In 2004, after I finished my master's in Educational Technology and before I started working full time for the Agency, I did a consulting "gig" with them. This was perhaps my first real opportunity to put together my two fields of instructional design and systems design in an actual work situation. The Agency had purchased a software package called Therapist Helper for its Counseling Center Program - to do billing and scheduling and perhaps demographics and statistics. However, Therapist Helper was not really geared toward not-for-profts, so the Agency needed to learn how to "adapt" it to their needs, and if indeed this was the wisest thing to do.
When they contacted me they had implemented the scheduling portion of the software. They wanted some help implementing the billing.
What this amounted to was a complex cognitive task of matching or mapping one set of information (the not-for-profit client's billing requirements) onto another (Therapist Helper's billing capabilities) to help the client decide what was the best course of action. I took a constructivist approach by having group meetings in which various players - from accounting, from admitting and scheduling, and from IT areas - helped to construct and socially negotiate a cognitive map of the solution. I was pleased with the insights that the client gained into their own processes, the knowledge quickly gained about Therapist Helper, and with the great ideas and short cuts staff had which no outsider could have easily come up with.
Below is a brief history of this consulting experience.
In case you arrived here through the back door ...