Implementation goes hand in hand with value creation
Digitisation often involves the introduction of one or more new tools that employees must relate to and ideally utilise in a meaningful way. In many cases this takes place in line with an organisational process aimed at improving quality, optimising operations or a third anchor for initiating the digital change. If this is the case, there are a number of considerations that can be made. We will look at some of these here, where implementation goes hand in hand with value creation and meeting the organisational goals of “going digital”.
A key objective of the digitisation we experience in social care is often to simplify administrative processes and make the working day of care staff more focused. However, this rarely makes a profit and the new tools naturally result in changes in practice that are rarely without risk. In some cases, there will even be some resistance or technophobia from employees. Changes to everyday procedures should, therefore, be accompanied by a strategic description of the benefits and disadvantages for those involved. At the same time, this is also a necessary communicative challenge and provides management with an opportunity to engage employees in reflection on current practice and how this can be improved to benefit everyone involved.
Measure twice, cut once
Experience from 100 care home implementations has taught us the importance of not selling a “project” which management or a consultancy team primarily owns. It is important to stand side by side with operations to generate the necessary backing for digitisation, especially if the goal is to successfully move the change from project stage to day-to-day working practice. Here, the saying “measure twice and cut once” comes to mind. Joined-up implementation processes with local superusers, administrators and managers leading the way play a key role in succeeding. What was it we wanted to achieve? The entire team needs to be able to answer this question. And the “why” suddenly becomes more important than the “how”. When the benefits eventually start to show, you will have a larger team acting as agents or ambassadors for change, which provides another anchor and numerous accelerators for going forward with the implementation.
Implementation is also management
Management within and of an implementation process is just as natural as it is necessary, but is not always given adequate attention. If management wishes to generate support for digitisation, it will require the involvement of employees before, during and after the implementation itself. It requires a number of processes that set down requirements concerning time and focus.