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 any one 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Overall, there are many benefits to using cloud-based software for local governments. It is more cost-effective, reliable, and easier to use than using internal servers. Cloud-based software is the future of municipal management software. MuniLogicSE is a cloud-based municipal management software that helps local governments improve their digital operations.Back to Blogs
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