Thursday, July 19, 2007

So how is it going to help THEM

“What pressing problem is this going to solve?”

I probably needed to write this first, but I thought of it third.

When you ask this question, don’t ask what pressing problem of YOURS is it going to solve.

Another conference-goer, who also works in Health Care, mentioned that she was thinking about using a wiki for tips, tricks, and workarounds. My thought is that it would go over like a lead balloon. The doc would much rather call a person right then and there and find the ONE way to do something than dig through lots of options.

Why do I think this? I’ve already built something just like it and it went over like a lead balloon.

The best approach, from what I can tell, is to ask what pressing problem do your end-users have that Web 2.0 technologies will solve.

Are they having a difficult time keeping track of the latest versions of material?

Are they having a hard time finding internal resources on particular topics? (Again, in the beginning, try to keep it non-controversial. If the access is problematic enough – you’ll get buy-in on more controversial topics).

Are they having difficulty sorting through hundreds of e-mails on various topics?

I’m certain you have other questions and ideas.

My comment to the conference-goer, and something I am trying at my own organization, was that she should look at the projects and committees the doctors work in.

Health care organizations use committees to develop organizational policies. This is where I think a wiki would be most helpful - a working area that allows the group to keep up with the decisions made within that particular committee. After the committee completes the work – they can easily lock and distribute the finished product.

If you find a tool that also allows chats and remote access, then records it within that space – the docs don’t have to worry so much about making meetings if they are running behind in clinic. The only thing they will miss is the free lunch.

Again – it’s up to the end-users. Show them how it helps THEM, then let the end-users decide whether it’s worth it. If they reject it, ask why and listen carefully. They may be perfectly happy with what they are doing now. And that’s OK.

And that's truly the whole POINT behind Web 2.0. It's not up to US to tell them how to use the tools.

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