It’s no secret that technology is being adopted at a rapid rate in government. With billions of dollars flowing into local, state and federal government, agencies are looking to improve infrastructure, digitize internal processes and provide remote work access to employees. While improving infrastructure—like broadband access and cyber security—is critical, many governments are still trying to modernize the work they do on a day-in and day-out basis. Agencies are turning to Software as a Service (SaaS) providers to help lighten the load. But, after agency staff see product demonstrations, many are left wondering, “How do we tackle this government software implementation with our current resources?” This is the million dollar question.
Agency staff are already stretched thin in terms of bandwidth, and dedicating resources to implement new software can seem like a daunting task. This means it’s critical for agencies to choose a software partner, not just a vendor. SaaS platforms—like Esper’s policy management solution—are often easier to implement than legacy govtech software.
How policymakers can have a successful government software implementation
In this article we look at how government policymakers can leverage Esper’s platform to automate critical policymaking processes and ease the burden of government software implementation.
Let’s assume you’ve already seen Esper’s policy management software, but now you want to learn more about how we tackle a successful government software implementation.
Step one: Understanding your agency’s business processes
Every government agency has different processes and procedures. This is why partnering with a company that specializes in govtech software and understands the nuance of government is so important.
Esper has a dedicated Professional Services team that works directly with our government partners to do a deep-dive into business processes and establish alignment across both parties to execute on project goals and timelines.
This is what we call the “Discovery phase.” During this phase we uncover current workflows—like what internal stakeholders will work on a policy, what permissions stakeholders will need, what approval processes there are and what document templates are required.
Throughout Discovery, Esper’s experts will share best practices for automating and digitizing your workflows.
Esper specializes in government software implementation, so this crucial step of establishing configuration requirements will serve as the basis of your new software.
When Esper first partnered with the California State Treasurer’s Office (STO), our Professional Services team met with stakeholders from the agency’s Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC) and Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) to map out their business rules and logic.
This ensured each committee would receive a workflow that meets their unique needs.
Project Management Consultant, California STO
Step two: Automating policy workflows, creating policy templates and assigning permissions
Once all of your agency’s business processes have been documented, our team will begin automating these workflows and configuring the product in accordance with your team’s approved specifications.
Every workflow consists of stages, each of which have a series of tasks that must be completed to advance to the next stage. Tasks map directly to assignees and due dates that track deadlines and the policymaking project as it progresses. These tasks are assigned with a set number of days to complete and are all configured in the software per your specifications.
Working with a purpose-built govtech software company means every product decision we make stems from the needs of our government customers. Each policy workflow package will include all required regulatory policy documents—like Proposed Preambles, Public Hearing Notices and Executive Summaries—in a templated fashion for seamless and easy collaboration.
Esper specializes in both regulatory policymaking and non-regulatory policymaking, so we are also able to add templates for Guidance Documents, Executive Orders, Internal Memos, IT Protocols or any other internal policy documents.
Since each government employee requires different levels of permissions—some may only draft, some may review and some may approve—Esper is able to configure permissions to manage each user’s capabilities. Roles can be added, removed or adjusted at any time by a system administrator.
For the Montana Office of the Governor, this meant standardizing a workflow and configuring user permissions for the 13 state agencies under the Governor’s Office jurisdiction. One of the Montana Office of the Governor’s key priorities—led by Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras and Governor Greg Gianforte—was to conduct state-wide regulatory reform in order to identify unnecessarily burdensome regulations for farmers, ranchers and small business owners.
Each agency set up user accounts for their team members that allowed them to conduct this critical regulatory work.
Step three: Quality assurance for your government software implementation
Now it’s time for testing. After passing internal quality assurance (QA), your new policy management solution is ready for validation testing by your team. This validation testing allows your agency to test the various components of your new software against the agreed-upon configuration requirements to ensure they are all being met.
If any functionality needs to be updated, our team will remedy these items and retest to ensure your agency is satisfied.
Lastly, prior to launch, all users will participate in tailored training sessions to ensure they’re ready to hit the ground running on day one. We will also onboard your ongoing policy projects and rulemakings, so that when your new solution launches all existing policy work will be within Esper.
Step four: Launching your new policy management platform
After a successful product launch, your agency will have a dedicated Customer Success Manager that checks in regularly to make sure things are running smoothly.
We will capture any additional feedback you may have to make future product enhancements—another reason why going with a SaaS provider that specializes in government software implementation is so important.
For example, an early adopter of Esper’s software is the State of Tennessee—with six agencies using the platform. After tremendous success with these agencies, the state wanted to roll out the platform state-wide to conduct retrospective reviews of all their regulations. This led Esper to develop these additional product capabilities, which will be available in the platform this year. Purpose-built govtech software means just that, built for the purpose of government.
Now that you’ve undergone a successful government software implementation with Esper, your staff can streamline their policymaking processes, freeing up resources for other key initiatives.
Want to learn more about our government software implementation process?
If you’d like to learn more about how Esper tackles government software implementation for policymakers, please schedule some time with one of our govtech software experts.