We made a bold switch from a traditional ‘directory of services’ with its labour-intensive, top-down model to a delegated approach where organisations are responsible for their own listings. We want to know if our Find Support Services model has got legs, and COVID-19 has provided an unexpected opportunity to validate the proposition.
Yesterday afternoon, we ran a ‘retro’ to explore the good, the bad and the ugly of our model. We used a collaborative tool called IdeaFlip to run the workshop, which meant we could all participate online – and move Postits around without them hurling themselves off the wall, for a change.
Here are the results!
We will signpost health professionals and residents to relevant organisations and the onus is on them to keep their digital channels up to date with details of the services that they provide.
Has this been proved a good principle?
Yes. They pretty much all have a website or Twitter and keep it up to date, especially the latter.
It’s not the concept of a directory that’s outmoded it’s the fact they are not kept up to date that renders them redundant.
Has this been proved true?
Yes, we know from both residents and professionals that they are finding this information useful because it is up to date. And we don’t really need to remind organisations to keep it up to date, they do it anyway.
Organisations will sign up of their own volition.
Has this been proved true?
Yes, if we build it, they will come. But we have also learnt that the verification process we co-designed with our key stakeholders (including health and care professionals) is robust.
What else have we learnt?
The same front-end can function for both residents and professionals, however, there is a difference in the language they use. We should definitely progress our synonyms piece whereby we cross-reference search terms against a thesaurus.
As we suspected, some users need a search facility; and others also want a list of results and not solely a map.
What do we need to explore further?
- There is often a disconnect between the person who submits the listing and the person who updates the social media. Is this a problem?
- We’d like to know if or how organisations have adapted to make sure their digital presence is particularly up to date during Covid. Is this a reactive response or would they be doing this anyway?
- A character limit on the About Us profile and some explanatory text for organisations on categories wouldn’t go amiss.
We’re feeding our findings back into each iteration of the map and our Agile backlog but, all in all, our model is proving well able to stand on its own feet.