South Carolina’s service commission recently partnered with us to provide efficient, AmeriCorps-compliant timesheet services to all of its grantees.
Commissions often wonder how many tech support calls and e-mails their program directors will end up sending to their technology partners during the setup and implementation process.
After a month, we’ve received a total of two questions from the seven programs we’re serving in the state, and one of those questions was a feature request.
Is this normal? Yes and no.
South Carolina is the first state to roll out our timesheet services to each of its AmeriCorps programs, so we don’t have a baseline to compare this implementation effort to. (The Massachusetts commission uses our timesheet services with its state-based Commonwealth Corps program (but that’s not AmeriCorps-funded), and the Mississippi commission uses our services to track its grantees’ impact.) One of the questions we had as we were preparing for the implementation process was how we could minimize program staff-level questions given that the lead service implementor is the commission.
In our direct work with programs, we made a conscious decision years ago to create an implementation process that minimizes the number of questions our new clients run into at the outset of our partnership. We know that program staff members don’t have time to wait around for tech support teams to respond to e-mails and calls, so we developed systems and processes to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Could we adapt that model when there’s a “middle person” in the process?
A month in, the answer so far is “absolutely.” Two questions and zero push-back from program staff and members means the sun is shining in South Carolina. We’ll keep you updated as we continue to learn.