Each month EnergyLogic will be posting a blog that pertains to our proprietary software, iRate. Irate is software that organizes your energy services company with features such as scheduling, reporting, and QA. It also integrates with Quickbooks® and REM/Rate®. For more info on iRate, please visit us at MyiRate.com.
We SO thought we were done….
In fact, we knew we were finished. An effort to replicate the Energy Star V3 checklist as iRate inspection forms evolved into a year-long project of re-vamping the iRate inspection form system. The Energy Star V3 checklist would be integral to the new inspection forms, and vast flexibility to accommodate other inspection protocols would be incorporated. Long awaited features like emailing reports directly from iRate and storing site-specific REM templates in iRate would also be included.
We tested it extensively. A rater ran multiple test inspections and ratings through the process, his feedback incorporated into the forms system. Each rater attended two separate trainings to gain exposure and supply further feedback. A live field rating was performed collectively by the entire field staff to iron out the final wrinkles and launch the new software.
iRate 2012 was complete. With much fanfare, we released it to our live iRate site and transitioned our Energy Logic field staff.
Only to discover that we were far from finished.
Inspection Items in the wrong place, appearing multiple times, cumbersome switching between windows, too many save buttons. After so much meticulous, detailed planning and testing, all those meetings, how could things be so off?
We needed someone to use it-use it when it mattered to them. Until the day’s work depended on this tool, until the product for the customer was at stake, it was just a mental exercise for everyone involved. Things “looked good”, “worked fine” until it made a difference in producing a rating. The impact on the process couldn’t be measured until the process changed.
So we’re not basking in the sun with our Pina Coladas just yet. Our EL raters are using the inspection forms in the field and continue to provide valuable feedback. We now recognize that while we may reach a stopping point, and will release changes to the field, we really can’t ever call it “done”—because as processes improve and programs change, iRate changes too.
Launch delayed, lesson learned.