by Joanna Wyganowska, MBA, PMP | VP of Marketing at Infinite Leap
Whether you’re just starting to develop a strategic plan to tap into the power of Real-Time Technologies in your organization or at a point of trying to figure out how to further leverage its capabilities, it’s critical to properly plan your approach and make the most of everything from the first day. There are many things you should do, no matter where you’re at in this process — and there are several potential pitfalls that you want to avoid. Here are five things you need to do if you want your project to thrive.
1) Don’t rely on a single point of view:
Avoid basing your decisions only on what you’ve heard and learned from product vendors. Vendors, rightfully so, will work to convince you why their product is the best. However, it’s much more important to hear from actual users, the issues they were trying to solve and the results. Don’t just assume that the best marketed products are the best products. Be open to other options that are well-tested and proven and might be a better fit. Consider looking into independent parties who keep tabs on the market and aren’t motivated by a commission check. Don’t underestimate the value of investing in site visits and reference checks.
2) Don’t become complacent:
Avoid choosing a vendor ONLY because you’ve worked with them in the past. I’m not suggesting familiarity or past success is a bad thing, but it can limit the possibilities for your future. If you aren’t open to new things, you might miss out on the chance for good, innovative solutions or components. Innovation and open solutions also are key ways to drive down the price of technology. Competition is a great thing for everyone involved. Likewise, we are big advocates of open architectures — meaning your solution should be able to incorporate components from multiple vendors without contractual or technical obstacles. With an open architecture, you should take the time at least once a year to research and validate new opportunities that might be available from others in the market. Look to innovate. Break out of that comfort zone and you might find something even better!
3) Don’t assume you know it all:
Avoid believing that you know everything that needs to be known. Ensure all your assumptions are correct and clarified with your possible vendors before deciding anything. Ask questions, and we mean A LOT of questions — now is your chance. If vendors make assumptions in their proposals or presentations, ask them to clearly articulate what those are so you can be sure the right data is being used for your organization’s wants and needs. Incorrect assumptions can result in incorrect decisions.
4) Don’t limit your options:
Avoid limiting the discussion process to a small, selective group of people — now is the time to have conversations! Invite representatives from various departments, such as IT, clinical, biomed, patient safety and others, to gather their opinions and needs. You should include both executives and frontline staff and providers in this process because all roles impact operational goals, and you will learn a ton by asking people from different areas. Just as importantly, don’t exclude those people who you know are doubters. They can bring up great questions, even though they might ask them in a way that is less than productive. Including their thoughts and perceptions can help shape your final decisions — and it will help you figure out what’s truly needed to spread the word about the use of Real-Time Technologies and get to a point of rapid acceptance and excitement.
5) Don’t start without a clear execution plan:
You shouldn’t jump into this project without defining what success will look like. Ensure you have a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) agreed upon in advance to measure and ensure you are on the path to success. And don’t wait to share if things are not going as planned — that’s your opportunity to regroup and ask for additional support to hit the end goal. If your plan doesn’t include periodic checkpoints to validate whether success is being realized, it probably means that it isn’t.
There are many more things that can trip up a complex project like this, of course — and many can be avoided with the help and guidance of experienced professionals. This list is just a starting point. Please reach out to us if you want to receive more tips on how to make solid, effective and successful decisions about your Real-Time Technologies solutions.