The big mo: How to get it and how to keep it going

Most days, I take a break around lunchtime to go for a run. I find that it helps to clear my mind and allows me to think through my different projects creatively. As I recently set the treadmill to a random hills routine, an idea sprung to mind about one of my current projects that is also an issue I see at many customers. That issue is: After installing a system, how do you manage it, expand it, and keep business units from finding other niche applications that solve one specific problem, when there is already a system in place that can do it for them – a system the organization already owns.

As the incline on the treadmill increases, I remember my experience running projects and implementing new technologies at healthcare organizations. It was always a struggle with my internal customers to get them to participate at first and it was like climbing a hill.

But eventually, the customer and the project team get into a groove and the work becomes less difficult as everyone realizes you have made it up the hill and hit the project plateau. This is due to both the customer and the implementation team working together and moving the project along.

Finally, you notice how routine the project flow is as it moves towards the end. The momentum you created during the ascent and plateau suddenly begins carrying you. Then, you see the bottom of the hill quickly approaching and your project is ending, but does a project ever end?

Should projects end? Or should you use the momentum and collaboration from that to evolve into the next project, so you can climb the next hill?

Keeping the big mo going

As I mentioned, I have this recurring conversation around how to keep customers engaged with different IT teams and business units within an organization and all of them want to know how to keep the momentum going. The concept of the big mo, according to Wikipedia, originally applied to sporting events, as momentum appeared to have a positive effect on a team’s performance.

We all want to win, so why not utilize this concept?

As you may know, Hyland creates a platform approach for content services, but after the initial implementation, much of the platform can sit dormant until there is a catalyst to review the system and additional business needs.

So, what to do about a platform that has so much potential? How do you keep people interested in it, especially if they rely on it every day, but don’t know they do? How do you keep or build the big mo?

Create a governance group for your platform. I know, it seems like I had some great revelation to share, but it truly is that simple. However, just like with running, you have to start with a plan, train, and continue to cultivate that plan so it will be successful.

Creating a successful governance group

Start with the initial implementation team and business units that are the primary users. In a health system, this can be the medical records department and finance, but let us not forget the areas that use the information, such as clinicians (both nurses and physicians).

The governance group should be comprised of platform champions from the business units, clinical team, and the IT team, that will perform the technical work. Make sure to create a charter for the group and spell out expectations. This is imperative, since this group will help with project review and prioritization, review requests for changes – such as new document types for a Cardiac H&P (when the question should be why can’t the existing H&P document type work?) – and promoting the platform.

This is echoed by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The center says there are three steps to successful governance groups:

  1. Establish clear success criteria
  2. Set the initial framework conditions for the group
  3. Continually adjust steps one and two based on evolving factors

By forming a governance group and setting expectations, you remove the barriers between business units, clinicians, and IT. This allows the relationship to evolve into a partnership in which the different groups work together to manage, moderate, and control a system, that – without such governance – can quickly spiral out of control or not be used to its fullest potential.

You don’t have to be a runner to get the big mo going, but once you get it, never let it stop.

K.C. Van Voorhis

K.C. Van Voorhis

K.C. Van Voorhis brings more than 16 years of healthcare information technology experience to his role as a healthcare customer adviser at Hyland. With and understanding of technical environments, customer software usage, business process optimization, interoperability and meaningful use, K.C. works with customers to provide optimizations around software utilization and support structure setup to enable successful usage and management of the OnBase platform.

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