All systems launched

It’s has been just more than a week since the 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 were quick to realise that working within a government context that is faced with a myriad of policies and structures poses unique challenges to external agents seeking to work alongside agents of local government.

With any change to an organisation’s processes, there will be a phase of transition, as has been the case with the MobiSAM application over the past 8 days. To account for this approach to the adoption of the new technology, the implementation 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 aim is that the change we are introducing cascades throughout the organisation. To make sure that the phased approach is being managed correctly, we continuously 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 non-technical 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.

This exercise proved to be a useful guide to assist the team and the Makana staff in understanding the integration process. It proved to be a beneficial start to managing the oncoming changes to the way in which the Municipality engages with citizens. It was also an opportunity to identify potential challenges the staff anticipate once the system is up and running within the municipality. To complement the process-modelling workshop, the team had a technology specific workshop with Makana staff with a focus on how the MobiSAM application works. Through this workshop, we identified areas for adjustment for the second release of the software.

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.

Various citizen drives are aimed at doing just that. To get in touch and keep up to date with all developments MobiSAM related, listen out for the following:
– Wednesday morning insert on Radio Grahamstown: 9:30 – 10am
– Bi-monthly publication in Grocott’s Mail
– Regular posts and update on our Facebook and Twitter accounts
– Weekly posts on our blog

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. You can also look out for an upcoming slot on Rhodes Music Radio (more info to follow soon).

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.

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