Suanne Parnell knows a thing or two about the GL Suite application and the GL Simple support plan. Suanne has worked with GL Suite for more than a decade as associate programmer analyst with the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board. With her guidance, the 22-user agency has enhanced its system consistently since go-live and is currently working on multiple projects related to continuing education tracking.
We asked Suanne to share some of her strategies for efficient plan and system management. Here are a few of her recommendations and practices:
Choose a point person:
Suanne serves as ALHOB’s primary contact with GL Solutions, an arrangement that simplifies the management of work. “That way,” she says, “if six people have the same issue, it only gets reported once.”
Go big after go-live:
Choose the most generous support plan for the period following system go-live. It’s common to identify enhancements you did not expect to need, she says, and you can always scale back later.
Use your plan strategically:
GL Solutions’ three support plan tiers address a range of enhancement needs. The Professional plan level, for example, allows projects to be worked one at a time with no yearly limit. The Enterprise plan level allows three concurrent projects with no yearly limit. ALHOB moved up to the Enterprise plan in order to complete a wave of new work, most related to continuing education, says Suanne. When that wave is finished, the agency may move back down to Professional. If faced with a wave of work, it can be more economical to move to a higher plan level for a year than to order additional projects through escalation.
Suanne always knows the status of ordered work, who asked for it and what it’s supposed to accomplish. This allows her to reprioritize work when necessary, keeping the must-haves ahead of the nice-to-haves.
Suanne regularly runs through every one of her system’s processes using Process Guides to see what’s working and what’s not. In this way, she recently discovered that one user group could not use a check-off box.
Suanne says she’s able to do some of these things – notably, running through processes regularly – because her executive director recently agreed to let her manage the system on a full-time basis. “My job is to keep everybody else working as efficiently and correctly and consistently as possible,” she says. “Time and money spent on me keeps everyone else working.”
That’s not a luxury every agency has. But learning from Suanne Parnell’s experience can help your staff work more efficiently and consistently even without a full-time system administrator.