What We Have Learned
In year 1996, we started with a simple student profiling system. We spent more than 2 decades to develop the domain knowledge in the industry. We have achieved milestones and overcome challenges to expand and grow to a larger scale of university / campus management system. Our valuable experience add value during system implementation and further validate our customers' success.
Practical Selection Criteria For A Campus Management Software
We have seen many systems implementation and experienced in the education industry. If you are in the midst of evaluating a new system, the following information might be useful to you:
"What is the risk if a restaurant do not owned by a cook? "
Education industry is a dynamic industry with frequent change of policies and processes. You will need a vendor who can support and grow with you for longer term.
Business continuity and knowledge retention always the challenges to a software company who have high turnover of workforce. Moreover, the software vendors who do not own the intellectual property of the system will further increase the risk of system implementation.
The solution principal who owns the intellectual property and provide persistent features enhancement often provides better assurance of a success system implementation.
In EMS, the product are designed and developed by the directors and a team of professional programmers.
"Do not spend years on house renovation. Do what you need and move in. Stay for a year and decide if renovation is required. "
There are good quality of systems in the market. However, heavy system customization base on a standard application often increases the chance of project failure. Absence and ignorance of standard product features adoption commonly caused the consequences below:
Prolong the schedule of system rollout
Frequent change of stakeholders causing uncertainty of requirement during system development
User frustration as unable to use the system to overcome operation workload and challenge but heavily involve themselves in requirement and customization stage. Subsequently loss interest, patience and confidence in system implementation.
Budget overrun due to heavy customization and caused inconsistent timeline to complete the project.
Final deliverables below expectation due to cost overrun with poor quality of outcome.
"Flexibility Vs Control"
Get a management driven system rather than user driven system. Users operate and govern under the system shall promote the adoption to follow system operating procedure. This often caused the negative remark that the system is not user friendly as it has limited the flexibility of users’ preference within the system. Common example: a user driven activity that alter the information without process flow control. It shall be worsened without tracking of the reason of alteration. Increasing flexibility possibly led to loosen enforcement and governance.
" FREE Use Software ? "
Software vendors spend time and effort in order to develop a comprehensive system. Investment is required not limited in labor expense but infrastructure that significantly compliment to the entire solution.
Free use software usually lesser features and more simplified due to limited financial capacity to invest in application enhancement. Thus, the investment to customize the application or add on more features usually will come in later stage. In addition, it come with limited or without support that which may lead to uncertainty of business continuity and sustainability.
Common strategy of free use software:
Quick market penetration to acquire customer reference
Use now and charge later with higher premium
Keep the application simple and plain to acquire more customization services for features add-on
No upgrade to eliminate development effort and investment
No support unless subscribe to paid support services
Promote User Adoption Is the Key
" Proven implementation methodology "
Some experience we gained from the past implementations which may help to minimize your investment and mitigate project risk:
Minimize the investment by promoting the standard application adoption in early stage at least 1 semester
Subsequently, perform gap analysis to list down customization requirement
Identify customization need according to priority - Customize what you need, not what you wish
Firm the scope and move on