Do the emotional phases experienced while learning to use on call scheduling software follow Gatner's Hype Cycle? I believe the answer is "Yes!” Here's my evidence.
Trigger: Something happened regarding your on call schedule and someone asked "Is this really good enough?" The answer was NO! The future is here for on-line Call Scheduling.
What were the key questions you asked at that moment?
- What is the problem I am trying to solve?
- Why am I looking for software to solve it?
- Who will be affected?
- How can I get them "on board"?
At this point you may be unsure of many things, but you need to test the waters. Develop your "buy-in" plan, start your research, keep your practical answers in mind as you look for a best-fit solution and a vendor who will not just sell you something, but wants to partner with you.
Inflated expectations: You found software that seemed to fit the bill! There was all the excitement of something new, and the more you thought about it the more your imagination started to extrapolate all of the potential things the new software could do for you. You started using it and everything seemed so easy.
What were you thinking then?
- This is so easy; I can learn this in 1/2 hour!
- If it does this and this, it surely does that and that!
- I am coming up with new feature ideas even as I am beginning to learn the new system, simple programming tweak!
- I am tempted to announce a Go Live date before my Implementation Plan is half completed!
Trough of Disillusionment: What? The software can't make coffee and cure world hunger?
There are limitations and some great features are still in development no matter what software you buy.
Re-visit your reasons for looking for software. Have your original expectations really not been met, or did imagination inflation take over?
- Have my needs really changed?
- Have new "players" come on board with other points of view?
- Did I discover my current process is more complicated than I thought?
- Did I discover "homework" and learning takes longer than I allotted for?
- Are there too many Cooks in the "Kitchen of Opinion"?
Don't let one or two bumps in the road derail your efforts. On-line On-Call Scheduling is here to stay and your Providers are depending on you to help them adapt! You may find a little one-to-one time with your Trainer without outside distractions makes all the difference.
Slope of Enlightenment: This is the best part, when you have the "eureka" moment and you begin to feel confident again. You have hit the happy balance between what you want software to do, and knowing what it really can do. What you "imagine" vs with what "is".
- Your intent for on call scheduling software may have evolved a bit, but now your vision has a practical angle to it.
- Don't lose sight of your original answer to the question "What is the problem I am trying to solve?"
Plateau of Productivity (really more of an upward slope) This is where you hit your pace.
You can clearly anticipate how useful this will be to your Providers knowing you can fulfill your promises! You have a Process in place you can follow and generate the consistent results you expected. As with any software, you will become more fluent the more you use it. Take advantage of any training to keep sharp and use your experience to suggest other features to your vendor-partner.
Remember: don’t give up. Stick it out, unless it is a total misfit. Everyone goes through the Trough of Disillusionment!
What is the Hype Cycle?
According to wiki, Gartner’s Hype Cycle comprises five key phases of a technology’s life cycle.