Users have their say – a successful AERIUS users’ day
The AERIUS team listens to users. This message from Mark Blomsma, (Province of Utrecht) set the tone for the first AERIUS users’ day on 3 November. Seventy AERIUS users came to Woerden Castle for an inspiring and interactive day. “Very useful,” was the reaction from one of the participants. That was a response we heard a few times.
The state of affairs for AERIUS was outlined in a brief plenary morning programme: what is the current state of AERIUS, what are we working on, and what are the plans for the future? We have worked on AERIUS intensively for a number of years. It supports the entire process from initiative up to execution and monitoring for the Integrated Approach to Nitrogen (PAS). It is now important to add the finishing touches to PAS and make sure that the administration in it is done properly. At the same time there is a new challenge for RIVM of working on new applications and areas in which AERIUS can provide support. One thing that will not be changing is the important role of the users. ‘The user in the driving seat’ was and remains the motto of AERIUS. An instrument such as AERIUS can only be successful if the development is steered together with the user.
After coffee, a number of workshop rounds were held to work constructively on how the various AERIUS products support the process from licensing to monitoring. Practical wishes for improvements and additions to AERIUS Register were discussed in smaller groups. In the afternoon, the new applications for AERIUS were explored in concrete terms for the Environmental and Planning Act and participants worked with AERIUS Register, Calculator and Connect.
What did the users think of the day?
In addition to a lot of input and questions in the workshops, a number of users who were asked gave positive reactions to the day. “For me, the day was already a success just five minutes in”, said one participant, whose key questions had been answered by the coffee break. A policy officer thought it was “very useful, good for networking and to hear how AERIUS is experienced in practice.” Consultancy firms also reacted positively: “Very useful, I wish I’d been involved with user groups before.”
The day ended with a social drink to thank AERIUS users for their role in winning the 2016 Computable Award for best governmental IT project. The next users’ day will be held in six months’ time.