Hosting a Successful Kickoff for Call Scheduler Enterprise

WHY Is a Kickoff Meeting Important?

Your Kickoff meeting can make or break your Implementation Process. This is your chance to generate a positive point of view towards your Enterprise on-call software installation and establish why you think the project is important. The idea is to show folks a preview of what end-result views might look like as well as explain WHY you are moving forward with Call Scheduler, as well as a spread internal understanding of your overall goals. When affected staff can hear how change may impact their workflow, they are more likely to embrace the change and help drive further consensus. How can you best accomplish this mission? A Leadership member, such as VPMA or your internal advocate, should do the introductions rather than the Vendor, so the WHY is fully addressed from the Clinic/ Hospital point of view. This also establishes credibility and shows Leadership is already involved and responsible for “final decision making”, particularly should conflict arise.

The Kickoff meeting also allows your staff to meet the Vendor-side Project Lead who will be shepherding the project through to completion. They will be able to speak with the “real person” who will be contacting them and on whom they will rely for: answers to their questions, scheduling training, keeping the project moving, and keeping your Leadership updated. The Vendor-side Lead will also get to meet YOUR key personnel who will be involved. It is important that these folks be able to meet each other as the two-way-street relationship needs to be open, trusting one for best results!

WHO Should Attend?

Persons from a cross-section of backgrounds and departments should be invited, such as:

    1. Your Physician “Champion” and your Internal Lead of course! These persons will be updated regularly as things progress and can represent how things are done from an overall Clinical/Hospital perspective. They will help maintain “buy-in” should the need arise… particularly from folks who may not have ever seen the software or did not come to the Kickoff meeting!
    2. Scheduler Leads(s) and their assistants for sure! These are the persons who create and maintain your current individual on-call Schedules for your specialties. The Lead Schedulers are probably Physicians vs persons who simply transcribe or enter the information into word, excel, or whatever you are currently using.
    3. Emergency Department viewers. These people may be currently using a hand-assembled excel sheet showing who is on-call each day.
    4. Medical Staff Office. Are these the folks hand assembling your daily on-call now? They should attend!
    5. Your Doctors, who would love iCal subscriptions on their smartphone and all need to see the most current schedule for everyone.
    6. Physician Liaisons, who will be the liaisons between the Providers and the Implementation team.
    7. Switchboard/ Telecom Leads. These folks may be handling the after-hours calls.
    8. The person who handles your INTRAnet, and perhaps your IT lead. Even though there is nothing to download or add to the computers, these people will want to be assured regarding interference with current software already installed and any additional internet access that might be needed.
    9. Executive nursing supervisors who may already be getting copies of your calendars.
    10. The “it’s already okay” persons who may need more time to absorb the change.

WHEN to Host the Kickoff?

Just before Implementation starts, not more than 2 weeks.

    1. The Vendor’s Implementation Lead should not be a “stranger” when calling your Schedulers, having to explain WHY before even starting training. No one likes to be completely surprised by an Implementation-call.

WHAT to Cover?

Some ideas . . .

    1. Overview of the current situation in the Clinic/Hospital that Call Scheduler will help solve. These are the goals and reasons you made the purchase. How can the people attending help you and immediately benefit themselves, your patients, and the health community?
    2. What role will the attendees play when participating and why is that important?
    3. What will it look like? A brief “Sneak Preview” of what the finished project could look like, demonstrated by the Enterprise Implementation Lead, will help allay “fear of change” qualms. Attendees will be able to visualize how they can individually benefit and their part in the big picture. Things are usually less complex than imagined. A brief question-answer session will also help make the software seem less “unknown”.

Preliminary Go Live Date and Ask for Commitment!

    1. A Go-Live date is important, to keep everyone on track and moving ahead. It also helps prevent “Scope Creep” where “nice-to-have” items crop up before the Implementation is complete and running. Once the software is actually in use, the “nice-to-have” items can be reviewed. They may not be needed after all or can be addressed later and not slow the entire Implementation for everyone.
    2. Commitment is an “action item”, such as signing up for a Training Date or filling out contact information for later use. Even simply signing an attendance form can reinforce the sense of joining the team to launch the new Implementation Project.

Key Take-Away:

The Kickoff meeting can make or break your Call Scheduler Enterprise Implementation Project. Give it the time and attention it deserves.

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