Social workers across the country often ask us how we create the software products that have become the standard for the industry. The answer is…collaboration. Global Vision Technology designers and engineers are constantly collaborating with social work professionals to design and redesign the FAMCare suite of products now used by thousands of social workers in hundreds of diverse agencies. We are conducting an ongoing social work hackathon.
Hackathons are typically brief, intensive, team-based events lasting 48 hours straight, where participants work to solve a problem through the creation of a technological solution such as an app, electronic database, or a website.
Teams form at the event and compete with each other for the best solution in the form of an app or tech tool. A team typically includes a small group of people who can contribute meaningfully to the type of solution needed, including programmers, but also professionals with expert or practice knowledge who have no technology experience.
The hackathon’s purpose is to brainstorm and create a range of good working models of possible technology solutions, with revisions and polishing occurring after the event. (Hackathons for Social Workers, Ruby Guillen, MSW; Melanie Sage, PhD. LICSW; Lauri Goldkind, PhD; and Neva Wallach, MSW; Social Work Today, 2018)
An Ongoing Hackathon
At Global Vision Technologies the hackathon never ends. That’s the magic. Along with social workers in the field, social work educators and agency managers, we are constantly re-engineering FAMcare case management software in an effort to provide the industry with the most advanced, up-to-date, customized tools.
Global Vision technologists use a development framework called design thinking, a solution-focused approach to problem-solving that is structured into three phases:
- Inspiration – focused on understanding the problem, need and potential product users.
- Ideation - multidisciplinary brainstorming and idea generation.
- Implementation - prototyping, troubleshooting and refining.
Collaborative Design Thinking
As case workers use existing FAMcare products in the field, designers at Global Vision Technologies are focusing on developing further useful formats that are always easy to use. However, our designers crave the insight of end users into the context of the problems they seek to solve.
Social workers bring understanding, empathy and advocacy to GVT’s system development providing an elegance to appropriate technological solutions. Social workers also play important translational roles, helping our developers understand client populations. Social work participation in the development and design of technological solutions improves the way our designers harness technology for the good of the people social workers seek to serve.
Our Perennial Hackathon
At Global Vision Technologies we invite feedback from every social worker who uses our products. We also love to collaborate with human services agencies who are considering adopting or switching to FAMcare.
As you go about your daily business, you can participate in our ongoing hackathon whenever you find yourself confronted with a procedure or a process that doesn’t serve you or your clients well. When you feel disturbed or flummoxed by bottlenecks in communication, organization, reporting or record keeping, share your frustration with us at Global Vision Technologies. We’ll incorporate your input into our ongoing creative collaboration – our perennial hackathon. Together we can find new and better solutions.