System Optimization Made Simple
System optimization is something we know is critical after any type of HCIS implementation or upgrade. We talk about identifying those items during an implementation that we don’t have the time or resources to get to and put them on that all-famous optimization list. We throw around the word “optimization” but do we really know what that means and how our optimization can be successful? Optimization can be defined as “the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.” Or “an act, process, or methodology of making something (such as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible”. I am not sure that we always think in those terms when we consider an optimization project. To be that successful, what are the top 5 things that should be incorporated into our projects?
- Assess the work to be done. Who said this work should be taken on and is it a priority? Is there some other competing priority that should be prioritized above this work? There might be a proposal for a change in the organization that would raise this project to the top of the priorities or make it obsolete. A thorough assessment of the work and work effort can prevent time and resources being used for work that will never be completed or identify that you have a lot more support and resources than you initially thought.
- Process vs. System optimization. Many times we are told to change the system when a problem occurs. It is important that the item is reviewed to determine if this is a training issue, a process change is needed or that there is a need to change the system. All are very important but correct a different fundamental problem. Always jumping to change something in the system can cause a very cumbersome workflow and extra steps for end users.
- Assess all the work. Ideally, you will complete an assessment of all the work that has been presented, and some that might not have been considered. In order to determine the priority of the work you want to be considered, you need to understand all of the potential projects. The resources you need on your project may be delegated elsewhere which could undermine your success. Are there small requests that an end user would love fixed or implemented that could be considered in part of the work you are undertaking? It is so much easier and more efficient to consider all of the work as you determine the scope of work.
- This is a project. It is important to remember that system optimization should be considered a project. That means identifying resources, timelines, a charter and project plan. While the size of the optimization will dictate the depth of the details, it is so easy to become derailed or unsuccessful due to scope creep, resources pulled from the work, or ineffective testing to name a few. By identifying the work as a project and obtaining signoff by the sponsors, there is a much higher success rate for the completion of the work.
- Finally, take time to look at the skillset needed for this project. You looked at the scope, the resources, and timeline. Do you have the right skill set in your organization? Is that skill set available for the necessary timeline? If not, you will need to reach outside your organization to find that skill set to make sure your optimization is a success.
Optimization is a critical success component of ongoing system and process maintenance as well as after a major HCIS implementation or upgrade. In order to be successful in your system optimization, it is important to treat the work seriously and plan for success!
For more information on optimizing your system contact us.