I am very lucky to work with a man who cares more about others than himself. Being a social worker sitting with 4 developers on a daily basis presents is challenges. We think and act differently. We approach problems differently and use different forms of communication. But a guy I work with can be deep into his own problems or tasks and see what others need.
Recently, I was at a conference with a client offering a presentation on software implementation. While preparing for the presentation, a conversation occurred with the client that really made me stop and think.
A few days before the training I called this client to review everything and confirm we were ready for our presentation. I asked for her cell phone number so we could connect the day before at the conference. She replied, “Do not laugh at me, I still have a flip phone”. After a short pause, I was not sure what to say. This client is one of the most technically savvy project managers I have worked with in my career. She can write HTML and SQL very well and is responsible for automating her entire workflow of five departments and 125 staff members, and yet she has a phone that I had 20 years ago when I first got out of college. Then just when I thought it could not get any more interesting, she stated that I have to text her “Yes” or “No” questions because she does not know how to text on it and she can only text back one letter.
Having spent years working with troubled youth, I have learned one tool that is both the most useful and the most difficult thing to learn when helping kids: “Shut up and Listen”. Bill Engvall has a stand-up comedy act where his catch phase is “I should have just shut up”.
Since rolling out the Pathways module a few years ago – the tool has proven to help agencies take on some of their own form, reporting and workflow development. During that time, I have been intimately involved in training hundreds of users on Pathways and discussions with focus groups on how to improve the software. We've had a lot of very positive feedback on Pathways. Great stories of triumph have been shared by those who have used the tool to basically build their entire set of specific case management data collection forms and workflow.
If you are going to ask your staff to build a Case Management System, you need to give them the Hammer, Nails, and Wood to build It!!!
A Few Questions to Ponder...
When most people say the words, “We are going to change some things around here”, panic starts to run throughout the crowd for no reason. Why is it that everyone is afraid of the concept of change? Without change, how do we learn, grow and become better at serving others who need our help? Regardless if you are in IT, Social Work, Education or Health Care change is going to happen. Instead of causing problems by resisting it, why don’t we figure how to make the process better?
When implementing new case management software - the best way to start is to take a hard look at employee behavior and identify what needs to change first.
Let me explain.
Change is hard. A new system brings a whole set of changes and process tweaks, for example which for some people is sometimes a slow process to adopt.