What is our primary use case?
We wanted a better way of engaging our 55,000+ employees and 12,000+ clinicians, from all across Northern California, in a very streamlined way. The Spigit platform is very intuitive and has technology built into it that has enabled us to really engage our employees and clinicians on a number of important topics, to get their feedback in real-time in a digestible way, so that we can make decisions.
Planview has a ton of different tools. We don't use all of them. We just use their Spigit platform, which is a crowdsourcing platform, so that we can engage a broader group of our employees.
How has it helped my organization?
As an example, we were able to do a challenge on what affordable housing might look like in Northern California. This is a significant issue for all, but it also impacts our employees ability to find affordable housing near some of our hospitals and care sites, particularly in the Bay Area. We were able to engage a huge subset of our organization and source different ideas on what we might be able to do to address affordable housing. One of the ideas was partnering with an Airbnb or different rental site to enable our nurses to stay closer to where they work, instead of traveling (in extreme cases) maybe three hours a day, one way. Enabling them to stay closer to where they work might improve their work satisfaction, but it could also will make sure that our clinicians are sharp so they can deliver the best possible patient care for the patients we are serving.
This came all the way to the forefront using Spigit. And then, of course, COVID-19 happened and this is something that was accelerated. We were able to stand this up and pilot it in a very short amount of time. It all began with doing a challenge on the Spigit platform.
In terms of prioritizing and selecting the best ideas, what is important is that it helps leverage the wisdom of the crowd. From our standpoint, that crowd is our employees. It has given our senior leaders a chance to hear from our employees in a way that wouldn't be as easy to hear without a technology like this. It is a really good mechanism for our leaders to really understand the pulse of what's happening in our operations.
Finally, it has increased innovation efficiency and helped us to cut our time to market for new ideas. We have learned that the tool is great at giving us real-time, pulse feedback on how ideas may be, or are being, perceived. This has given our teams time back that might have been wasted if we had rolled something out and then realized that there were problems or issues we should have considered. In a sense, we were getting those issues addressed months ahead of time. So it has definitely saved on time to market.
What is most valuable?
The thing that has been most valuable is the access, so that people are able to leverage the platform no matter where they are physically located in our system.
Also, the backend algorithm helps us filter the ideas or comments that carry the most weight to the top so that management has a more manageable list of focus-items to go through.
The dashboards and reporting are helpful from an administration standpoint, for us to really know what's going on within a challenge. They help give us a snapshot of what the high-level themes are that are coming out, as well as monitor engagements so that we can push additional communications if need be, if engagement isn't quite where we want it to be.
The customized reports really allow us to tailor the use case exactly for individual sponsors. What the platform and the customized reports are getting at is providing one solution where a number of different stakeholders can engage in a very customized way and get the feedback they're looking for. The flexibility that the platform and the reports provide is part of the value that we're seeing in our organization.
The insights and analytics capabilities — the dashboard views as well as the reports — are pretty critical for us to be able to measure whether what we were trying to get out of the challenge is actually received. We can track it on an ongoing basis during the challenge to make sure that we're trending in the right direction and, if not, we can make some pivots to improve things. We also look at them to assess the overall success of the challenge.
In addition, the workflow on the backend is customizable from the beginning. We understood the levers that we could pull in order to adjust the workflow to match exactly what we are trying to do. And it is very flexible. From the very beginning this wasn't a problem because we designed for exactly what we wanted.
What needs improvement?
The backend configuration could be a little bit easier. It was a little bit cumbersome to a layman to understand how to design some of the customized functionality on the backend from a programming standpoint. They do offer training courses, so I'm sure that that's where they're trying to build that skillset.
Another smaller area of improvement is improving upon different internet browser usage. There was a difference between Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. The more that we can make it streamlined across browser and mobile vs. desktop the better.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been using Planview Spigit for the last year.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It has limitless capability to scale. The core setup is something that's applicable to almost any topic as well as any group of people that you're engaging.
Currently, we have only rolled it out to about a 2,000-person beta test. Before COVID-19 happened, there were plans to continue to scale this. To what size, we weren't sure. One of the options was to go enterprise-wide, which would have been 55,000+ people.
How are customer service and technical support?
I haven't had a ton of interaction, but when I did use the technical support feature in Spigit they were pretty prompt and I got what I needed.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had a number of internal programs, none of which we thought were optimal for our use case. This is the first crowdsourcing platform that we have engaged with.
Spigit seemed like the most polished program that was really focused on taking an idea from an employee throughout the system and getting it in front of the right stakeholder. It uses the strength of its technology to really help bubble up ideas so that our senior leaders have visibility, where they wouldn't necessarily have had visibility before.
How was the initial setup?
I was involved with the initial release when my company first worked with Planview and I felt that it was pretty straightforward. Like everything, there was a learning curve, but it was pretty straightforward.
Once we actually engaged in a contract with Planview and decided that Spigit was the platform that we wanted to use, their team worked quickly with us and we were able to stand up and launch our first challenge within a month. There were learnings along the way. But we had many conversations and a lot of planning within that first four weeks to figure out how we would implement this in the most effective way. The launch went pretty well.
From my team, which provides guidance for our strategic initiatives, we had five individuals on our core team that was involved in the setup, but for maintenance it takes less than a full FTE.
What was our ROI?
Think about why you're considering a product like this. For us, it was really about wanting to get feedback earlier on, and there is a pretty big ROI in terms of mitigating missteps or saving time from rolling something out that was ineffective or not rolled out the right way. Although it's hard to calculate the exact number you might be saving, think about this aspect: how this product can help make sure that you roll things out in the proper way the first time, versus having to iterate. We all know that iteration costs money.
We have seen that we have a number of system-wide strategies to roll out across our Northern California footprint and we have areas to improve on in terms of engaging a broader set of our employees. We knew that by getting feedback earlier on, it would save us real dollars in the future, and we knew that a technology like this would be a great solution to do that.
What other advice do I have?
You have to spend the time upfront and think about what question you're trying to ask your audience, because people will provide you answers but their answers will only be as good as the questions you ask them. The questions you ask them and the answers they provide will directly relate to your ROI. If it's not thought through from the beginning, then you could spin your wheels instead of getting something that's of value.
Think about how much time, money, and resources you would save if you were able to mitigate a big misstep in something that you might have rolled out. That foresight is really where the power and value of this platform is.
Spigit definitely increased near-term engagement because people were very excited to be able to engage in this manner. In terms of the timing for employee engagement surveys, our challenges haven't exactly aligned with employee surveys, which only happen on an annual basis. So there hasn't been much of a metric available to know if Spigit has concretely affected employee survey scores.
The platform has some text analytics built in so that when there are ideas that are somewhat related it will try to match them together. From the admin view you can see those groups and you have the functionality to merge the ideas so that they're only showing up as one on the platform, if you choose to. We have not really played around with this capability a ton, just because it wasn't in line with the goals of our specific challenges.
Similarly, Spigit does help you with the end-to-end the management of the lifecycle of ideas, but we haven't specifically utilized that. It is trying to offer everything from the inception of how you create a challenge all the way through how you would implement an idea that comes from a challenge.