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News

News

April 2019

Welcome to Periscope’s October update.

 

Periscope Developments

 

Periscope is continuing to work with its clients to roll out its latest software release which was highlighted in last month’s update. It is anticipated that all clients will have migrated to the latest version over the coming two weeks.

 

What is Trending?

 

Some of Periscope’s recent client activities are briefly described below:

 

  • Periscope has been working with an existing client to enable the public to submit complaints using a Periscope anonymous link on the client’s website. Once the complaint is submitted then a series of workflows will be triggered to initiate response to and closure of the complaint. This is being integrated within the existing complaints management module

 

  • Periscope has been working with an existing large client to integrate the tracking of audit and insurance actions into its existing action management system. A comprehensive workflow, notification and reporting system has been developed to support timely closure of actions

 

  • One of our clients recently received high praise from a Government auditor in relation to the physical security of its facilities and the reports that were able to be generated in response to standard questions. The facilities inspection module includes the ability to generate reports that respond to key questions and include photos of the facility, a location map and the evacuation plan

 

  • A current water authority client is exploring the use of Periscope’s complaints management module to manage complaints in accordance with its policy requirements

 

  • One of Periscope’s clients spoke highly of the level of engagement that has been achieved in rolling out the Periscope mobile incident reporting app. The number of hazards and incidents recorded in the last month or so is almost the same as were recorded in the previous 12 months using another system. The best piece of feedback the client received at a training session was “Is that it?” recognising the ease of incident capture through the App

 

  • Periscope has continued discussions with one of its clients to provide additional incident data classification and experiment with the use of artificial intelligence for capture of incident information within its incident reporting system

 

  • Periscope submitted a case management system for consideration by a state government integrity organisation. Periscope will present on its solution in the coming weeks

 

  • Periscope has presented to two not for profit organisations in the last month covering incident reporting, risk management and compliance modules. There is significant interest in having incident reporting systems that reflect regulatory requirements and can readily exchange data with Government department incident reporting systems. Periscope currently operates a highly complex incident reporting system covering multiple states and government programs each with unique reporting requirements with a large not-for-profit client

 

  • Periscope has recently been contacted by a rural water authority for the provision of a risk management system

 

  • Periscope has been requested to discuss its risk and audit management system with a Victorian State Government department.

 

Periscope Case Study – Checking in with your data

 

Periscope has recently spoken to a couple of clients about checking in with their data. While significant data sets are being captured and reported upon, by analysing the trends that the data is showing, clients can use this information to learn and improve business operations. This shift from solely capturing and reporting to learning and improving is a fundamental attribute of innovative organisations.

 

One of the common discussions Periscope has with clients is to ensure that any data field has an appropriate return on investment (i.e effort required to capture data versus benefits realised by capturing that data). Ideally the data fields should serve multiple purposes such as workflow triggers, email notifications and internal/external reporting. These critical data fields should generally be made mandatory to ensure data integrity and completeness. There are several instances where client data sets have been patchy reducing the value of such data, which as a consequence can produce misleading or incomplete reporting generated through data visualisation and reporting tools such as Power BI, Tableau and Amazon Quicksight.

 

Periscope also encourages the use of standard data sets across forms and other applications to allow the data to be better connected and give greater power in the organisation to use big data analytics and artificial intelligence applications such as machine learning. These high integrity and valid data sets can then be used effectively for storytelling. While currently this is done manually there are some great artificial intelligence applications being developed (which are currently quite expensive) that can create automated storytelling. One company that does this is shown in the following link https://vimeo.com/130711623 and AWS also has some of these features in its Quicksight reporting offering.

 

Some recent examples of data trends we have discussed with clients include:

 

  • An analysis of risk causes (this client has a standard library of risk causes), which shows that three individual causes contribute to between 20% and 33% of the total risks identified. These three risk causes can be specifically addressed to materially reduce the risk profile

  • The performance in completing audit actions – this has improved since the introduction of the software where the number of overdue completed (red bars) items have been replaced with a significant number of green bars (completed on or before time)

  • SLA performance KPIs for freedom of information which has shown a significant improvement since the implementation of the software

  • Historic incident data capture to be used for rolling averages and year on year trending information which will be shown in health and safety reports including trends in various injury types and treatments.

 

It is important to move beyond simple data capture towards becoming a learning organisation, as well as celebrating success when improvements are achieved.

 

Please also find a very informative article by PwC about creating value from your business data https://www.digitalpulse.pwc.com.au/how-to-create-value-from-business-data/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=dp-2019-23-10&utm_medium=email

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at praveen@pericorp.com or 03 9882 1896, if there are any matters you would like to discuss.

July 2019

Periscope Developments

 

Further refinement and development of the Periscope App has occurred over the past month increasing its user friendliness ready for our latest software release. It was great to see the head of a government agency lodge a hazard using the App and commenting on its ease of use. The hazard was able to be viewed in real time on Periscope’s dashboard and could be reported on immediately.

 

Periscope is also in the process of developing a link to specific screens within each form. For instance, if there is a risk review screen, rather than the email link directing the user to the relevant record, the link will take the user to the specific screen within the record e.g risk review screen or investigation screen, saving time and avoiding confusion.

 

Periscope has released its latest software version. A couple of clients have early adopted to take advantage of some of the new App developments as well as the new Welcome Page and Home Page. Other clients will be contacted shortly and a slide pack of the latest features will be distributed.

 

What is Trending?

 

Some of Periscope’s recent client activities are briefly described below:

 

  • Periscope has held several discussions with existing and prospective clients in relation to compliance with Ministerial standing directions, letter of expectations and annual attestations. One client is working with Periscope to pilot the software for use in this area. It is anticipated that this will allow for improved efficiency in responding to these compliance obligations and greater transparency

 

  • Periscope has received further enquiries from energy companies in relation risk and compliance applications. There has been a trend throughout the year from energy companies seeking these applications. A demo form reflecting the key aspects of the relevant compliance management standard will be used for the demonstration

 

  • Periscope’s App has had extensive use this month for activities such as the use of checklists for the decommissioning of IT facilities from former Government disability support houses and incident reporting for field-based personnel

 

  • Periscope has also spoken to potential and existing clients across Government, water and energy sectors in relation to case management, complaint management and stakeholder consultation applications

 

  • Periscope’s safety walk application was recently used by a health clients’ Board members in doing a site walkthrough. The feedback received was quite positive with Board members keen to better understand the software functionality in relation to the data captured

 

  • Periscope has also dealt with a complex restructure that has occurred within one client organisation. The client has now been split into two entities with work centred around the creation of two separate databases. The client has been commended by Periscope for the detailed implementation plan that was developed enabling the creation of the databases to occur relatively smoothly

 

  • Periscope has been discussing the classification of a client’s audit actions against the COSO internal control – integrated framework. It is proposed to implement this classification later in the year

 

  • Periscope presented on its contract management capabilities to an existing client in July. The system covers pre-qualification assessment, contract expiry tracking and contractor performance assessment.

 

  • There has been significant discussion in recent years of the need to better use organisational data. I have been undertaking an online course in business analytics, which will help inform Periscope on possible data analysis opportunities available as well as new data structures that may need to be put in place. One of the challenges with data is the notion of data bias. A useful graphic of different types of data bias and a process to manage bias, both prepared by McKinsey, are attached for information.

 

Case Study – Compliance Management Key Issues

 

As raised earlier, there has been plenty of emphasis on compliance management systems across the year. Based on our experience of these systems we thought it was worthwhile capturing the typical conversations we have with clients when implementing such systems.

 

1. Why do you want to implement a compliance management system? – In many cases, systems are implemented to demonstrate that regulatory requirements, standards and protocols have been met. Some clients have also seen compliance as a mechanism to improve the way their business operates, so rather than an activity to react and respond to, they use compliance to make the business better in delivering on its strategy

 

2. Culture and understanding – The way compliance is managed should reflect the organisation’s culture and general level of competence in responding to compliance obligations. It has to be remembered that most staff are not consciously managing compliance obligations on a daily basis so when the annual/semi-annual attestation or declaration arrives, there may not be a clear understanding of requirements that are being responded to, so the focus should be on making it easier for users

 

3. Evidence of compliance – One of the most effective ways to ensure higher levels of understanding of what compliance looks like for accountable officers is by including a field or checklist as to what evidence is typically required to demonstrate compliance. This ensures greater confidence in the responses provided

 

4. Legislation vs obligation – This is the primary challenge that many organisations face. In most cases, our clients, have managed compliance at the legislation level and then drop down to the relevant sections of the legislation and import the requirements into the system for response as an obligation. Potentially a similar obligation could be repeated under multiple pieces of legislation. Some clients have chosen to manage compliance at the obligation level so one obligation can be derived from multiple legislative sources. This means the accountable officer in the organisation only has to respond to one obligation to satisfy multiple legislative sources rather than having to sign off on the same obligation multiple time because of the different legislative sources

 

5. Obligation vs business as usual – It is really important not to fall into the trap of detailing every potential obligation that could be required to be responded to. The system becomes large and unwieldy. You can imagine how many lines on a spreadsheet you would create trying to capture all this. The other thing is to determine whether there is value in capturing items which have become business as usual for most organisations such as providing monthly financial reports to the Department of Treasury and Finance. This is business as usual for most Government organisations, so having notifications being generated by the software provides limited value

 

6. Detailed or rolled up obligation – We have seen times where some clients have broken out legislative requirements down to the individual clauses and sub-clauses. This approach generates many records that need to be managed and the organisation will be held accountable for. It would appear to be better to manage the legislative requirement at the highest level and having an obligation that covers off on several Sections/clauses to minimise the work for accountable officers. Similarly to ensure the system is not overwhelming, consideration needs to be given to whether the capture of obligations from Standards, Codes of Practice and internal policies and guidelines is warranted

 

7. Obligation priority – One of the realities is that most organisations do not treat all obligation are equal, so it is important to set some priority. Most typically priority is reflected in a risk rating, consequence rating, priority and/or whether there is an obligation to report regularly or to report on a breach

 

8. Accountability shared means no accountability – There are times where organisations will deem that an obligation has a shared accountability. In many instances, we see that shared accountability means no accountability. In terms of system structure, the more effective systems reflect single accountability supported by evidence from others who have responsibility, such as delegated officers

 

9. Integrating compliance – The most powerful processes and systems integrate compliance with other organisational governance activities. Linking compliance activities to organisational controls reinforce why some controls exist. Compliance obligations are also quite commonly linked to risks associated with non-compliance or as a consequence of a risk being realised.

 

There are many approaches that our clients use to manage compliance obligations. The most effective approach needs to reflect the organisation’s culture, competence and practice.

 

Tips and Tricks

 

Delay sending emails

 

From time to time clients need to ensure that emails are released at a certain time of the morning such as 9 am. This is particularly applicable to staff who may be on call and don’t want to be disturbed by emails being received in the early hours of the morning. In the each form processing record, there is an option to defer the sending of emails to a nominated time to minimise the potential for sleep disruption.

 

 

Extracting data from log fields

 

New formulas have been created that allow for extraction into a record of the last date/time a log field entry was made, the user who did it and the content of that entry. This is particularly valuable where calculations can be triggered by the last date entry into a log field for purposes such as risk reviews, action reviews and case notes.

 

As always, please Contact Us should you wish to discuss Periscope Software.

April 2019

Periscope Developments

 

One of our most recent developments has been an update to the Welcome Page. The original Welcome Page served a limited purpose, and while we have implemented this change, there are some further additions to come. The changes to the Welcome Page reflect a proposed change in the styling of Periscope Software, that will progressively be rolled out across the Home Page and Dashboard.  Feedback to date has been really positive.

 

The Welcome Page displays a chart and list of records where the user is the record Owner and has a date by which to complete an action. The actions by form are listed on the right-hand side of the display with a live link to the relevant records.

 

What is Trending?

 

Recently we have been approached by another energy company to discuss a risk and compliance system, which continues the interest in compliance systems that we have seen across the Eastern seaboard.

 

The growth in the use of the Periscope App is continuing with one of our clients developing an App for the inspection of manhole covers.

 

Over the last few months, there has been significant interest in the reporting of health and safety key performance indicators. In one instance, Periscope has replicated data from 2011 to demonstrate the ability of the software to capture these statistics and generate outputs in an Excel spreadsheet including charts.

 

Case Study – Health and Safety Hazard and Incident Reporting

 

Periscope is in the process of implementing a new health and safety hazard and incident reporting system for a Government agency. The objective of the system is to easily capture hazard and incident information on a phone or computer to reinforce a culture of reporting. Detailed categorisation of the event and investigation is done by appropriately trained people in the organisation. The system is designed to capture statistics including the agency of injury, bodily location, mechanism of injury and location of injury, which can then be displayed on a KPI chart on Periscope’s dashboard or used in external applications such as Excel charts and Power BI.

 

In our next update, we will highlight some of the aspects of hazard and incident reporting systems that our clients regularly discuss with us.

 

Tips and Tricks

 

Previously we discussed the ability of clients to create their own Word and Excel reports, but neglected to mention that PowerPoint reports can also be created. This allows the opportunity to present information as part of a slideshow or presentation. While it is an iterative process to determine the most effective layout, the resulting document can present information in a more engaging manner for the audience. An example is shown below:

 

One of the most useful tools for updating data and/or running workshops is the ability to export data to Excel with all the associated lookup tables which helps to preserve data integrity. It can also be used to create Excel templates for users to complete, which can then be imported into the database. This is simply done by using the Export with Export Lookups function.

April 2019

Periscope Developments

 

Over the last 12 months, several clients have asked about the ability for Periscope Software to become a data source for Microsoft’s Power BI dashboarding and analytics tool. While data from the software can be exported and the resultant spreadsheet uploaded to Power BI, Periscope has been able to demonstrate that data can be pulled directly from the database. This ability, where security can be applied prior to the data extraction, provides clients with even greater power to use and report data more effectively.

 

While Periscope has a sophisticated import function for Excel documents, one of the challenges over many years has been the ability to import data from complex documents into the database, without lots of data handling and manipulation. Periscope is in the advanced stages of proving the ability to import data directly from complex documents into the database.

 

What is Trending?

 

In recent months, there has been a strong focus on compliance management systems. During this period, Periscope has responded to tenders or requests from an energy retailer, large Council, health organisation, a well-known not for profit and Government authority regarding the implementation of compliance management systems. Periscope is also working with a leading provider of compliance obligations to more easily import content from the provider’s compliance modules into Periscope Software.

 

One of the cornerstones of good governance, risk and compliance management, is the management of controls. Controls are typically in place for risk and compliance management and form the basis of organisational audit programs and business continuity/disaster recovery planning. Controls are also important in understanding why an incident has occurred, as investigations tend to focus on the effectiveness or absence of controls in place. One of the recent reports that Periscope has developed is based on understanding the importance of a control. This easy to create Excel report can be uploaded to client systems, subject to mapping the relevant data fields.

 

Case Study – Leadership Walks

 

In August 2017, Periscope was approached by a Water Authority requesting assistance with the development and delivery of an online mobile Leadership Walk module. The objectives of the Leadership Walk program were to improve visibility and accountability of organisational values, behaviours and safety performance across the entire Authority.  Using the Periscope app, the product was rapidly developed with the first Leadership Walk conducted using the App in October 2017.  Since the system went live, over 2,100 leadership walks have been conducted by 126 managers over a significant geographical area. 

 

The Authority now has access to annual and monthly walk KPIs based on levels of management, with a further breakdown of data based on walks completed within the Authority’s delivery division.

 

The System:

 

  1. Allows Leadership Walks to be entered via the App or the Desktop

  2. Can be used on Apple and Android devices

  3. Supports both mobile phones and tablets.

 

By far the most popular device used has been a phone due to accessibility and convenience.  The use of a voice recognition has alleviated issues associated with typing and spelling.

 

The Leadership Walk module has also been integrated with the Authority’s Hazard Reporting module so a user can seamlessly report hazards that may have been identified during the walk.

 

The roll out of Leadership Walks on the Periscope App was a great example of Periscope working in partnership with its client, to further evolve the system to improve organisational efficiency and effectiveness. 

 

Periscope Training

 

Periscope’s next System Administrator training session is on Wednesday 5 June 2019. The objective of this training course is to is to assist clients in understanding methods for populating, updating, displaying and reporting data.

 

Tips and Tricks

 

While many clients have enjoyed the benefits of being able to create their own Word and Excel template reports which can be uploaded to the Periscope application, a couple of clients have also uploaded corporate template letters to the system. The letters can be generated by selecting a command button that auto populates the letter with data directly from the record, similar to a mail merge. The letters can include a client’s letterhead and corporate style. Most commonly this feature has been used in Freedom of Information, Complaints Management and Case Management systems.

Did you know that images can be included in email templates?

 

The ability to include an image in an email provides greater information to recipients beyond a description and is particularly useful for hazard and incident reporting. This is convenient for users in the field who can capture images through the Periscope app using a tablet or smartphone. Once a record with the image is uploaded to Periscope software, an automatic email can be generated with the image embedded.  Currently the size of the image is dictated by the capture tool and/or editor.  A future development is to control the dimensions of the output from within Periscope.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at praveen@pericorp.com or 03 9882 1896, if there are any matters you would like to discuss.

February 2019

Case Study - Audit Action Tracking and Reporting System

 

Periscope has recently worked with a water authority to implement an Audit Action Tracking and Reporting System. The work commenced in the second week of January and went live in the third week of February. The system has been well received by the organisation's Executive. The scope of work involved building the form and workflow, providing the ability to link to organisational strategic drivers and risks, importing existing data and replicating four reports that are presented to the organisation's Audit and Risk Committee.

 The System allows for:

 

1.            Transparency of actions and their status for Responsible Officers and the Executive

2.            A distributed approach to updating data, moving away from the centralised management of the process using Word and Excel documents

3.            Greater visibility of the status of actions for easy follow up by the Internal Audit coordinator

4.            Easy reporting including statistical reporting for the Audit and Risk Committee

5.            Key performance indicator charting.

 

The ability to deliver the System within six weeks was due to:

 

1.            The passion of our client partner in working with internal staff to understand and use the software

2.            The client's understanding of the data and the integrity of that data, making importing of data and validation of reported data easier

3.            A practical and pragmatic approach to meeting the implementation timeframes, recognising that further evolution would occur as the organisational use of the system increases

4.            Having a clear deadline to be met.

 

The reports will be presented to the Audit and Risk Committee in March.

 

Periscope is excited by the possibilities, by working in partnership with

our client, to further evolve the System to increase organisational

efficiency and effectiveness.

January 2019

Software Version Release 10.08

 

Our latest Software Version Release 10.08 has been in operation for several months now, and has been well accepted by our clients.

 

Some of the key features in this release include:

 

1. The ability to display drop down, radio buttons and checkboxes as buttons which improves the visual presentation of forms and the App

2. Improved data import function that takes users through a workflow

3. Periscope's subscription to the Google maps application programming interface (API) allowing for address lookups and plotting of data onto Google maps

4. A Map widget showing locations of incident, hazards and other key data sets on a consolidated map

5. The ability to export data to pre-existing Excel spreadsheets that auto populate charts and update pivot tables.

 

There are a number of other changes for 2019 that we are working through and look forward to sharing those with you.

 

Current Activities

 

Over the last few months, some of the key modules that Periscope staff have been working on are:

 

* Risk management for a couple of new clients

* Audit action tracking for a new client

* Compliance management enhancements for a number of existing clients, some of which have been driven by the current environment and increased regulator scrutiny

* Incident reporting

* Site based health and safety apps for inspections, facilities assessments and other activities

* Chemical risk assessment.

December 2018

On behalf of Periscope staff, I want to thank our customers for their support and high levels of engagement throughout 2018. We value the partnerships that we have with our customers and look forward to that continuing in 2019.

 

There are a number of exciting initiatives that we have ready to go, as part of our latest software release, which we are looking forward to sharing with in the new year.

 

We would like to wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday period. We hope you come back refreshed and ready to kickstart 2019.

 

During the Christmas/New Year period, Periscope staff can be contacted via the office number (Ph: 03 9882 1896), on our respective mobile numbers or via email. There may be some delays to requests during this time, as not all Periscope staff will be working during this period.

October 2018

Periscope Annual User Conference 2018

Thanks to our clients for making the 2018 Periscope Annual User Conference a success. Clients valued the deep insights into the effective use of the Internal Audit module by a large Victorian Government department to track audit action performance through the use of key performance indicators.  Many learnings were also taken from the use of the Periscope app by a large disability service provider to rapidly risk assess approximately 300 disability support facilities across the east coast of Australia. As always clients were able to see and provide input into Periscope’s product roadmap. We look forward to next year’s event!