The Red Pill and down the Rabbit Hole

In my last post I mentioned using the clip from The Matrix as a metaphor for the class we put together to introduce those in our training session to what was ahead of them. No we wouldn’t be providing psychotropic drugs or plugging cables into their brains (yet!). We did however want them to see that they would need to look at their world and their work differently. The class would be demonstrating navigation and how-to’s with our desktop and productivity platform. But more important was to teach the concepts of leveraging the tech to become more efficient. Efficient first at the level of personal productivity and then extend that beyond to their departments and product lines. We pressed the cost of migrating them stating we didn’t want to hand off “a thousand dollars worth of equipment only to be used for email.”  We highlighted the investment made by the organization over the last several years in software licensing and infrastructure. Then, we reinforced the value the organization could realize IF there were adoption of the tools we were reviewing and the automation available to users across the system.

The users in the class received their devices 1-2 weeks prior to class. We assigned them a set of YouTube videos on Windows 8 to review along with their device prior to class. We also encouraged them to go out and get their own case or cover of choice. This gave them a bit of time to familiarize themselves and put their own touch and style in getting used to transporting and carrying around this portable “desktop.”

One of the things the team assisting with the training noted was the anxiety present in the users on deployment and at class time. Our initial sessions were comprised of all senior leaders and physicians. These folks were used to being competent and decisive in every aspect of what they do. They were also all “digital immigrants,” somewhat familiar with computers but only the very basics and they were getting ready to go into the deep end of the pool. To address the anxiety and allay the fears we made the training relaxed, personal and fun. While there was an agenda, it was more of a guide. We worked to limit repetitive “click here, tap that, open that, type this” series of lessons. We were very unscripted and went where we felt the class lead in terms of interest and need.

To lighten up the day we used a number of humorous videos to relax the group and break the monotony:
Blue Pill/Red Pill – Class Introduction and concept discussion.

Paper still has Some use – I argue during class that every print out not only cost money but initiates a manual process that could be automated. This video helps poke fun at the concept of all things being digital.

Medieval Help Desk – Funny take on converting from one medium to another. In the case of this video, from scrolls to books.

Conference Call in Real Life – Used as an intro to the Lync/Skype training section.

Our class outline flowed as follows:

  • Device overview
  • Windows 8 Concepts and Navigation
  • Security Essentials
  • SharePoint
    • My Site
    • Storage
    • Sharing
    • Work Flows and Automation
  • Office 2013 concepts and tips
  • OneNote 2013
  • Lync/Skype

Overall the day started out awkward and tense but by mid day the groups got into a grove and by days end they were usually out of control. In a good way!  Users would start experimenting with the things they had learned. They were moving documents to SharePoint, using the pen and practicing with OneNote, or playing with features they didn’t know existed in Office. The most distracting (and humorous) practice were users deciding to make a Lync video call in the middle of the session! For many this was their first introduction to desktop communications and video conferencing was too enticing to wait on. We simply lost the class for 30 minutes but it was good experience and great fun. In fact after a few classes, we ended up moving Lync (eventually Skype) to the last session of the day.

Since our start two years ago we have held a dozen classes training over 200 users, established our automation and efficiency platform and set a standard for end user technology in our organization. We are continuing to refine the program and adapt to changes such as upgrades in the tools. Since we started we have upgraded hardware going through Surface Pro 2, 3 and now 4. Moved from Windows 8 to 8.1 and now 10. We have upgrade from Lync to Skype, SharePoint 2010 to 2013 and have tweaked a number of settings via SCCM (System Center Communications Server) and AD (Active Directory). As our users learn and apply the technology they challenge us back so IT is learning and growing with its user base.

Ultimately the desire is to innovate our processes to enable more efficient, safer, cost effective care for our patients. This enables those overseeing those processes with the tools and guidance they need maximize efficiency and even redefine how they provide services and meet requirements in this rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Thanks for checking in and blessings to you all!




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