NIATx Change Leaders in Training Share Walk-through Surprises

Submitted by: 05/03/2017 by Maureen Fitzgerald

More than 20 addiction treatment and recovery services professionals met in Madison for two days of skill building on April 25 and 26 at the NIATx Change Leader Academy (CLA) Spring 2017. Todd Molfenter, NIATx Deputy Director, and Scott Gatzke, Director of Dissemination, facilitated the workshop.

Sharing walk-through results

As part of their pre-work for the two-day workshop, participants were asked to complete a walk-through of a process at their organizations. The walk-through is a core tool of the NIATx model. In a walk-through, staff members walk through a process just as a “customer” does. The goal is to see the workflow process from the customer’s perspective. Taking this perspective of services—from the first step, through the final step—is the most useful way to understand how the customer feels, and to identify improvements that will serve the customer better.

The walk-through exercise yields surprising information, even for people who feel that they know their processes well. Here’s a sampling of some of the walk-through surprises that the CLA participants shared: 

·       “Walking through one process helped identify the need for standard operating procedures that I hadn’t thought of before.”  

·       “Clients have to travel between multiple floors of the building to complete intake, sometimes with small children in tow.”

·       “We found some key problems in the intake process that we hadn’t seen before.”

·       “The first call for help goes automatically to voicemail.”

·       “Our welcome packet has way too much paper. We should call it the “unwelcome” packet.”

While the walk-through exercise uncovered some problems with processes, it showed many participants how caring and helpful the staff are at their organizations.

The Change Leaders-in-training will receive continuing coaching support via phone and email over the next six months while they work on their change projects. We’ll be reporting on their progress in upcoming issues of the NIATx E-news.

Check the NIATx website regularly for information on the next NIATx Change Leader Academy.  

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