Implementation is the strategic road map to get from where you are to where you want to be. Implementation requires an iterative loop with monitoring to determine that what is occurring is what was intended. Adaptations should be made as necessary to move the agency forward in accomplishing its mission. The responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and continuous improvement of a technology strategy on a day-to-day basis resides with technology staff. Specific tasks and implementation strategies for technology are threaded throughout the chapter. However, it is crucial to emphasize that all the components of the agency must work in accord to assure the effectiveness of each technological innovation. Technology should be implemented as designed to leverage the benefits and assess whether it can provide resolution for the problem it was designed to address.
Agency leaders should look to create an environment in which culture and climate leverage capacity and productivity. When there is mutual respect and collaboration among staff with various functions, things can get done. It is critical that technology staff understand how other public child welfare workers operate on a day-to-day basis, and that program staff understand the costs and benefits of technology as well as how to use the equipment. Such engagement maximizes end user buy-in. How agency leadership includes representatives of the technology team in the leadership of the agency as well as how external stakeholders are involved in technology planning is critical. Understanding and trust are enhanced by sitting at the leadership table and participating in workgroups with common goals.
When staff persons are able to observe and engage in this type of collaboration that eases their workload, it contributes to an agency culture that is collaborative and inclusive of stakeholders.
How the use of technology is introduced to staff is critical. It determines whether it is seen as an additional burden or monitoring device that contributes to a restrictive environment or, instead, as a useful tool, creating a climate in which workers feel supported, trusted and want to stay.
Agency leadership and technology staff members need to create opportunity for frontline program staff to see how technology in action can positively impact their work on a daily basis. This is about creating a safe environment of trust that is inclusive and fair and will attract and retain talent.