Frequently Asked Questions

Considering using Value for Money to improve outcomes? Here are a few of the questions that might be on your mind.

+ WE’VE USED EXCEL TO REPORT ON VFM. HOW IS THE VFM MANAGERTM DIFFERENT?

Excel is a great tool. Its weaknesses are stability; little data verification or cleaning; copy and paste functions can drop calculations or values; data are easily corrupted; and Excel is cumbersome for multiple user collaboration; keeping a master copy updated for all users is tricky.

The Makana VFM Manager TM database is stable, secured by Microsoft, automates data back-up, and features an easy to use interface. Since it retrieves data separately for each calculation, crashes are unlikely. Data verification and cleaning is automated; bulk data can be uploaded; multiple users can access and use the VFM Manager TM concurrently.

+ EXCEL IS FREE. WHY USE THE VFM MANAGERTM?

The cost of using Excel is inefficiency: staff time consumed for VFM analysis, corrupted data needing to be replaced; inability to collaborate simultaneously; the steep learning curve to conduct some VFM calculations; and the technical difficulty of presenting custom views for different levels of responsibility.

Using the VFM ManagerTM is intuitive, and comes with outstanding support. Key benefits include:

  • Cost Efficiency: The total subscription cost is less than half the total cost of a single external assessment, or about $6,000 per year for three years.
  • Meaningful Metrics: We provide a clear framework for each programme to guide data selection and measurement indicators, and we customize the VFM Manager for each programme.
  • Automation: We automate VFM reporting to each level of programme responsibility, targeting management attention where needed. Plus we verify, clean, and upload two year’s past programme data.
  • Data Cleaning: The VFM Manager automates data cleaning, so if a user enters data that is corrupt, the system usually picks up the error.
  • Exportable graphic displays: Export charts and data tables to MS Word, create PDFs, etc.
  • Capacity Building: We provide unlimited training, at inception and throughout the VFM Manager subscription. New staff? We’ll train. Forgot how to calculate sustainability sensitivity? We’ll help.

+ WE ARE JUST BEGINNING WITH VFM. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE?

Contact us. Really.

We love to discuss VFM. We’ll start with the big picture, and then suggest ways to adapt VFM analysis to your programme. No obligation.

+ I AM NOT SURE WE HAVE ALL THE DATA THAT IS NEEDED. CAN I STILL CONDUCT A VFM ANALYSIS?

We’ve never seen a programme that has all the data needed. But we’ve worked with a lot of programmes that started small and saw the power of VFM analysis, and we targeted improved data capture for future analysis.

+ ARE OUR DATA SECURE AND PRIVATE?

Absolutely. Our software is on a secure Microsoft platform. We never share any data from any program with anyone. You have full access to your own data and you can choose to share. We never will.

+ CAN ANOTHER PROGRAMME USING THE VFM ManagerTM SEE OUR DATA?

No.

+ WE JUST NEED THE VFM ManagerTM FOR ONE ANALYSIS? HOW DO WE PROCEED?

The Makana VFM Manager TM is provided for a three-year subscription, renewable annually. Sometimes we can bundle a single analysis for a programme with a three-year subscription you hold for another programme at a reduced cost.

+ WHEN OUR STAFF CHANGES, HOW DO WE TRAIN NEW STAFF TO USE THE VFM MANAGERTM?

Call us. We provide unlimited training for all users at any time during a subscription.

+ WHAT IF WE NEED UNUSUAL METRICS?

Most programmes use the VFM ManagerTM for all needed measurements.

Very occasionally an approach or metric needs to be configured separately. In this case, we develop requirements with you, cost-out the hours of software development required, and provide you an estimate in advance. Because we designed our software to be adaptable, even custom metrics are inexpensive to develop.