An Introduction to IMATs
An IMAT is useful only to the organisation that has taken on a number of apps, and is now starting to think: what are the economies of scale in this? In other words, if you have only one app on your Frontline Apps, no need to read any further.
An IMAT is not a function-specific app. It doesn't carry out a specific role for you such as rostering, client funds management, OHS or WorkCover.
Rather, it is a road map, sitting separate and to one side of your apps, like an air traffic control tower, coordinating and serving your apps to, for example:
- Maximise data sharing (for example, if a user just asked for access to a given app, should they get asked: "you have asked for App X ... would you also like Apps Y and Z");
- Minimise duplication (for example, are you asking the same question in two different apps?);
- Comandeer fields that you might have otherwise have located in your apps (for example, you might prefer someone central in your organisation to maintain houses addresses, and not allow these to be edited by users - don't worry, users won't complain, the less fields they have to fill out, the better); and
- Create Muti-App Reports, sourcing data arising from your suite of apps as a whole - this is so much more powerful than each App Manager creating app-specific reports "within the app".
It's all about getting your apps working together, rather than them all doing their own thing, like silos (no doubt, when we mention the word "silos" here, with respect to apps, you have organisational analogies springing to your mind).
Critically, in almost always all cases, an IMAT must be designed by an organisation for an organisation, because no two organisations are ever the same, is our experience. Not even close.
A reasonably comprehensive IMAT might be equivalent to one or two apps in scale, and is usually more powerful and valuable than any given app, in its own right.
How to Get Started
Usually, the best place to start is a single whiteboard session, convened by us as a half day consultation, to create a basic flow chart for your IMAT.
Such a session might start with a single box drawn at the top of the whiteboard, that might read something like "House Closes", or "Staff Member Applies for Higher Duties".
And then, we start to draw arrows, and it quickly becomes very clear, as to what you want your road map to looks like, as to how you will want your IMAT to work.
Our IMAT Tool Box
We have many Proof of Concept Single App* Tools in place that could be promoted into an IMAT. Some examples follow.
*At this point we note that we cannot reasonably and safely create Multi-App Tools except in the context of an IMAT. Even a small, simple IMAT might be sufficient, if your needs are not too great. But we do need a road map, otherwise tools tend to quickly proliferate in isolation to each other, creating cascading inefficiencies. And then, if your suite of tools starts to proliferate, then just like a real road map, your IMAT road map must grow at the same pace: the Melbourne based Melway as it exists today is a larger book than the first version Melway released in 1966.