Matt here! I recently was fortunate enough to buy my first house a few weeks ago. As all you homeowners already know, my days have been filled with a never-ending list of projects as we get settled into our new home. Add that to my already full days with my current consulting work and the last month has been extraordinarily busy! While juggling these things on a day-to-day basis, I’ve come up against the age-old problem – what can I do myself vs. what do I need outside/consulting help with. Now I’m not very handy by nature so my default response is to enlist the help of others but of course that comes with a great cost! I’ve been in a never-ending loop of managing priorities, completing projects to improve my house, and seeking out the help of others for projects too big to do on my own. Sounds like Healthcare IT, right?
The question then is, how do I figure out what I can do in-house to improve vs. what I need to enlist the help of others on? I found this interesting article about “DIY vs. Hire” and the parallels are so close between home and IT improvement that I laughed to myself while reading it. Nothing like taking your 9-5 skills and applying them to your personal life. Below I put down some comparisons so you can help determine what you can DIY vs. when to pull in help from consultants.
#1 – Know thyself – This quote from the article was particularly meaningful. “Significant DIY projects will cause a serious disruption to your home life. They will exhaust you, mentally and physically, and they will be staring you in the face every time you sit down for five minutes.” Do you really have the skills to accomplish this project to its fullest? Although consultants will almost always be more expensive than doing it yourself, you will likely still get a bigger return if you have someone that can dedicate time to this project while also not detracting from your day-to-day operations. Take an honest assessment of who you have available to complete this and if they can complete the project to your expectations.
#2 – Bid the job for yourself – Even when I need outside help to complete projects, there are still aspects of it that I can do to save time and money. Writing down what I think the steps are (even if I’m not 100% correct) has allowed me to focus the projects on exactly what I need help with. Just bringing in consultants to solve an issue can lead to scope creep, project delays, unclear expectations, etc. If I have a clear actionable goal for someone when they come to fix my house, its much easier to manage and keep things on track.
#3 – Do you have the skills and time? – When we moved, we made the decision to re-finish our wood floors. Its one of those things that’s very difficult to do once you have furniture in the house since you need to remove everything to do it. It was now or never and we couldn’t afford to wait. It was also obvious that this wasn’t something we could do ourselves. Are there projects on your list that have been waiting for months or years but just haven’t been done due to resourcing constraints? Is it something you really need but just can’t do on your own or need supplemental staff to complete? These types of projects are perfect to bring in outside help on.
#4 – How old is your house? – Are you on a version or workflow that is so old that its barely supported anymore? Sometimes the cost of switching to the newest process is less than maintaining your existing way of doing things. Plus, let’s not forget our ultimate mission – to serve our patients and our communities. To provide shelter and safety for those that we care about.
Whether I do it myself or pay someone else, the end result is still just as rewarding. Finding that balance is what I’m focused on for the next few weeks/months/years. Hopefully, you all can take stock of what’s been on your list and figure out the plan to complete them.
Need help with your own IT improvement project and you don’t have the skills or time to DIY? We’d love to help. Please contact Matt Perron at The Wilshire Group – firstname.lastname@example.org.