expertise in key business topics (defined using ‘key-words’) Ensure a high quality of work based on the use of best practices and input of timely data entry in the required format    Virtual Consultant Validation of data input is provided in selected cells, and case examples are used to demonstrate best practice solutions Provide expert support in specific management techniques – building on recognised best practice principles and practices    Expert Resources Linked documents are captured and tagged to client-defined keywords – making them quick and easy to retrieve Identify and track issues through to successful resolution – clear ownership and timings resulting in ‘first time fix on time’    Quick Issues Tool Open Item tool allows the capture, tracking and closure of performance issues, project milestones and actions Identify critical decision points and use a structured approach that combines rational and creative thinking    Quick Decision Tool Quick Decision tool provide a common cross-functional / team approach to critical decisions and sign-off points Simplify cross-team communication and joint working for all key internal and external stakeholders    Open Access Open ‘secure’ access to all stakeholder groups provides common operating processes and visibility of progress Manage and mitigate strategic, operational and programme risks – dealing with concerns before they reach crisis point    Quick Risk Tool Simple risk management tool is used to identify, track and mitigate risk associated with all activities Focus on specific priorities but have an awareness of the broader programme or portfolio of activities   Matrix Reports and Filters Reports can be defined to show individual team or overall portfolio views as required A T L
  72. 73. Contact SofTools <ul><li>SofTools Limited </li></ul><ul><li>Head Office </li></ul><ul><li>Greenlands, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 3AU </li></ul><ul><li>T: +44 (0) 1491 412 400 </li></ul><ul><li>E: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>W: www.SofTools.net </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>SofTools France High Business Consulting, 15, Rue du Louvre, 75001, Paris, FRANCE. Tel: 0033 155 970 049         </li></ul><ul><li>SofTools Australia Mainsheet Corporation, Level 7/17, Castlereagh St., Sydney, NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA. Tel: 00 61 2 8815 2444         </li></ul><ul><li>SofTools USA Applications Solutions Group (ASG), PO Box 2472, Roswell, GA 30077, USA. Tel:  001 770 998 3002         </li></ul><ul><li>SofTools Arabia MIS Consult, Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA </li></ul>

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