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Strategies to Effectively Manage K-12 Technology Projects this Summer
Posted by Kristina Young, Manager of Technical Projects & Ivana Ivanovic, Communications Specialist on 6/21/2022 8:05:00 AM
The last day of school is quickly approaching. While that often means slowing down for most K-12 employees, technology departments are gearing up to begin cyclical work and implement new projects. Summer is the opportune time to tackle projects because of minimal disruptions to learning and the rapid decline of help desk tickets from end-users. The following strategies will help you effectively manage your district's extensive list of technology projects this summer.
Evaluate Staffing Resources Consider the volume of projects a few months prior and estimate the number of hours it may take to complete each project. You should be asking some key questions: Do we have enough staff to reasonably complete all the projects within the prescribed timeframe? When will staff be taking vacations and for how many days? Should we enforce a vacation moratorium? You may need to hire temporary workers to support your projects, but having strong permanent staff to lead them will go a long way.
Complete a Magnitude Assessment Simply put, a magnitude assessment is a tool used to evaluate the risk, effort and value of a project, sometimes referred to as the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM). Consider a range of factors when completing a magnitude assessment, such as the project's visibility and impact at the organizational level and the financial gains. Risk and effort require consideration of the time needed, vendor involvement, coordination efforts, in-house expertise and costs. Mapping all of these out will help technology leaders make thoughtful decisions when analyzing new projects. Ithaca College of Information Technology has created magnitude matrices to guide this process.
"Eat the frog" It may be common sense, but tackling time-consuming and high-priority projects first will save technology departments a lot of grief when the new school year rolls around. Procrastination tends to kick in when it comes to arduous tasks, but this is why a solid plan and the right team helps when faced with these kinds of projects.
Designate Leaders As a director or supervisor, it is your job to delegate. There is too much work to be done during the ten short weeks of summer. Identifying leaders under your supervision and designating them as leads for the rest of the team will ease the burden of managing multiple projects. Outline expectations and milestones so they know how to direct their team's work, address shortfalls as they arise and communicate progress up the chain.
Update Your Team's Knowledge Base and Document Repository If you have not already, it is time to spruce up that knowledge base or SharePoint where you can point your team to look for resources related to summer projects. Create a classroom technology readiness checklist that your teams can use to ensure all technology equipment is ready for use on the first day of school.
Planning K-12 technology projects can be a daunting task, but using these strategies can ease the burden. Your team will thank you for being organized and setting them up for success with documentation, clear leadership and the confidence they need to complete projects before school starts.
Contact our Technology Project Services team today to learn how we can help you tackle your summer project list!