All systems launched
It has been just more than two weeks since the launch of MobiSAM in Makana Municipality.
As the MobiSAM team we have been waiting in anticipation to see how the Municipality receives and manages the new system.
One would think that implementing new technology with an organisation is a once-off task. However, we have been quick to realise that when working within the context of local government one is faced with a myriad policies and structures which pose unique challenges to external agents seeking to work alongside government agents.
Therefore the implementation of the website and tools developed for municipal use has been scheduled as a phased process as the different Municipal departments begin to utilise the system.
Involving every layer within the organisation is a method we are embracing to try to ensure a smooth transition into Makana’s workflow. Our hope is that the changes we are introducing cascades throughout the organisation.
To make sure that the phased approach is being managed correctly, we continuous- ly assess the implementation process with a key focus on identifying areas of conflict, challenges the staff are experiencing, and areas for improvement.
The team is there to encourage staff members to start making use of the system and iron out any technical glitches that arise in the daily use thereof.
The MobiSAM technical team is also continuously working on the next release of the system and preparing the various user manuals for the different departments involved in service delivery within Makana.
Prior to the launch the team took time to have a nontechnical workshop with the Makana staff to understand their existing workflows when addressing service delivery related complaints. Through a process of collaborative (with Makana staff) modelling the MobiSAM team was able to relate and modify the existing workflows and processes to the desired workflow for service delivery.
User training will be ongoing as there will be anticipated resistance while integrating the new system in the midst of challenging the existing processes that are in place. Nonetheless, as a team we are prepared.
To give the system a real boost and get going the team is now faced with the exciting adventure of getting the word out, signing people up and getting people to use the website.
Residents of Makana are also encouraged to get in touch with our team of Ward liaisons, currently active in seven wards across the Municipality. This team is working as a group of community agents assisting citizens with registering and reporting issues to Makana via MobiSAM.
But, there is always more that can be done to make sure we get in touch with residents of Makana: any suggestions you may have to assist us in making this an engaged process, that works for you? Please let us know. • Hafeni Mthoko: MobiSAM Project strategist and evaluator