Implementing academic software for schools is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Since this system will become the vehicle to optimize the management of the institution, you must be very attentive to every step of the process, from its choice, through its implementation and start-up, to the constant monitoring once its operation has begun.
According to data from The Standish Group, 83.9% of IT projects fail1.This undoubtedly represents a challenge for the institution that wishes to implement a solution that affects the dynamics of the educational institution.
That is why, in this publication, we will share some of the most important tips to carry out the implementation of an academic software for schools, so that the project is a success.
Table of contents
- Step 1. How to select the right academic software for my school?
- Step 2. What should I consider before implementing academic software for schools?
- Step 3. What factors should I consider during the implementation of the solution?
- Step 4. Post-implementation activities
- What makes the implementation process of Phidias' academic software for schools different
Step 1. How to select the right academic software for my school?
When looking for academic software for schools, it is essential to keep the following points in mind:
The process map
First, it must be clear which processes are to be managed under the system to be implemented. For example, if what is expected from a software for schools is to optimize the entire academic management, the scope of the system must be known, in order to delimit the expectations and focus on what would add value to the institution's processes.
A centralized database
It is also necessary to ensure that the academic software for schools allows the management of a single database, i.e. that everything is centralized. The purpose of this is to optimize the management of information and processes.
Integration with other technologies
Another essential point is that the software can be integrated via API with different solutions, as this will provide flexibility and allow it to adapt to changing environments specific to the operation of the institution. For example, access control systems, payment systems, invoicing, accounting, timetable management or an LMS(Learning Management System).
That the academic software for schools is constantly updated and scalable.
Although this is one of the points that sometimes tends to be overlooked, it is important to verify with the supplier that the system is in place:
- Be kept constantly updated
- Allow to cover future needs (scalability)
Regarding the first factor, it is necessary to remember that cloud solutions, by their nature, perform automatic system updates on a regular basis. Consequently, schools can be certain that with academic software in the cloud they will have a platform that is kept up to date.
On the other hand, when we talk about scalability, what should be evaluated is that the software in question offers the possibility of adding or modifying functionalities/modules quickly and flexibly according to the evolution of the school's requirements. In this sense, it is advisable to be cautious with "tailor-made solutions", since, on many occasions, suppliers only focus on covering the current needs of the institution, leaving no room for possible future modifications or growth.
Safe and secure
One of the most critical points. Since every educational institution handles a lot of confidential information of students, parents and school staff, cybersecurity should be a priority in the choice of academic software for schools.
In this context, it is necessary to ensure a system that both provides advanced security tools(e.g. configuration based on roles and permissions, access through HTTPS protocol throughout the platform, secure storage of passwords, management of encrypted information, frequent generation of backups, etc.), and allows the implementation of good cybersecurity practices in the educational center.
The importance of the latter lies in the fact that, even if a school has a secure system, if it is not accompanied by good practices on the part of the users, such a degree of security will be of no use.
Security is not only the responsibility of the system, but also of the users and the administrator.
Don't miss out: Is your educational software ready to prevent a system vulnerability? Find out how to assess it!
Step 2. What should I consider before implementing academic software for schools?
Once you have decided to implement a school software, you need to consider the following:
Establish an implementation plan
As with any technology project, the first step is to establish solid planning to meet the school's needs, which is very important:
- Be clear about the tasks to be performed
- Assign the appropriate persons in charge
- Ensuring the availability of resources
- Choose the Project Management methodology that best suits the requirements of the educational center.
In this way, it will be possible to carry out an implementation plan within the agreed timeframe and with the expected scope.
Selecting managers and supervisors
In addition, both the school and the supplier must choose their respective project managers and supervisors. There must also be a contact person for each of the parties, who may be one of the project managers.
The aim of all this is to have continuous communication to create functional work teams, since communication is key to the success of the project and to prevent risks from materializing.
Develop a change management plan
When it comes to technological implementations, resistance to change is often part of the process. In the case of an academic management software, this resistance can come from any of the members of the educational community: students, parents, teachers or administrators.
For this reason, it is advisable that, before starting the implementation project, a change management plan is established within the school. This plan should include activities such as:
- Conduct socialization campaigns on the benefits of the system to be incorporated.
- Ensure effective communication of the vision and objective of the implementation.
- Conduct an analysis of future users to identify those who are resistant to change, those who are indifferent, and those who are willing to adopt the new technology.
- Carry out the necessary training for users to adapt to the new system.
Step 3. What factors should I consider during the implementation of the solution?
Now, during the implementation stage, the important factors to consider are:
- Establish tasks, times, managers and milestones.
- Socialize lessons learned and best practices from previous projects.
- Maintain constant and assertive communication among project leaders. In this way, a preventive work is carried out to achieve the success of the project.
- The project must also be monitored and controlled by means of management indicators (including the execution percentage).
- Adopt an agile methodology for the lifting of blockages. This approach aims to make the delivery process of academic software for schools faster and more efficient.
- Establish a chronogram where the activities, times and responsible parties can be visualized.
- Determine communication channels between teams.
- Implement the training program established for users within the change management plan.
Step 4. Post-implementation activities
Although the implementation of the academic software for schools is the final goal of the implementation project, the process does not end there. From that moment on, it is necessary:
- Establish a set of monitoring meetings after production start-up in order to stabilize the system operation.
- Conduct a project closing meeting to validate compliance with the schedule, as well as the level of satisfaction with the deliverable and the start-up; in addition to transmitting the lessons learned throughout the project.
- Verify that the change management plan has been carried out correctly during the implementation process and production release.
What makes the implementation process of Phidias' academic software for schools different
At Phidias we have managed to design an implementation process that stands out for the level of support it offers. It is characterized by carrying out the configuration of the system hand in hand with the team assigned by the school.
Likewise, our Customer Service area aims to ensure that each school can get the most out of the system. To this end, we carry out personalized consulting, training and parameterization tailored to the institution.
This is how the closeness, support, advice and security are the values that distinguish the implementation process of Phidias academic software for schools. Contact us and see why the best private schools around the world trust us!
1 The Standish Group (2020). The CHAOS Report 2020: Beyond Infinity. [*Latest edition published as of the date of this article].