How can an agency ensure they’re using the right technology, and using it in the right way?

Here are steps we follow to help clients, based on what we’ve learned from the more successful alert and notification deployments:

  1. Assess needs.  Alerts and notifications, by nature, touch a lot of different people both within and outside an organization.  Engage stakeholders at the front end to understand what they want and need.  You’re going to need this throughout the process.  Don’t overlook groups involved with people with disabilities and older adults.  Get local media involved, too.

  2. Define needs.  Clearly state what you learn from the first step.  You’re going to need the statement throughout the process.

  3. Study the market.   Don’t let your RFP be your first stab at identifying possible solutions.  You may be surprised at what you find.

  4. Create a “technology design”.  It can simple or complex.  It should include:  architecture, functionality, speed, usability, practicality, data management, and evolving technology.  You’ll need to revisit the design after you make vendor selections.

  5. Write solid RFP specifications.  They should reflect steps one through four.  They should be clear, very clear.

  6. Develop a strong implementation plan.  Getting training from vendors is not enough.  (Vendors will agree.)  You will need governance, policy and procedure and, in effect, a marketing plan.  How are you going the sell the initiative to internal and external stakeholders?

  7. Develop measurements.  How are you going to gauge your initiative?

  8. Plan sustainment.  What are you going to do to keep your alert and notification program vibrant short-term and long-term?


For more information on creating successful alert and notification deployments, see How To Match Your Needs to the Array of Emergency Alerting Options, and Three Keys to Successful Emergency Notification Initiatives.