You might think it strange to ask a writer for her opinion when looking for a new core processor; it’s usually the tellers, lending managers, or CEOs you worry about. But if you are in the market for a new core processor, one of the biggest questions you should be asking yourself is, “What is their documentation strategy?”
The movement from in-person training to online tools for people to learn on their own is a passion of mine, and I am so happy to see a greater influence of that position as we move into 2020. Now, I’m not just talking about videos, those are just a part of the whole picture. Evaluating a core’s resources only on how many videos they have online falls short of the full review you need to make when moving to a new core processor.
Instead, here are five questions to ask yourself when evaluating a core processor’s documentation resources:
How important is documentation to the core processor?
Is having documentation a priority of the core? If documentation is not felt to be important, there will not be quality documentation.
When the core processor talks about their software, do they include in their presentation documentation that explains how their software works? Or are you just seeing a lot of pretty brochures trying to sell you on their products? If you are not seeing material that clearly defines how their system works, ask for more.
Does the core processor provide a variety of ways to learn about their products?
Your employees like to learn in different ways. Is the core catering to different learning styles?
Video are at the forefront today, for good reason, but you still have employees that want different approaches. Does your core processor show you only videos, or do they also have other options such as step by step instructions, knowledge base question and answers, and deeper documentation materials? If you are not seeing a variety of materials, ask for more.
When new software is created, does the core processor have a good method to introduce you to new features?
In the case of new software being released, will the core properly explain what you are receiving and how it operates?
When software is deployed, is documentation a part of the process? Is there a standard procedure to get the information to you, perhaps through documentation or videos summarizing the new features? Are these materials helpful and do they make sense, or are they just a list? Do these release materials lead you to other resources where you can learn more? If you do not see materials that really explain to you what you get with releases, ask for more.
Does the new core processor have an easy way for you to dig deeper to learn about their products?
Are they up front with the nuts and bolts of how their software works? Do they warrant their software with documentation?
This is often where documentation falls short. What happens to a loan when it is written off? How are dividends calculated, and how are they rounded? How are more difficult configurations explained, especially when they interact with multiple screens and member-facing sectors of the software? Is this all guaranteed to work a certain way that you can count on? When the core shows you their documentation, demand to dig deeper!
Are the resources published online so they are easily accessible?
I am excited about the growth of self-learning tools, but for them to be more effective, they need to be posted online and easily searched.
We never know when people are ready to learn, and documentation needs to be there at all times, ready whenever they are. Today’s employees want to learn on their phones, computers, and yes, even at home in their sweatpants. Try out what the core provides yourself and see how easy it is to find answers to your questions.
Effective documentation is a key component to a successful transition to a new core processor. It assists with training, understanding, and can help you avoid the pitfalls that come when you are working with something new. Don’t get caught with limited or less-than-adequate documentation. Your staff will thank you (and your members will thank you).