What is "the Dip" and how do you know if you are in one?
Every single person goes through some form of “the Dip” when implementing physician software or learning anything new really. Every project worth doing has those moments. A dip is a temporary setback that can be overcome with persistence. The trick is to recognize if you are in a “temporary” setback worth pushing through or something permanent and worth quitting.
The question is: "How do you avoid killing something too early, or celebrating too early, and last, how do you know when to kill a dud?" – Seth Godin
A combination of bureaucracy and the busywork you must deal with will stand between you and mastering the scheduling software. As with any Implementation, you need to make a plan, set aside enough time to carry out the plan… including “the dip”… and then execute the plan!
What many people forget is to plan for the Dip and then get stuck there! They wait for a miracle, but it doesn’t happen. Extra resources don’t show up to cover the workload. Processes that need to change to meet new expectations do not get adopted. The White Knight does not suddenly get buy-in from reluctant Providers.
Then they get frustrated and fail to stick out the Dip just as they start to “round the bend”! OR they stay stuck in a dead-end without a way to conquer the problem.
The lesson learned: "If you don’t have the time or resources to plan for the Dip, you actually don’t have the time or resources to start. – Seth Godin
No Plan? Then you have at best a “fuzzy” goal. This is called a wish. Unless there is clarification and direction, your desire will remain just that… a wish. The “dip” is the reality of effort that stands between a goal (defined wish) and the accomplishment of that goal.
Stop the Insanity of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Push through the Dip. Here are three strategies to help you gain perspective and persevere where you can make measurable progress towards a well-defined goal.
1) Get Clarity
- Do you still see a light at the end of the tunnel?
- What is the light? (If you can’t define it, how can you achieve it?)
- Are others in the Group holding the same vision?
- Is it still worth pursuing?
If yes, evaluate what you have achieved. Then…
2) Change your approach
- Allocate more time?
- Allocate more resources?
- Narrow your focus? (Are you trying to accomplish too much at once, too many initiatives?)
- Try a different "direction" instead of the same well-trodden rules? (Not “better sameness”)
3) Check your progress
- Are you (or anyone else) getting better at using the software?
- Making progress with buy-in, even if slowly?
- Are you waiting for a miracle?
The worst time to quit is when the pain is the greatest. Check the above list and see if you can make headway somewhere.
Have you really have lost the vision and see no purpose?
- Quit if you are trying to solve a problem that others are not willing to solve, they really are happy with the status quo.
- Quit if you may be trying for a solution not well defined… sort of “I’ll know it when I see it”.
- Quit if you no longer see the worth of putting in the effort to get out to the other side of the Dip.
Otherwise, pause, regroup, recommit and keep going.
Key Takeaway: While only you know the answer to "Are you in a Dip" regarding your on-call software implementation, you also hold the keys to getting out.