Transformers Team

What does the future hold?

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Nov 13

November 2019

Posted on November 13, 2019 at 8:42 AM by Nicole Watanabe

Transformers Newsletter

Every Data Shufflin'

Top Accelarate Conference Takeaways

Three things the Information Management team loved learning most about the Accela system that we heard from the 2019 Accelerate Conference in Denver were:

  • Accela EH Civic Application will have functional parity (aka, equality) with Decade in April 2020 – a milestone which makes the transition possible.

  • Accela collaborates with partner companies to allow customers different options, such as different electronic planning software and mobile technology enhancements.

  • Accela U, an accessible online micro video-training for customers was a nice surprise and showed long term investment in their customers. 

Where did I put that file?

Not too long ago, my 10-year-old daughter and I were looking for something in her bedroom. I honestly try to avoid looking for anything in her room: there are half-unpacked backpacks under her bed, shoes with no partners scattered in her closet (no telling where the other shoes are), and I swear there is a pair of underwear and at least one sock in every dresser drawer.

“Casey, how can you find anything in here?” Is my usual protest. Her response is generally along the lines of “Well, I mostly know where things are; I just have to open a few drawers to find them.”

Stay with me…this leads into the topic at hand: electronic file maintenance. What does one messy, disorganized child have to do with our file structure? No matter what you are trying to find—a favorite shirt or an SOP for the COO process—if the system is messy, or if there is a lot of extra clutter, it makes finding the item all that much more difficult.

At some point, our Division is going to be moving to a new database and perhaps a document management system. In order to prepare, I have met with several of you to talk about our electronic filing structure and to understand the current state of it. My overall impressions are that people generally know where things are in their own filing tree, but if they have to go outside of their own program, they do not always know where to look and so a lot of time is wasted. In addition, most people agree that it is a good idea to routinely clean-up and organize their files, but few actually have the time to do so.

In order to assist with this conundrum, we are developing a plan to help teams clean-up their electronic files. The plan is still in the early stages, so please stay tuned, and let me know if you have any questions or concerns! 

Accela and Beyond

At the EH Division Symposium on October 10th an update was given on our exploratory work with Accela about migrating to their EH Civic Application.

The key takeaways:

  • Accela will no longer support Decade by 2024 / 2025.
  • We will be required to migrate to their new EH Civic Application platform in the coming years.
  • Accela released their first version of the EH Civic Application in Feb 2019, but are still adding more features and fine tuning it.
  • TCHD wishes to wait for it to mature a bit longer before we consider migrating over.
  • It’s going to cost a lot more than Decade and we need to develop a negotiation strategy to bring down the cost.
  • We will be developing a document outlining our database requirements (with input from staff) to ensure Accela truly meets our needs.
  • More opportunities to view the platform will be forthcoming.   

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