Implementing digital procedures and ensuring their suitability for day-to-day operations is challenging for many organisations. The biggest problem occurs when the digital tool doesn’t fit properly into daily tasks and people refuse to use it.
We did a lot of research while training the fire brigades and found out there is a way how to solve the digitalisation resistance:
- The purpose of digitalisation, its use and the training of all employees must be clearly defined by managers. Clear communication is important because people learn faster when they understand why something is being implemented.
- We have found that if employees are involved in the process from the beginning, they quickly accept the change and can easily understand the value of digitalisation.
- Creating a safe learning environment and culture for testing and encouraging end users to make mistakes early is crucial for the learning process.
- Involving end users in tests, asking for feedback and implementing their ideas, makes them feel like they are part of digitalisation process. It’s a practical step for the improvement and adoption of new systems.
After collecting feedback from fire services about the operational process, we found out they do a lot of tedious paperwork. We developed a new solution, a digital form that combines NOG and ARA work. It can be quickly filled out with a few clicks and shared immediately. It´s one of the examples of collaborative work, when end users were asked for suggestions and were involved in decision making about new functionalities.
We believe that the agile approach is effective in digitalisation and its adoption. Understanding the needs of fire brigades, creating a prototype and testing it together, allows us to collect valuable feedback and do a technological product that meets firefighter’s needs.
A good example of an agile approach is the partnership between West Midlands Fire Service and Unblur. WMFS purchased the IRIS Core solution through the G-cloud framework for fast and easy procurement. Using the G-cloud framework speeds up the procurement process and empowers WMFS to scale quickly from the small group of 200 initial users to the entire organisation in just eight months.
Apart from that WMFS follow the approach of simplifying daily work with the modern devices. Unblur´s IRIS Tactics will be run on new hardware from Zebra Technologies, which allow firefighters have one device for all types of work. WMFS incident commanders will use devices to run IRIS Tactics giving risk mapping, streaming body cameras and GPS tracking.