Why should ICT implementation in a school not be attempted without project management?

Sunday, June 12th, 2011 | Implementation Issues

Implementation of ICT in schools is labour intensive.  An aspect often over-looked is that of project management.  Here are a few thoughts to ponder when you consider bringing ICT into your school for the first time, or when you plan to expand your current technology facilities:

ICT implementation projects require extensive project management – these projects will not succeed by themselves.

Prepare an individualized project plan for every new ICT implementation in the school – each roll-out is unique.

If project management capacity to implement an ICT project is not available in a school, obtain it from outside.

ICT projects involve infrastructure, hardware, software and training – a project manager is required to pull them all together.

An ICT project plan sets out who must do what, in what sequence it should be done, and how much it will cost.

These thoughs were tweeted by @e4africa with the tag #ictschooltip.

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2 Comments to Why should ICT implementation in a school not be attempted without project management?

Mark C
Sunday, 12 June, 2011

I have recent experience of where a designated project manager was not used.

Problems experienced:
a)The contractor had no specs to work from and did what they thought the client needed. The clients were not happy and neither the other parties.
b)The goods delivered did not fit in the with standard prescribed by organisation to which the clients affiliated themselves.
c)The money spent did not always fit the labour supplied. The work done was of an immature nature and did not fit the standard required by the clients.
d) the clients knew what they wanted but had no experience on how to do it. They bought equipment which they thought would benefit but nobody knows how it works.
e) The clients overspent.
f) Who did what and who was responsible for what got muddled up. Had they asked a dedicated Project manager it would have been one port of call to tend to problems.
g) Support to the client could come free of charge from one organisation but now it has to come from various suppliers which now cost the client more money.
h) The sponsors that supplied the capital for the project placed the responsibility of what needed to be done with the client.
i) Additional work has to be completed by a third pary and it costs additional resources in the form of money and skills.
j) There warranties on equipment supplied were lower than other suppliers and the guarentees on the work given….I don’t think any were given.
k) Insurance on the project was not in place.
l) Security was inadequate for where the clients reside, particularly where the security providers are not of the best quality (this does not include the police).
m) The expertise for implementation of this project was a call away. It was only called in after the work was not of a good quality.

So..from my limited experience I can chip in my two cents worth. I am not a project manager but I have done a course on it and from my experience in working in the Khanya project I think am qualified to say something.

Kobus van Wyk
Sunday, 12 June, 2011

Thanks, Mark, for sharing your first-hand experience … it certainly high-lights the importance of adequate project management when embarking upon an ICT implementation project.

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