January 16, 2011Doug Hadden
The FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference begins on Monday in Madeira Portugal. The FISC meets annually and through conference calls each quarter. The FISC is an important part of the global FreeBalance community. FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management professionals in 18 countries.
Attendees for FISC 2011 include international delegates from Afghanistan, Antigua & Barbuda, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mongolia, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and Uganda. Delegations began arriving today. Fortunately the rain from Friday and Saturday has disappeared. Everyone is looking forward to another productive conference. As in past years, the longest flight was from Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. The delegation left Friday local time and arrived at the hotel at 7 pm Sunday in Madeira.
As we have mentioned before, the steering committee approach is much different from a user group. The steering committee is a different approach. It’s all about the government customers. FISC is an opportunity for public financial managers to share lessons learned. To discuss emerging trends. And, to set company direction.
That’s right – FISC is where customers tell us what they want and when they want it and whether they will upgrade or not. We think that this is necessary for a customer-centric approach. And making solutions sustainable and adaptable to reform and modernization.
How is this different?
- Customers set the product roadmap. We propose a product roadmap for the next 2 years. Customers adapt priorities and schedules. They add new features. (We leverage the 6 Thinking Hats linear thinking approach here.)
- Knowledge transfer sessions with public financial management domain (not technology) speakers and panels. Our goal is to learn because it provides context for the next wave of PFM reform. (It’s also part of our mission to share knowledge across the greater PFM community, so we are live tweeting and blogging).
- No salespeople. That’s right, there’s no selling.
- We put customers to work through presentations, panel discussions and workshops.
- Conference adapted to main customer concerns found through a comprehensive survey.
- Participation of FreeBalance key product executives giving customers direct influence on company direction.
- PFM Reform and Donor Funding in Post-Conflict Countries: Recommendations Derived from Personal Observations, Steven Symansky
Panels and Customer Presentations
- All customers provide an update on implementation, achievements, challenges and next steps
- Budget and Performance Management Panel
- Capacity Building Panel
- Civil Service Reform Panel
Company and Product Updates
- FreeBalance 2010 Company Update
- FreeBalance Reporting
- FreeBalance software for capacity building
- FreeBalance Technology update
- FreeBalance Workflow
Roadmap and Vision
- Customer Case Studies and Survey Results
- Knowledge Management
- Solutions for Government Performance and Transparency
- Accelerating E-Government Development
- Detailed Product Roadmap
- Roadmap Discussions and Voting
Of course, a Chair for 2011 will be selected by delegates. The city for 2012 FISC will also be selected.
The annual FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference runs from January 16 – 19, 2011 in Madeira, Portugal. FISC provides an interactive forum to exchange Public Financial Management (PFM) good practices among international customers and PFM thought leaders. FISC drives the FreeBalance Accountability Suite product vision to direct FreeBalance GRP solutions. Previous FISC events were held in Mt. Tremblant, Canada (2010); Prague, Czech Republic (2009); Cascais, Portugal (2008); and London, United Kingdom (2007).
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