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What It Is: Scout OnDemand's Coaching Management System is a stand-alone, web-based product offering a configurable work-flow-automation process for coaching across any size organization. Each coaching "engagement," as it's called, follows a milestone-based, permission-protected path from coach selection to stakeholder interviews to goal setting and management of the sessions themselves to, finally, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the completed coaching process. The system is built to ensure that all relevant participants can be engaged without compromising coach-client confidentiality. A management dashboard is designed to enable collaboration between the company's central coaching-leadership team, HR, clients and their managers and coaches -- internal or external. Managers and program administrators can review and approve goals to ensure they're aligned with the business' goals, and track the status of all coaching engagements. The CMS is priced at $4,995 per year for a starting enterprisewide license and goes up in price after that, depending on the number of coaching engagements tracked.
Why We Like It: This certainly isn't the first product on the market aimed at streamlining the administration of coaching programs, but this is the first time we've seen one take a real stab at perfecting the actual management, assignment choices and results of an organization's coaching relationships. We especially like the way it ties coaching goals and selections to business and performance-management goals, and allows for "group think" between all the relevant stakeholders without jeopardizing client-coach confidentiality. As one analyst put it after reviewing the CMS, it gives HR a long-needed "platform for managing the coaching process" and seems to solve that age-old problem of "signing a [usually very expensive] coaching contract without ever really knowing how that person did" or how the outcome meshed with corporate goals.