Longterm Tech Plan BJ 5-9-24 draft

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Princeton Windrows Technology Committee

Tech Committee
Bricolage Lab

Windrows Long-term Technology Plan[edit | edit source]

Purpose - This document outlines a long-term technology plan for Windrows.

Scope – This document describes how Windrows plans to use technology to improve both the lives of Windrows residents, and the Windrows organization’s operations over the long term. This document has been developed jointly by the Board of Directors and the Technology Committee.

Our overall technology goals:[edit | edit source]

  1. To assure that administrators and staff are made aware of how technology, which is constantly evolving, can be used to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. To assure that residents are made aware of how technology can be used to enhance their enjoyment of life at Windrows.
  3. To carefully bring all parties—administrators, staff and residents-- along the path toward greater technological literacy.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

To accomplish these goals we are putting in place two [three?] major programs:

  1. Scanning and analysis [S1]
  2. Education and support [S2]
  3. Personnel review [S3]

Scanning and analysis[S1]

Working with the Board to ensure sync with Windrows’ larger strategic goals, the Technology Committee will take the lead in conducting internal (to Windrows) and external scans of the technological environment.

Internal scans.

The purpose of the internal operations scans will be to understand how operations are currently done at Windrows and how technology is being used. Analysis of the data from these scans will help us identify ways in which current and emerging technologies can be used to make improvements. This work will be done area-by-area, with each area being addressed every two years. This work will include review of existing tech systems and contracts.

The purpose of the resident scans will be to understand residents’ current level of technological literacy, the level and nature of their interest in learning new technologies, and the nature of any need they have for technical assistance.

External scans.

The purpose of external technology scans will be to keep abreast of how technology is being used in other senior communities. We will scan with an eye for ideas that might benefits us at Windrows.

Education and Support [S2]

  • Bi-annual survey to assess satisfaction and needs
  • Provision of “How to” tech seminars: 2/3 basics; 1/3 advanced
  • Open tech help session at least monthly
  • Tech committee will be Board’s eyes and ears concerning tech issues arising within Windrows.
  • Tech committee will either address issues, forward them to staff, or make recommendation to Board, as appropriate.

Personnel review [S3]

  • Tech committee will develop throughout each year data related to tech personnel needs.
  • Board will review Tech Committee’s data annually to determine if personnel changes are needed.

Implementation[edit | edit source]

Stakeholders and their Roles

Three groups are involved with the technology function at Windrows:

  • The Board [G1]
  • Staff [G2]
  • The Technology Committee [G3]

Board’s Role [G1]

  • Approving Goals developed by Staff and Tech Committee
  • Approving implementation plans developed by Staff and Tech Committee
  • Budget approval

Staff Role [G2]

  • Implement tech plans approved by Board (Including purchasing, installing and maintaining equipment; providing tech support for meetings; providing backup troubleshooting support to Tech committee as it tries to address individual residents’ tech needs)
  • Evaluate performance on plans (provide performance data to board)
  • Take the lead in evaluating performance of existing technology systems e.g. SARA.
  • Make and implement personnel decisions

Tech Committee’s Role (this is reflected in the Board’s annual guidance document to the Technology Committee) [G3]

The Technology Committee is both a service and advisory committee established to help the Windrows community by providing education for the effective use of communications and other technology. The committee also helps residents solve their technology problems. Finally, the Committee assesses and recommends to the Board measures for the maintenance and continuous improvement of technology used throughout Windrows.so


Key activities:[edit | edit source]

  1. Monitoring the functioning and content of the resident website, recommending improvements and offering seminars to residents on how to access and use the website.
  2. Responding to requests for technical assistance from other resident committees by either providing direct assistance, or by directing residents to others able to help.
  3. Develop and implement programs to help boost residents’ comfort with using technology and bolster their technological literacy.
  4. Monitoring the functioning of technology used throughout Windrows to ensure that it is operating correctly and working with staff to correct problems.
  5. Researching and recommending technologies that could:
    1. Improve the efficiency or lower the cost of regularly-occurring procedures at Windrows, with a particular focus on communications.
    2. Facilitate residents’ participation in Windrows life while they are both on campus and away.
    3. Facilitate online communication between residents.
    4. Improve energy efficiency.
  6. Working with the Board and Staff to develop long-term technology goals and implementation plans; developing data necessary for evaluating progress toward achieving these goals.
  7. Implementing a Bi-annual technology satisfaction and need survey among residents and staff.

Note: Appendix A presents an overview of the Technology Committee’s activities.

Project selection:[edit | edit source]

Within the context of the goals established with the Board, the Technology Committee will be considering a number of projects aimed at achieving these goals. To prioritize the group’s efforts, a system has been developed to evaluate each project. This system has been “pre-tested” and found to be effective for evaluating large, complext projects.

Project selection criteria – We will emphasize individual technology projects that satisfy the following criteria.

  1. Provide benefits to many residents – We will evaluate the extent to which each project will benefit residents. Those that benefit many residents will be given priority.
  2. Provide significant benefits – We will look for projects that promise to provide significant benefits to residents. Those offering the largest benefit will be given priority. A list of particularly desireable benefits appears as Appendix A.
  3. Protect flexibility - We will avoid technological choices that lock us into rigid or “dead end” systems, frameworks, and capabilities. We will select projects that exhibit the greatest technological flexibility.
  4. Improve performance – We will evaluate the extent to which project would positively impact performance in some area. For example, if, using technology, there were a more efficient way to order take-out meals than the method we use today, it would be given priority.
  5. Lower costs – We will look for projects that appear able to lower costs associated with particular operations. Sticking with our previous example, if we find an ordering technology that is more effective than the combination of hardcopy and phone-in orders, we would give it priority.
  6. Consistent reinforcing a common purpose - Ensure that projects build upon each other and achieve common and consistent goals. Provide exhibiting this quality will be given priority.
  7. Protect Windrows Values - Assure that projects support Windrows’ overall values by balancing residents’ right to privacy, while at the same time encouraging sharing of talents and perspectives. Projects exhibiting this consistency will be given priority.

Guiding principles[edit | edit source]

The following principles will guide our actions and recommendations:

  1. Make personal use of new systems voluntary. We all deserve the ability to use or ignore whatever new tech services are offered.
  2. Simplicity. We will look for technologies that are easy to use.
  3. Access. We will look for technologies that provide the most access. That is, residents should be able to access features/information/processes from multiple devices any time of day.
  4. Avoid bottlenecks. We will look for technologies that avoid having a single person or procedure become a bottleneck. That is, a procedure that can happen only if a particular person is available, or if there is a list that only a single staff person has access to.
  5. Evaluation. We will make every effort to quantitatively evaluate each project, to determine the extent to which the project is delivering the expected benefits.
  6. Make gradual and incremental, not bold changes. As we experiment and introduce new technologies, we will take an incremental, correctable, adaptable approach, not a “great leap into the future.”
  7. Support Sales – We will support Windrows’ sales effort by providing the sales team with explanations for potential new owners as to what is planned to keep Windrows current technologically.
  8. Provide needed training – We will provide residents and staff with training on how to use any new technology we introduce, and will provide help for residents to get the most out of the technology they already have.

Identifying Candidate Projects[edit | edit source]

We will identify candidate projects through several means:

  1. Competitive offerings – We will investigate the technologies being used at other well-managed senior living communities.
  2. Baby Boomer Priorities – We will identify, based upon available surveys and articles, what technology products and services are most important to the “baby boomers”. Boomers represent the next wave of senior home purchasers. We will investigate the tech capabilities they currently have in their homes and are likely to want in a senior living home.
  3. Prospects’ priorities – We will speak to the Marketing Committee and the Sales Team to identify what technologies Windrows’ prospects are looking for.
  4. Advice from our vendors – We will speak with our marketing consultants and service providers (including our CPAs, food service companies, software specialists, etc.) about important new technology trends.
  5. Interview new Windrows owners – We will conduct some kind of survey of new Windrows residents and all current residents under the age of 75 to find out what technology-based products and services they are looking for (and to which they don’t current have access).
  6. Forecasted Innovations – We will seek out articles discussing technology trends relating to senior living, and particularly within the context of a senior living community. We will pay particular attention to tech trends relating to safety, health, entertainment, education, personal growth, convenience, socialization, education, and communications.
  7. Resident feedback – We will conduct a bi-annaul survey among Windrows residents to assess their satisfaction with the technologies Windrows currently employs and their unmet needs. We will also ask about what new technologies they would like to see offer at Windrows.

Note: Appendix B presents a project scoring sheet.


Planning procedures[edit | edit source]

The technology committe will utilitize the following steps to identify, evaluate and propose new projects.

  1. Background Research. Conduct research into understand what our prospects want, what other communities are offering, and what new relevant technologies are becoming available.
  2. Evaluation. Apply evaluation criteria (see above). Identify projects that provide sufficiently large benefits to a significant portion of the Windrows residents. Determine whether each project needs to be included in the Falcon Report.
  3. Prioritization. Prioritize projects based on factors such as size of benefits, cost, personnel requirements, physical space requirements.
  4. Recommendation. Provide the Board with our list of recommended projects, together with sufficient background material so that they can understand the project thoroughly and make a decision on implementation.

As technology continues to evolve, and as our prospects’ interests and requirements change, we anticipate implementing the above procedures periodically. We will schedule our efforts to be in sync with Windrows’ budgeting process and the Falcon Report updating process.


APPENDIX A[edit | edit source]

Benefits we are Seeking to Provide Residents Related to Technology[edit | edit source]

  1. Enhanced technology education opportunities:
    1. Helping residents get more benefit from current technology.
    2. Facilitate communication among residents: those who need help and those willing to share their knowledge.
  2. Cultural and Intellectual enrichment
    1. Giving residents better access to seminars
    2. Offering residents easy ability to discuss topics with other residents.
  3. Greater Personal entertainment
    1. Provide an easy way via computer, tablet, and phone to view current and upcoming entertainment events.
    2. Give residents ready access to real-time and recorded musical and theatrical events.
    3. Provide residents with an easy way to sign-up for events.
  4. Improved Inter-personal communications:
    1. Facilitate communication among residents on topics of their choosing, e.g. discussing topics
    2. Sharing evaluations of local restaurants, tradesmen, etc.
    3. I’m looking for ….
    4. Does anyone know where ….
  5. Better Windrows Governance
    1. Facilitate residents’ participation in the governance process.
    2. Ensure that all community meetings are available in real time (as well as afterward) on TV, computer, tablets, and phones.
    3. Povide more in-depth and timely reporting on governance decisions.
  6. Enhanced owner health and safety
    1. Make residents aware of technologies that can support good health and improve their personal safety.
    2. Make accessible telecommunications innovations which bring better medical care and monitoring into the home.
    3. Ensure residents have ready access to emergency reporting technologies throughout our campus.
  7. Easier Information sharing
    1. Provide residents with easy access to important Windrows information, e.g events; menus, resident bios, etc.
    2. Create a Windrows app for cell phones and tablets so that access to information is constant and does not require sitting in front of a computer.
  8. Improvements in Windrows operating procedures.
    1. Signing-up for events, rides, etc.
    2. Changing meal plans via tech via computer, tablet, phone.
    3. Ordering take-out via computer, tablet, phone.
    4. Building access: Get rid of entry cards…replace with something on smart phone or watch.

APPENDIX B[edit | edit source]

Examples of technologies to be considered[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of technologies that, as of this writing, we expect to investigate. This list will change over time. It is included here simply as a starting point and to give the reader a feel for the types of technologies our committee will be investigating.

As described earlier in this plan document, all new project candidates will first undergo a evaluation using our screening criteria. The following list has not yet be evaluated.

  1. Auto-video recording capability so that we don’t need a videographer at all meetings.
  2. Multiple rooms pre-wired for hybrid meetings
  3. Improve A/V capabilities in Marks Gallery (more reliability and flexibility; better sound and video quality)
  4. Movie production studio
  5. Radio station
  6. Kiosks in building to access information (much of which is on resident website)
  7. Solar energy sources and uses.
  8. Improved exterior door access procedures via new technology
  9. Better between-resident communications technologies.
  10. Online ordering of take out meals
  11. Maintenance of current systems:
    1. Procedures for making sure all existing technology is in working order
    2. Sign-out sheets for key audio and recording equipment
  12. In-person seminars: record them; give people access to them via website, on computer, tablets and phones which requires creation of a Windrows app.
  13. Curate a selection of “how to” videos (obtained from various non-Windrows sources) and make these readily available.