So there it was, our first Resources Management Team meeting without paper. We’d all been issued with new tablet computers from a leading manufacturer (but not fruit related). Actually we had only borrowed them as Bob was quick to remind me. We’d also been given some training on how to use our new devices along with the Modern.gov application which we were to use to review the documentation that underpinned the meeting. I was going to say paperwork.
Everything was a bit new. I hate having to get used to a new key board and the Windows 8 interface took a while to get on top of. The thing is that if you use your device a lot you become very used to where things are. With the tablet, things were only partially set up, it was a trial after all, and many of the tools that I would use all the time just weren’t where I expected them to be. Still, that is just a minor gripe.
Some people who have been using the tablet for some time have told me that it is a great leap forward and allows them to do things which I’d never considered before. That’s for another day though.
The first thing I noticed however as we gathered for the meeting was how excited everyone was about it. They were up for the challenge and there was a buzz as we all tried to log in. Some were more successful than others. It wasn’t helped that we needed to remember more than one password. Setting up the screen to show landscape or portrait got a few laughs especially if it appeared to be upside down. Twenty minutes in though all of the issues were out of the way. There was a lot of conversation and engagement as there should be in any meeting and the technology didn’t get in the way.
It wasn’t a long meeting and we got through without any significant issues.
Now I did say it was paperless but in truth there were a few leaves floating about. The chair brought a printed agenda as the electronic one was at the head of the papers (the application puts them all into one document and you would have to leap forward and backward. I had an ordinary copy open as well to overcome this potential problem.) I suspect she also had a full set of documents printed out just in case yet they remained unused.
Another colleague had brought a copy of one of the papers that had arrived late and wasn’t included in the document pack. Again I had this covered but it would have been more interesting if we had refused to accept it as it was late.
Another colleague however brought his day book. He claimed it was to rest on but no one bought that, especially as he rested his pen on top. He didn’t it open it once.
So how did our little experiment go? Well I think and so did the group. There were a few minor issues but no show stoppers. We’re going to give it another go in two weeks’ time.