What it takes to successfully implement an enterprise software system: A case study of a large school district in New South Wales, Australia
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
Enterprise systems provide schools with an effective tool for standardising their workflows and data collection processes, however the process of adopting one requires a sound methodology, strong leadership, and a true partnership between client and vendor. Drawing on a case study of a large school district in New South Wales, Australia, this industry paper addresses the topic of educational software experiences by describing the joint journey to a successful integration of an enterprise software system.
The paper begins with offering some background information including a short introduction to enterprise platforms as learning and management software. It also discusses some of the challenges the district faced before moving to an enterprise system, including issues with disparate software applications and processes, data discontinuity, and limited capabilities for data analytics.
The second part outlines the solution implemented and explains some critical factors during software deployment into a large educational ecosystem. These include a sound understanding of the needs and processes within educational organisations by both the client and the software development company, measured change management activities as well familiarity with data exchange and migration.
Using survey data from the case study, some of the contributions and commitments that are necessary from both parties are being highlighted, including a change of mindset and behaviour on the part of school personnel. Also, the eight-step product delivery lifecycle is described, starting from project initiation, exploration of the infrastructure model and data migration strategy, provision of training, user acceptance testing of the environment, installation of a training environment, the installation of the product, and a final roll-out process. This methodology, which is based on a close relationship between solution provider and the end-users, ensures a smooth transition from one application to another.
The final section of the paper draws on information provided by the customer to examine how the product has solved their problems by comparing processes and possibilities before and after implementation of an enterprise system. It closes by discussing some of the ways the software supports district-wide decision-making highlighting the extensive benefits of an enterprise system, some lessons learned and a number of guidelines for adopting enterprise systems within educational contexts more generally.