10 February 2021

Technology for Teams in a Virtual Landscape

QI Learning sessions run by the Tech Champions

 

by Samina Aklas, Trainee Data Analyst

It is always stimulating to deploy new technology and tools to enhance the work we do. The Quality department asked for volunteers from within the department to become Tech Champions. They offered a series of group and 1:1 session to support the department with improving their technology skills and work more efficiently.

If your team are exploring how to adopt new technologies to do their work, hopefully this article will give you some ideas. This has enabled us to improve how we collaborate on documents, hold meetings and how we engage and interact with colleagues when we come together for workshops. One of our key takeaways is that you don’t need tech experts to get started, you just need a group of people who are willing to test, fail, learn, share and tackle new challenges.

Here are some of the most popular virtual software applications explored by the Tech Champions:

 

Virtual Meetings

Microsoft Teams LogoMicrosoft Teams was the first tool on the list. The productivity and super-charged communication on offer with this application had to be one of the reasons to showcase it. The functionality of the application displays conversations between channel and teams, which helps teams to stay connected with each other and communicate effectively. The tool is used as a daily tool by the department, it was beneficial to illustrate some useful function found in the application. This has shown to be vital to upskill the department since MS Teams has had updates. The new features launched with reasonable frequency, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Tech session helped the team members to be kept up to date with those new features some of them shown to be essential to their daily work.

More Microsoft Teams insights.

Zoom logoBeing a popular tool, in my experience, Zoom is seemingly used during many virtual online meetings across ELFT. The team already had experience using Zoom to deliver training. The benefits of using it and providing more exposure to the team is important. One of the key aspects of this software is its reliability. It is one of the most experienced reliability systems to be used and has been continuously engineered, which shows stability. Therefore, the application is truly scalable with its remarkable ability to support number of interactive participants. The Tech Champions showcased different techniques and features available with the application for the team members to practice.

More NHS guidance on the principles you should follow when using virtual meeting software.

 

Virtual Collaboration Tools

Mentimeter logo

Whilst working virtually, the use of Mentimeter has been a great interactive presentation software to gather views and share ideas. The use of this application can be fun and a truly collaborative activity for team members to participate in. It allows users to access presentations via a code on their laptops or smartphones and submit answers, contribute to wordclouds and vote on any questions posed in the presentation. With their response data appearing in real-time. However, it is worth noting the application is designed to collect data anonymously. The benefits include a clean interface, better response rates, increased accuracy in data, more actionable data, trust and participants feeling comfortable – with live answers and responses.

 

Google Drawing logoGoogle drawings is like a digital poster board. The department were shown how to use Google Drawings to develop flowcharts, charts, mind-maps and many more. This was useful for the department to learn new skills and utilise the tool effectively even for virtual collaboration as anyone with access can add to it or edit it in real time. You can build charts, add comments, upload images and create almost any kind of design depending on your intention.

 

Google Jamboard logoJamboard is another powerful tool for co-producing content virtually, akin to flipcharts and sticky notes on a large wall. This is another free Google offering which allows for contributions to be made in real-time. Users can add sticky notes, upload images, add text and free draw on large white-board style pages. The functionality also allows for multiple pages on one jam-board ideal for team working, or when there are activities that require more than one ‘white-board’ to be used. The use of Jamboard in any department can benefit in several aspects. The application delivers collaboration, builds communication, provides critical thinking and creativity. It allows for brainstorming ideas and getting the team to develop new ideas and helps with getting people involved in practical problem solving.

 

 

The objective behind these learning sessions was to build skills across the department and ensure people can use the right tools for the right situation. The Tech Champions learned a lot and enjoyed sharing their newfound skills across the department. As the demand has now shifted to 1:1 support, we have set up a support system to provide this (i.e. A request for 1:1 support is completed on an online form, then a tech champion is assigned to help).

 

Access more stories about how the QI Department have discovered and tested virtual working software.

 

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