Common Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing Educational Software

    Avoid these five mistakes when choosing an online software platform and provider for your higher education institution.

    (1) Failing to plan integration

    The integration of higher education software takes time. Software integration does not happen overnight. Higher education institutions need to take a software provider’s integration timeline and budget into account when planning for the use of an online learning platform.

    (2) Prioritizing functionality over the outcome

    Many online edu software options, from CRMs to LMS and more, may look alike when it comes to functionality. Once you go past the design features that are easily visible at first glance, you’ll need to look underneath the hood to see if the software program is right for your institution. 

    Talk with your team in order to establish which “under the hood” features are most important for your institution. Does it need to have an AR or VR system? Will you need to use AI? In order to answer these functionality questions, you will need to think about the overall outcome. Does your higher ed platform need to grant you the ability to collaborate and report capabilities? Should it help you with marketing strategies? 

    (3) Forgetting to set clear expectations

    The implementation of any new higher ed software platform, including prior searchers and negotiations made with software providers, can be quite a lengthy process. While discussing options with potential software vendors, your institution must provide clearly defined expectations when it comes to milestones, timetables, deadlines, as well as responsibilities.

    Do not forget to think about the following questions.

    - What are the deadlines for critical milestones during the software implementation process? What does the overall timetable look like?

    - How involved does your higher ed team want to be involved in implementation?

    - What form of communication will you use with the software provider throughout implementation and beyond?

    - What are the software provider’s implementation fees? In what circumstances will additional fees be applied?

    (4) Launching way too soon

    It is important to meet deadlines, but don’t forget that you must never rush the implementation process. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to plan ahead of time. Rushing an implementation process can result in mistakes that will be difficult to fix later when programs are live. 

    Implementation processes can take anywhere from several weeks to even months. You may even need to go through a soft launch phase in which you can test the system out with a few users in order to make sure everything is up to speed. 

    (5) Not having access to support after implementation

    When searching for the right online software program and provider, you will want to find a partner that you can work with when hitches arise. Glitches and issues ranging from minor to major are more than likely to occur! The idea is to find a software provider that can work hand in hand with your team to make sure everything is running as smoothly as possible. Your relationship does not end once implementation wraps up. You will work together and solve any issues that come up along the road.