In parts one and two of my post about wayfinding committees, I talked about the need for, and potential benefits of, wayfinding committees at healthcare institutions. Now I would like to wrap up this discussion by talking about who participates in a typical committee, and how these committees are commonly structured.
Recommended Wayfinding Committee Members
The ideal size and makeup of a wayfinding committee will vary widely from one institution to another, depending on the size, service offerings, and organizational structure of that institution. In most cases, however, the committee will consist of representatives from some combination of the following departments (listed here along with the unique knowledge or skills they bring to the committee):
Ability to help rally support across the institution
Design and Construction
Knowledge of delivery process for construction projects
Knowledge of current construction schedules
Knowledge of long-term master plan
Facility Support Services
Understanding of policies and processes for sign maintenance
Knowledge of brand and identity issues
Knowledge of patient and visitor demographics
Access to internal communications tools that could be used to support wayfinding efforts
Understanding of donor recognition needs in existing and planned facilities
Key Clinical Departments
Knowledge of challenges faced by patients and caregivers
Representation of front-line hospital employees
In addition to knowledge of security-related signage issues, security staff often play a key role in disseminating wayfinding information from security or information desks.
Understanding of limitations and opportunities associated with current valet programs or self-parking facilities
Like security staff, volunteers typically field large numbers of wayfinding inquiries, and they are likely to continue to play a role in the success of future wayfinding initiatives.
Recommended Committee Structure
Like committee size and makeup, the ideal structure for a wayfinding committee will vary by institution. In our experience, however, the most effective committee structure incorporates a steering committee, a core group, and task forces, as diagrammed below.
The steering committee is the primary client group that provides high-level direction, including strategy and design approvals, to the consultant team. The steering committee should include 10-20 people from the departments that will be most affected by the wayfinding project. The amount of time required from members of the steering committee is minimal, and they shouldn’t expect to spend more than 2-3 hours per quarter on committee-related activities.
The core group is a subset of the steering committee. It is responsible for providing day-to-day direction to the consultant team. The core group should consist of 4-8 people including the primary project manager on the client side, the executive sponsor, and a small group of other key decision makers. Core group members should expect to spend 5-6 hours per month on activities related to the wayfinding committee, which of course is in addition to the time they may spend managing other (non-committee) aspects of the wayfinding project.
Task forces are groups of client-side subject matter experts that can be called upon to provide specific knowledge and direction about the details of an organization’s operations. Task forces could be established for critical categories such as signage, maintenance, IT, marketing and communications, metrics, and other areas as warranted by the project. Task force members may spend up to two hours per month on committee activities.
I hope that this information is valuable as you consider the potential use of a wayfinding committee at your own institution. If you haven’t already, make sure to review Part One and Part Two, or you can visit the fd2s web site to request request this information in the form of our Wayfinding Committees white paper, which combines it all into one tidy PDF.