One way you can tell a good school software company from a great one is by how they handle your software implementation.
At Harris School Solutions (HSS), we’ve helped countless schools, districts, and programs over the past 30 years to set up their software — often ERP software — efficiently and in a way that will help ensure their teams’ success for years to come.
Now, we want to share some of our experience with you so that, no matter what ERP you choose, you can set up yourself, your team, and your organization for success.
Here are HSS’ top 11 tips for a smooth K-12 ERP software implementation.
1. Bring everyone into the process.
Be sure to include all department heads and responsible parties for all parts of the implementation: Accounting, Technology, Human Resources, clerical staff, and anyone else who will be affected by the transition, even if only indirectly.
2. Make your IT director a primary point of contact with the company.
During installation, make sure your technology director works closely with the company so she/he is better able to handle any future troubleshooting quickly and in-house. This will save you time down the road.
3. Ask for a Training agenda.
During the training phase, ensure that all employees who will be working with the ERP attend their training sessions. Request a detailed agenda for each session to ensure you have the correct staff members scheduled.
4. Train with real numbers to build confidence.
After training, all staff members should invest time each day to work in the training environment. After completing a day’s worth of work in the legacy product, log in to the training environment and key in those same records, and run reports for practice. That way, they can check their results against the legacy product and build confidence in their ability to use the new software. Remind them that a little more work now will mean easier or less work in the future, and will minimize transition struggles.
5. Consider how you can accomplish even more.
Look to your new ERP not only to keep your existing processes in motion, but to implement new workflows to meet solutions for areas that need improvement.
6. Use your intimate knowledge of the data to optimize the final conversion.
Review your converted records carefully in the new ERP. Your implementation team will convert, set up, and test, but often your experience and familiarity with your data can reveal improvements for the final conversion.
7. Set expectations with the implementation team.
Working live in your new ERP, you should expect the implementation team to be available to assist your staff as needed. Establish a documented time-frame during which you expect the implementation team to work with you, prior to being transitioned to support.
8. Request weekly checkups.
After you “go live” with the new ERP software, request weekly status checks from the implementation team for the first six (6) weeks to discuss any open/outstanding items.
9. Know exactly how to get help.
Support for your staff should be clearly outlined as far as contact information, how to enter a request, and how soon to expect a call back.
10. Lean on others who already use the ERP software.
Encourage your staff to reach out to the ERP support group — fellow users of the ERP software from other schools, districts, or programs — to take advantage of their expertise.
11. Reassess your procedures in light of your new capabilities.
No more than two (2) months after being live on the new ERP, circle back to ensure that you and your staff have followed through with your commitment to improve workflow by changing procedures. Take full advantage of your new system, and avoid continuing any process that you’re only performing in a certain way (or only performing at all) just because that is how you have done it in the past.
Want to put your implementation in the hands of a company that knows all the ins and outs?
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