Well, this is really a continuation from part1 since part 2 went in a different direction than I planned :-)
To quickly refresh ... Part1 was the proposal I made to my boss and our Exec Pastor to A) go mobile and B) give OS platform choice. For this blog series I asked Tim and Kem to think back about the proposal, why they said yes, and any quick thoughts 2 years later...
From Tim Stevens (Executive Pastor at Granger Community Church):
I'm a huge proponent of technology. I consider myself a technology champion. Maybe it's because I was one of the volunteer audio engineers at GCC for 11 years. Or maybe it's because I got my first home computer before MS-DOS or Windows or Mac were household names (yeah, it actually ran on the CP/M operating system). I've always been somewhat of a geek. And that's why, in my role as Executive Pastor, it's really easy to get behind technology.
But even more than that, I'm a huge champion of finding and resourcing the right leaders. When I have an impassioned, skilled and aligned leader who loves Jesus, loves the church and is the best in their field—I want nothing more than to equip them to be successful. And that's why it was so frustrating in the recession era when we weren't able to replace ailing equipment or invest in new technology. Not only could I not see us implement the best technology to serve the church—I also couldn't equip Jason and his team to soar with the right tools. Every month was just hanging on and riding out the storm. And yet I never heard one complaint or negative comment. Rather, I heard comments like "We'll make it work" and "We will figure it out" and "We'll get creative".
I never questioned Jason when, after the recession, he came with the proposal to A) go mostly mobile and B) provide a path for supported Mac OS machines. I didn't question it because of his long track record of well reasoned and researched decisions. And it turned out to be a huge win for the church. Yes, a bit more costly on the front end, but the tangible and intangible wins with higher productivity, greater employee satisfaction, and reduced operational costs more than made up for the higher price tag.
It was exactly the right decision.
From Kem Meyer (my boss and Communications Director at Granger Community Church)
Here's the thing—the question isn't about whether or not we are on a mac or PC environment. It's about whether or not we are stewarding our resources well and helping staff do what they want to do. I appreciate how our tech ops team elevates people as the value over technology and keeps learning about the various options available to us. Instead of reacting to the increasing questions about people wanting MACs with a "that's not what we do" posture, they sincerely investigated options. They worked through and had answers to these questions before they came to us with a proposal.
- How did we get here?
- What has changed? What has stayed the same? (Both inside our environment as well as the overall technology industry.)
- Can we afford it?
- Can we support it?
- Can we grow with it?
- Is our environment secure with this solution?
- What will we gain? What will we lose?
- Will this make work harder or easier for our team?
- What are the pros of this approach? What are the cons of this approach?
With the answers to these questions before us, it made the decision pretty easy. We were "eyes wide open", as they say, and knew what we were getting into. It made the change easy to communicate. We were able to set expectations and get everyone on the same page with a shared definition of the win.
For me personally, I was uber productive on my PC for years and I'm just as productive on my MAC in different ways. If you forced me to choose, I would choose a MAC because it's just more fun to use. Our tech ops team is smart enough to recognize that a work force that is having fun with their technology is a happy work force. A happy work force makes the support load a little easier to carry.
Hopefully that's helpful to those that were wondering why leadership agreed to move forward with the proposal. Naturally, there were clarifying discussions and I believe it went before our Board of Directors, each time being given a green light.
In Part 4, I'll share the process we went through and insight we gained from a small beta test team before annoucing to staff and starting the transition with our 1st batch of users.
There's been some great discussions about this blog series here. So I suggest reading/leaving comments there vs here on my blog.