Choosing a new automated fire station alerting (FSA) system is complex, not to mention navigating the planning and implementation process that follows. While choosing the right solution for mission-critical infrastructure can be difficult, planning and following a well-developed implementation process will help make transitioning to the new technology go more smoothly and ensure that users successfully adopt the solution.
Here are five tips for successfully rolling out and launching a new FSA technology.
Secure early buy-in for the new technology
Before you start on a new FSA project, secure early buy in for the new agency technology. Include all stakeholders from your agency who will be using the new solution or affected by the change. The stakeholders should not only help in deciding on the new technology they should also assist in preparing and rolling out the solution. To keep your agency motivated to plan, implement, and roll-out the new technology, include a wide-range of stakeholders who are committed to the change. For more information on securing buy-in consider reading our guide on “Getting Buy-in For New Department Technology”.
Assemble your fire station alerting system project team
Assemble your FSA project team of key stakeholders from all of your departments. The team should be directly involved in planning and rolling out the new FSA solution and training. Plan for the members of the FSA project team attending as many internal and vendor-hosted project meetings as possible. All members of the team need a clear view of the implementation process, phases, and milestones. Although it is important to identify one individual as the project manager or point of contact, having a well-informed team alleviates bottlenecks in the implementation process, which ensures the new solution is meeting the needs of every department and benefitting the entire agency. A well-represented FSA project team participating in all of the phases and stages of an FSA project will maintain a project cadence and motivate your stakeholders.
Map the user journeys
A successful implementation involves a great deal of planning before the new fire station alerting system is installed and launched. As part of the planning, your FSA project team will need to map out how the new FSA solution will affect all of the users in your agency. A user journey details in words or graphically the users’ interactions with the technology. Mapping out user journeys clearly defines how the users will use the solution to perform their work, identify areas that need attention, as well as reinforce the overall vision and goals for implementing the new technology. If all of the users’ experiences with the technology are not considered, the new solution will create new problems, instead of solving existing challenges. Clearly defining the users’ interactions with the technology will help in the implementation process and ensure that the people who are affected and/or using the solution will have their needs addressed.
Invest in FSA training services and user conferences
Implementing a new fire station alerting system is a great step in achieving operational efficiency, but if you don’t know how to use, customize, and support it, you won’t fully realize your return on the investment. Further, you will be paying for features and functions you don’t know are a part of your new technology. In choosing a vendor for your new fire station alerting system, find a company that offers technical and operations training. Ideally, the vendor should also offer regular user group meetings and/or conferences. The training and user group conferences will help your agency navigate all of the features and functions of the new FSA and maximize how much you can accomplish with the new technology.
Adhere to a well-defined implementation process
In choosing the fire station alerting system vendor, look for a company that prepares your agency for success. The vendor should have a thorough and streamlined implementation process that is continuously refined. It should also have experienced project management and customer success teams that you can communicate with regularly. A vendor should have an implementation process that encompasses key milestones and tasks for every detail of the FSA project implementation and is fully focused on supporting agencies to get the solution rolled out as efficiently and successfully as possible.
Although each agency’s needs and projects are unique, a successful vendor will have standardized implementation processes that will keep your project on track for success.