By Amy Engebretson, Senior Customer Project Manager
Many of the items listed here are in-house issues that need to be addressed before starting any productive Implantation Process. Some are self-management issues regarding expectations of what you can reasonably accomplish as a human being. Others are regarding team-management and support you will need to have from the organization in order to keep things moving efficiently and help incorporate on-call Scheduling change within the Clinic or System.
Define a “point person” on your end. This is a single point of contact who knows the overall picture and objective. It must be someone with “connections” within your organization who can get assistance to help you if needed (perhaps your White Knight physician). This person is the main contact for working out roadblocks. If the “point person” is you, be sure you have the time to take on something new. If you don’t have the time to take on the extra load, the stress alone will make learning more difficult and stretch out the Implementation process.
Get/Give leave from other duties. This may mean delegating some of your current responsibilities, at least temporarily. Expect decreased productivity while learning/accomplishing something new. Permit yourself time along the way to experiment and build confidence using the new software.
Prioritize your To-Do list! Where does the on-call software implementation project fit into your current work-flow? Don’t let procrastination rear its ugly head as you try to juggle all of your “urgent” responsibilities until you are only handling “emergencies”!
Have clearly defined goals (exactly what IS the desired result and how will you know when you’ve achieved it), clearly assigned knowledgeable staff (who will do it), and clear support for the assigned staff (administrative authorization and support). Seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many people assume various other team-members have the time or have specific knowledge regarding how the on-call schedule is created.
Unrealistic Deadlines. Did you need to “start yesterday?” You may find your initial deadline is artificial; perhaps it is even quickly set by someone else. Similar to agile programming, define smaller sub-goals that can be achieved in a short period of time and assign a time-frame to each. Your vendor will most likely have an Implementation Plan, but you will still need to work together to develop a time-frame to get it done and be sure there will be knowledgeable staff assigned to do it. Be sure to allow enough time for each “block” to be implemented and understood so you can build on it as you move forward. Build-in time for setbacks, unforeseen things that come up and cause short delays. Setbacks will happen! Now, using this information, work backward from your initial Deadline. Did you need to “start yesterday”? If so, advocate for a realistic one!
Don’t worry so much about the Ultimate Deadline; focus on the process and smaller sub-goals. Let yourself feel the accomplishment of completion. Feeling achievement is important to help avoid grid-lock and burnout when implementing large and/or frustrating projects. Begin with a specific sub-goal that can be started immediately and finished within a short amount of time, or work on it for at least half an hour. This overcomes inertia and gets the ball rolling. It also helps with those progress reports!
Don’t expect perfection right out of the box. Nothing kills the thrill as quickly as expecting immediate perfection from yourself or the software.
When commenting on the project, focus on the progress first, and then zero in on precise details of what needs to be finished or improved before moving to the next “block” of learning. Avoid giving yourself left-handed compliments and criticizing mistakes.
Use your great management skills on yourself. You know, do the less fun stuff first or when most refreshed and be sure to have something more pleasurable on the “horizon”. Recognize work is work, whether protesting, procrastinating, or making a commitment. Do at least 1/2 hour of productive work before taking a break and you’ll be amazed at what can you can accomplish by at least starting.
Self Management gives you the chance to implement on-call software more effectively and grow your strengths at the same time – A real “win-win” situation.
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