Doug Hadden, VP Products
We take a bit of a different approach to communications with our market. A little less marketing and a little more sharing good practices. (Our mission is to bring good governance to countries around the world.) We were happy this week to release a set of “good practice” documents at the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) convention this week.
There is an expectation that software companies generate “collateral” including glossy product pamphlets filled with the buzzwords of the day. Large quantities are typically produced to weigh down unsuspecting conference attendees. Salespeople have been known to feel naked without a handful of brochures.
Does anyone derive value from “collateral”? Do pamphlets have relevant information that helps sell products or helps in the buying decision? How many pages remain unread and end up as landfill? It’s not sustainable.
Just because other companies generate pamphlets in great quantities doesn’t make it right.
Listening to What Government Professionals are Asking
It might not come as a surprise to you that FreeBalance is not blessed (cursed?) with a large marketing department. The marketing function at FreeBalance is far more integrated with the business than I’ve witnessed in other companies. We’ve realized that it is far more important to understand the Public Financial Management (PFM) domain and listed to customers and prospective customers to prioritize marketing activities.
What are professionals asking?
They’re asking for insight into how to improve governance – regardless of what financial system is in use. And, prove that this insight is valid.
We’ve collected the frequently asked questions – but unlike the typical superficial FAQ, we drill into it and provide our perspective with links to publicly available information.
Why “Good Practices” and not “Best Practices”?
In my opinion, “best practices” is consultant-speak and vendor-speak. Buy their products and services and you can be the “best”.
Here’s the thing: there are very few PFM “best practices.”
- Government context is different among countries so a practice that is best for one country is not the best for the other
- More “advanced practices” can generate inefficiency in governments with lower capacity
- Some so-called “best practices” have theoretical rather than proven benefits
- May “best practices” are nothing more than the way the financial software was written
Nevertheless, there are a number of bad practices that ought to be avoided.
Good Practices Library
- 13-01 GRP Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- 13-02 Government Budget Formulation
- 13-03 Using GRP for Anti-Corruption
- 13-04 Aligning GRP with PFM Reform – Sequencing GRP
- 13-05 Multiple Year Chart of Accounts (COA)
- 13-06 GRP Reform and Modernization
- 13-07 Good Practices in Government Resource Planning Specialization
- GRP in Developing and Developed Countries
- GRP Lessons Learned
- GRP Project Governance
- GRP Shared Services
- GRP Controls
- Open Systems for GRP
- Comprehensive PFM Capacity Building
- Change Management in GRP Implentations