Important steps to take when implementing digital solutions within local governments and other organizations.

Introduction.

Local governments are becoming aware of the need to introduce digital solutions to improve their efficiency and better engage with their respective constituencies. However, there are many different digital services that can be introduced into a local government context that anyone policymaker or department head may not be familiar with. There may also be pushback from employees within the government who are used to doing things a certain way. This article is not designed to provide a digital policy checklist, but rather discuss how digital solutions in local government and other organizations can be introduced and the steps and approaches necessary in order to create buy-in from staff and citizens. This article is also not a guide for embarking on a digital transformation within a local government. Implementing a digital solution is an activity normally involved in a digital transformation, however, just implementing a specific digital solution is not a digital transformation.

Align with your organizational goals and objectives.

Often organizations view digital solutions implementation as a technology project, however, every project is a business project. Implementation of digital solutions must be viewed as a digitally enabled business project. As such every digital solution must be connected to the organizational or departmental goals and objectives.

Stakeholder Engagement.

Stakeholders who will use the digital solution or who will be impacted by this digital solution must be included from the start. Without a stakeholders buy-in, digital solutions implementation will experience many roadblocks and challenges. In some cases, this might lead to total failure.

Take an appropriate amount of time.

Making digital services a priority of the organization is important but rushing into that first digital policy or project without understanding and planning for the impact on internal stakeholders can lead to frustration and failure. While any digital initiative within an organization will require some form of change, this article aims to address actions necessary in order to encourage digital transformation by introducing digital solutions. Digital solutions should be considered an ongoing project, meaning they should not be introduced and assumed they are working. Instead, they should be introduced over an appropriate amount of time. A good way to start is by introducing the digital solution to members of the leadership team and department leads and giving them the chance to provide feedback. This will allow leaders of the organization to use the tool, and understand exactly how it will help their department before expecting everyone in the department to use it. Taking a strategic approach to introducing digital solutions will help ensure that everyone in the organization is able to use the tool and reap the benefits as intended.

Find the right solutions.

Finding digital solutions may appear as easy as searching for digital services on the internet, but there are other factors to take into consideration. Not all digital solutions will work in every situation and many digital tools need a lot of training before they can be used effectively. Before spending time and resources on a digital solution that isn’t going to work well, you need to carefully consider if it is the right solution for your organization. Understanding what exactly the tool does, what it will help achieve in your organization, and how much training will be required are all important considerations before deciding to use a digital solution.

Provide proper training.

One of the most important factors in digital engagement is providing training for digital tools. If a digital solution doesn’t work or isn’t being used, it’s probably because the employees who need to use it aren’t properly trained. The digital service itself may be very user-friendly and intuitive, but if an employee is not going through the proper training, they may not be able to use the tool as it is intended, or to its fullest potential. Depending on the digital solution, digital training could be as simple as an online tutorial or may require employees to meet with a digital expert.

Set clear expectations.

Setting clear expectations for digital services is important because digital tools can vary greatly and their purpose in different departments will vary greatly. Before implementing digital solutions within your organization, make sure everyone understands the intended use specific to their job or department. This means that digital services must be tailored to each department and all employees should be given digital training specific to their needs.

Make it easy for employees to contact someone for help.

Digital solutions are designed to make various processes within the organization more efficient, but this doesn’t mean digital tools will solve every problem or question employees have about them. Employees need to have an easy contact who can answer their questions and guide them through areas that they are having trouble with. By encouraging employees to reach out to someone when they need help will increase the chances of the digital solution being a success. It will also help organizations see where people are having trouble with the new digital solution so they can adjust expectations if people need more time to get used to the change.

Conclusion 

When digital solutions are introduced in an organization, they should be implemented in a strategic way so everyone in the organization will have the opportunity to use them and take full advantage of their benefits. Finding digital solutions, training employees on how to use digital tools, setting clear expectations for digital services, and making it easy for employees to contact someone if they need help, are all important steps that need to be taken in order for digital solutions to work as intended. Munilogic prides itself on not only its products but also its customer service. We understand that there is more to digital transformation than simply adopting the right solutions. That is why we make it a priority to ensure all of our clients have access to the knowledge they need to make our products a success in their workplace. Not only that, we will take the time to figure out the perfect digital solution for you. If you’re ready to embrace digital solutions and begin your digital transformation journey today, visit us at www.munilogic.com to get in touch with our expert team today.  

About the authors:  

Hannah Hillier

Hannah is a professional content creator and writer. After graduation from the Public Relations program at Cambrian College, Hannah has gone on to start a successful freelance writing career. She is passionate about bringing words to life in a way that makes complicated topics more approachable. From website content to full articles, Hannah loves to find ways to communicate with any audience effectively. She currently lives and works in Sudbury Ontario.

Joseph Edward

Joseph founded INVORG focusing on a client-centric service delivery platform for innovating local organizations, not-for-profits, home and community support organizations, and small to medium-sized businesses. Joseph holds a Chief  Information Officer Certification from Carnegie Melon University, USA, and from the US General Services Administration. He is an IT veteran with over 20 years of leadership in technology, including four years as CTO for the city of London.