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it systems

I imagined creating a fantastic piece of software to manage multiple online communities, assist in the delivery and monitoring of services and generally be the core of the business. Helpful advice early on from Victoria, Gail and Jon, Peter, Alex, and Alex prevented this. The main lessons learned were these:

  • Do not spend loads of cash building an IT system when you don't know the actual behaviour of people, and instead make it up.
  • Do not believe anyone 100%. Some people have incredibly valuable experience and have learnt lessons similar to the ones you need, and their situation will be different in some way. Collect as many opinions as you can and then make your decision. If you have a gut reaction, an intuitive response, then listen to it and act on it. This is the best advice you will ever get. Even if it seems counter to what an "expert" has told you, trust yourself, as it is you who will have to live with and manage the consequences of the decision, not  the expert who will be long gone.
  • Do not build a complicated piece of kit without finding out if someone has built it already. Chances are, other people have had to do what you are doing before, and it is better to find a way to fit together other people's software, rather than building your own with all the inevitable costs and mistakes, heartache, time, and bickering.

Our lucky break

Lev was admiring the NCVO website, with its nifty data management and personalisation tools, and thought that using this system to manage alternative healthcare information would be great. So he met Michael Hayes from ThirdSpace (now known as Resolve) who made the site. Michael loves the idea of Get Well UK and has seen firsthand the value of complementary medicine. Michael gave us the site factory software to use, which gives us an easy-to-use content management system, with enormous potential for allowing the development of online communities.

We are now working together (and I am flexing a few small website muscles by writing this knowledge management tool). We have a long-term development strategy for the website which will form the core of our business. It is dependent on people using it, so we will find out how people behave, and hopefully recruit some stakeholders to take part in the development process.

Back to the Introduction of the 2003 Annual Review