Who is going to run the pilot and how should they be organised? Who is ultimately responsible?
So, who gets to try our software out? Choosing the right team or employee that will test our technology is an important choice that you need to make. Here we lay out 3 recommendations that we consider important to ensuring a smooth process.
Someone needs to be responsible. This could be you, or a care planner, or manager of a home that you trust. But someone needs to be responsible. Someone to make decisions whilst the pilot is running and have the final say when it comes to evaluation. Make sure everyone knows who that is.
Choose a champion. At least one person in your pilot should be someone who can champion the new technology with other users. They will be well respected, not just by upper management, and they need to understand what benefits the new tools they’re testing can offer. In a multi care home company, we always recommend choosing a home that has a great manager. Someone who is keen to implement positive change into the company and gives honest feedback to higher management. In single care home companies, it is often a senior carer who the owner / manager relies on. Someone who has the respect of the other carers and is seen as a leader in the team.
A word of caution - don’t choose your most tech savvy user. Choose someone viewed as the most tech-savvy, and your less tech-savvy team members might be discouraged; choose someone not tech-savvy enough, and they won’t be able to get over any initial hurdles that come with implementing new tools. Choose someone who is not afraid of new technology but who is representative of the rest of your team.
Choosing wisely allows that user to serve as a champion for the new technology, working as salesperson, diplomat, and problem solver from within the company once you’ve decided to roll out our software to other users.
Pick a logical set of residents. We have found that what works best is to pick 3-10 residents whose rooms are located in close proximity to each other. Maybe "ABC wing residents", or "Rooms 1-5 on the ground floor". It means that the pilot is run in a specific area of the care home and it reduces confusion as to which residents are part of the pilot and those that are not. Sometimes a care home even puts up a sign next to the area that is part of a pilot, just to ensure everyone's aware.