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Thursday
Jun232011

« Granicus Introduces Complete Agenda Management: Top 3 Webinar Highlights »

Here’s a quick recap of the webinar we just hosted to provide Granicus users with a new solution to manage the complete lifecycle of legislation – from its very inception to its final disposition and internet publication. The turnout to this webinar was incredible; over 250 local governments were in attendance. This tells us that government agencies are really looking for a better way to handle their paper-heavy, labor intensive agenda process.

Our CEO, Tom Spengler, kicked off the webinar with an overview of the webinar agenda and a couple poll questions.  Of particular interest was that it was clear that 85% of poll participants take over a day to produce an agenda and some as much as six days!  This means we’re talking to the right people because the new Granicus Legislative Management Suite can produce an agenda with just one click.

Tom then discussed the roots of Granicus’ new agenda management solution, which was recently added to its Legislative Management Suite. The agenda workflow solution is powered by Legistar®, an industry-leading product that has proven to be successful in local government for the last quarter century! This solution became a Granicus solution just a couple months ago when Granicus completed its acquisition of Daystar, the original creators of Legistar.

Highlight #1: Start smart at the very beginning of your legislative process

Previously only providing solutions from the point of the public meeting onward, Granicus now provides a solution that starts at the very beginning of legislative and agenda management: the drafting of an agenda item that will become legislation.  Starting at the beginning, more steps can be eliminated off the bat! There will be no more redundant entry of data, fewer mistakes, no more physical collection of agenda items from different departments, a reduction (if not elimination) of paper dependency, and the building of public trust with automated transparency.

Before turning things over to legislative management expert, Ginger Hall, Tom wrapped up with details about the more salient qualities of the Legislaitve Management Suite (cloud-based, comprehensive, automated, paperless, transparent and measurable) as well as an overview of how this product applies to the complete legislative clerical workflow. He also discussed some of the measurable ROI many of our clients are already experiencing, including the City of Long Beach with $3.1 Million in labor and paper cost reductions.

Highlight #2:  Guess what… you can do that, too.

Ginger provided a fast-paced and comprehensive demonstration as to how the agenda management solution works for you. From adding agenda items, to the digital approval process that includes both an automated and manual escalation feature, to the one-click agenda generation feature, Legistar really wowed a lot of participants! But she didn’t stop there. She continued, covering the ability to create agenda packets, send out notifications, automatically route legislation from one meeting body to another and much more. You really have to see this to believe it.

Highlight #3: Great Questions, Excellent Answers

Participants were able to ask a number of great questions – they asked so many that we went 20 minutes over! I wanted to give you a quick recap of some of the questions that were asked and addressed:

  • Can approvers change the text of the legislation and the attachments as it is going through the approval process?
  • Yes! Approvers can not only approve or disapprove, they can make any changes they deem necessary and write a note about it.

  • What kind of files can you use for attachments?
  • You can use any kind of document.  We can even have most documents automatically converted to PDF for online access.

  • What about spell-checking?
  • The majority of spell checking is done by the drafter when creating the legislation, but we also have additional spell checking abilities on both the file record and the agenda just as a double-check.

  • What about using Roman Numerals on our agendas?
  • We have come across this request before and we can accommodate it easily. This is one of the questions that we address in your workflow assessment. 

  • Is there a boards and commissions component as well?
  • Yes, we offer the ability to track all the current and past membership as well as the appointments and vacancies. All of this is optionally available online.
  • How can I set up the system so that people from different departments can see certain unpublished documents?
    We have extensive security that allows for specific groups of people to see only what they should or to have exclusive access to files that are not ready for the public.

  • How long is all the data kept online?
  • At Granicus, our philosophy is to promote transparency—our redundant data centers are equipped to keep it online and secure forever, if you’d like! If you want it online for less time, we can work that out, too.

  • How do you move an item from one Board meeting date to another?
  • There are different methods for this depending on the scenario. You can control it directly with the item’s Agenda Item Date field, or it can be controlled through minutes workflow by recording a target date with the action taken.  Either way, it’s just one simple step.

What’s next?

There are so many amazing streamlining and time-saving features in the new Legislative Management Suite, the possibilities for improving your workflow and saving you tons of hours and money is immense. Get started today: 

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