Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.
While giving a product demonstration last week I was inevitably asked “What reports do you have?”. I hate that question! Why? Because I know as soon as I start to show any standard reports that we have in Flexi-Grant I will invariably hear: “That’s great but what I really need is…”. As a result I try to avoid showing reports as an immediate response to that question!
The preferred structure and layout of reports is a very personal thing. We know what we like when we see it and we know what we really need when we don’t have it. Some people like numbers and lots and lots of detail. Others like summary or exception reports and are content that the detail can be drilled into if they need it. Some people like charts and graphs, others see these as disguising the truth. Fundamentally the point we need to agree on is exactly what are you trying to measure or monitor and why?
I try as much as possible to bring any conversation about reports around to a discussion on what information is needed to ensure that all aspects of a grant scheme are running as efficiently and effectively as possible. Regardless of how the information is delivered it is vital to ensure that what information is required is clearly identified and available. If we can agree what you need to satisfy yourself that your schemes are running well then we can deliver that information in a format that works for you (and, if needed a different format for other users). As Aesop (he of fables fame) said, “Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” If you find that when you ask about reports a supplier simply starts showing you reports, they are not really listening and are missing the point.
Standardise or not to Standardise?
Written by Keith.
I have been fortunate to sit in on a number of review panels over the years and have observed many different ways in which review panels and committees reach their decisions. What I find most interesting is how different individuals approach the job of scoring applications. Even though there can be guidelines and a common scoring framework some reviewers like to be generous with their scores and take off points if they feel applications are missing essential details…
I Hate Flying.
Written by Keith.
I hate flying. While I don’t like heights it’s nothing to do with that. What gets to me is the chaos that invariably ensues during boarding. I can hear you sighing and saying “Is that it?”. Ok, I admit it, I am a process nerd. I like things orderly and running smoothly, that’s when I’m at my happiest. Try boarding a plane and watching what happens. Try sitting on a plane that’s full and listening to the Flight Attendants’ continual announcements that passengers should stow small baggage at their feet as the overhead bins are too full. A good test of their patience (passed with flying, excuse the pun, colours), not so good if you are listening and wondering why everyone didn’t understand it the first 3 times…
5 Sites With The Best Free Stock Photography.
Written by Claire.
We don’t know about you, but we love images! Why? Because a picture speaks a thousand words.
We’re in the middle of the ‘image marketing era’ and the direction that social media is taking is the testament to how true this is. Platforms like Instagram are getting triple the amount of engagement than that of its counterpart, Facebook (source:The Marketing Eye, Sept 2015). This is all great in theory…BUT stock photography is expensive (especially if you’re a small organisation with an even smaller marketing budget!)