Transitioning to a brand new School ERP system will cost your organisation thousands of dollars in investment. Still, several schools and colleges do not approach School Management Software like they do other core education activities like Textbook selection.
In our experience, School ERP implementation does not fail because of the software. Rather, failure stems from a number of factors that should have been taken care of beforehand. Below are some factors that usually lead to School ERP implementation resulting in a failure.
1. Lack of Adequate Resources
Most organizations downplay the resources needed for School ERP implementation. It’s essential for organizations to have a solid understanding of the internal and external resources needed for the project.
For internal resources, the organization should have a solid timeline on the commitment needed from important staff members in leadership positions that will be using the ERP, sometimes those within the Finance, Accounting or Human Resources. Many times, temporary resources can should be placed so as in to keep processes moving as the users of the new system undergo coaching.
For external resources, the organization ought to find out from the consultants and contractors the length, skills and resources needed for the productive implementation of the system.
2. Inexperienced Consultants
Experience makes a lot of difference when implementing a School ERP. Typically, an organization can use a School Management system for more than five years. Therefore, most staff within the organizations would experience one or two School ERP implementations in their career.
Given the long-term expected use of the system, it’s vital to spot experienced leaders for your project. Each internal and external consultant should have experience in implementing other School management software similar to the School ERP that you’re deploying. Outside consultants should have successfully implemented the same School ERP in other similar-sized organizations in the past.
3. Non justifiable Customization
Data conversion, interfaces and customization are the three main areas of technical risk in School ERP implementation. Customization usually will increase the time-to-deploy and costs of the School ERP software implementation.
While the risks of customization are evident, some organizations find the slightest reasons to implement small changes. The small customization necessities sometimes grow to become technical problems that may derail the implementation of the School Management System.
While School ERPs may not be implemented as the out-of-the-box solution they are available as, customizations should be managed tightly. Any customization should be justifiable and lead to the advantages the organisation desires to derive from the School ERP.
4. Project Management
The success of School ERP implementation will be affected by the project manager responsible. The scope and size of School ERP implementation needs a professional, dedicated and seasoned manager to administer the various activities.
Project management is a discipline, not an art. The project manager should have the flexibility to get into the minute details of the implementation while keeping a wider perspective of the overall business goals. Most productive School ERP software implementations are led by project managers that actively participate in each choice and implementation.
When selecting a project lead for the School ERP implementation, choose one who can understand the pain of the users. The manager should have the most to gain or lose with the successful or unsuccessful implementation, respectively.
5. Poor Implementation Strategy
Implementation should be done in a systematic manner to achieve success. The implementation strategy should be in-line with the main goals of the organization. Many times, lack of a clear strategy on the problems that the School Management software is expected to resolve and the desired outcome result in difficulties. It is also very important that you have a clear idea of the timelines within which you wish to see the goals achieved.
A good strategy should consider important business processes, financial benefits and clear deadlines, and ensure they are properly addressed. Without a clear definition of the end goals, the implementation strategy easily becomes jumbled up.
6. Lack of accurate data
When you are trying to implement a School ERP software in the institution, it is very important that the school have proper data to support it.
If the new School ERP system that is implemented in the school is not fed the right quality and quantity of data, then it would never really be a credible enough solution for the end users of the system. This will lead to a lack of adoption from the staff and other users.
7. Insufficient Training and guidance
For making School ERP implementation successful, the manager or project lead must train the people that are going to handle all the software properly enough. This is even more applicable in cases where the School or college have staff who have not used a lot of technology in their lives.
Normally this happens when School ERPs are implemented in a short span of time and gaps in training are created. No matter what software system is used, it is always going to automate most, if not all, of the work that the staff used to do and this, is going to have a significant effect on all the departments as well. The trainings provided to the existing staff when they were hired would not be enough to bring them onboard.
The training for End-user needs to be tailored according to the department, which is receiving the training. The amount of time devoted to each department should also be adequate and if possible should include all the people in the school. If the end users do not know how to use the system then it will never be implemented in an optimal way.
With successful School ERP implementation, your organization can improve its competitive advantage, increase productivity and improve education outcomes, raise customer service level and reduce complaints.