5 Things School Districts can do now to prepare for a Modern ERP System
Written by Diana Richie
Transitioning to a new, integrated ERP system is exciting and challenging for any organization – especially a complex school system. Don’t prepare for this move alone.
Moving to a modern HR, Financials and Payroll system offers your district the opportunity to increase effectiveness by improving business processes and generating more accurate and actionable data. However, you will only realize these benefits if your teachers, principals, staff and community use this new system to do their jobs better.
It’s true. As you move your ERP applications to the Cloud you should spend less time doing some things like installing hardware and software and building and maintaining customizations. However, you will need to spend more time on other things like leading change management to ensure end user adoption, standardizing your processes, managing service requests, and testing updates. And, you will still need to configure and test software, validate and clean data and train everyone who will use the new system. Do you have the staff to do this alone? Here are five things Worldgate recommends school districts do now to get ready for your move to a modern, SaaS system:
- Create a Change Management Plan
Change Management contributes two critical components to the success of an ERP implementation. First, by analyzing the business problem, solution, and role of each stakeholder, this process allows you to identify and plan for potential obstacles before they arise. Second, Change Management builds support throughout the organization by including all levels of users in the decision-making process and by responding to user concerns as they arise and not merely when the new system goes live. Worldgate employs a Process Driven Change methodology to foster a broad sense of ownership for the project and its success.
- Staff an ERP Implementation Team
Start to identify the management and technical requirements for the project and which departments need to be represented. Clarify what support your systems integrator will provide and what support you will contract with other third-party consultants to provide. Many system integrators offer mostly remote support. Worldgate provides the on-the-ground support your team needs to be successful including augmenting your team with project managers business analysts, software testers and help desk support.
- Clean Your Data and Create a Data Governance Plan
To ensure data accuracy and security, create a data governance committee composed of representatives from departments that use and rely on your ERP system. Worldgate can support you in developing your data governance plan and help through each step in your data migration process – from data cleansing to configuring and mapping data to your new system to testing the data after it is transferred to your new system.
- Develop a Plan to Train and Support Your Users
Professional development and training are core to Change Management. Consider who needs to be trained, on what aspects of the system and how. Worldgate can support you in to contextualize the online and in person training to meet the needs of your different user groups and to develop and manage your training schedule so you maximize usage and the benefits of your new system.
- Identify Metrics to Measure ERP Implementation Success
Consider questions such as: 1) what does “go live” look like for different components of the new system?; 2) is the system being used and by whom or are key users doing work-arounds?; 3) was the implementation completed on schedule and on budget? ; 4) are staff more productive and are you realizing time savings?: 5) is your data more accurate and more transparent? Be sure to capture personal success stories as they can be even more insightful and compelling than the numbers.
For over 10 years, Worldgate has focused on supporting school districts and public sector clients. We take pride in recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining highly skilled employees who are passionate about supporting public education. And, as an ISO 9001:9015 certified and small, Woman-Owned Enterprise we pride ourselves on providing successful, repeatable but flexible and cost-effective processes focused on delivering high quality services. Let us know how we can support you in preparing for, launching and maintaining your modern HR, Financial or Student Information System.