It's HALLOWEEN and probably one of my favorite holidays!! So, that got me thinking what would be spooky or maybe a bit scary for a 911 dispatch manager or supervision….? The type of scary I'm talking about is a huge decision, that will have an impact on the Comm Center, or a legacy that will be left and how this type of a decision would effect the Center for years to come (maybe even after you retire). That sounds pretty scary and intimidating to me. So what type of decision am I talking about? Just like the in those scary movies, (I only like them one time a year), the ever-elusive masked killer is running through the house with a butcher knife, it finally came to me… the decision to purchase Comm Center dispatch furniture…. dun…dun…dun!
There is nothing more scary than being afraid of making this a wrong decision. Especially because, your dispatch furniture will last a long time. This is quite possibly a 10-15-year purchase. Most of us will only have an adult child that could linger around longer then that. Basically, whatever your decision now, by the time the furniture is installed, it is like having and raising a 15-year-old child. HOLY smokes, let’s just let that soak in a minute.
If you oversee making this type of decision or you are personally responsible for making it for your Comm Center or agency, this can be SCARY!! You know you don't want to make the wrong decision on which vendor to select. You don’t want your staff mad or upset with you, especially for the next 15 years. YIKES!
So how can you make this decision a little less... scary? One idea that I heard recently was to form a committee comprised of dispatchers, IT and long-time staffers. This 'voluntary' committee is set in place to help give input towards the final purchase decision. If you're struggling with getting a volunteer committee in place, just remember, those who don't vote, can't complain. Trust me, it'll work!
This committee, might also seem intimidated by this project. They might even say, "Oh, I'm not good at that stuff" or "I have no idea how to design a Comm Center?" GREAT NEWS! You don't have to worry about how to arrange the room, or what type of design would work best. This committee is responsible for giving other valuable input, like 'where does my purse go?' or 'what about the cup holder?' Having a committee is a great way to get valuable feedback from all those who would be working on the equipment and also those who service it, as well as the techs. The most successful projects we see are the ones that get this type input from the users! All you have to do is leave the design and logistics to the professional designers.
Although that first stab of the pumpkin can be intimidating and scary. Once you get the people in your Comm Center or agency involved, you’ll be surprised to learn what is important to them. You might also need to reconsider things like leaving off those climate controls (I'll become a monster if I don't have my desk heater!!). So this Halloween, don't be the one chased with chainsaw through the dark dreary cemetery, make your next project a success, get your team together!