An important step in any new system introduction is to identify those individuals who will be responsible for carrying out specific aspects of the implementation and continued support. Responsibility, follow-through, and accountability are very important. Institutions are constantly asked to do more with less resources, and implementing Concourse will most likely not be immune. Proper planning and preparation will be key to getting Concourse up and running on your campus with minimal impact to your existing resources.
Your ideal primary team will involve only a few individuals who are available to meet regularly and collectively make decisions about the implementation. At most schools, this team is comprised of representatives from offices like Academic Affairs and Information Technology, and include no more than four of five individuals. They will, in many cases, manage the scope of the project and make decisions regarding all aspects of the implementation and deployment. It’s extremely important that individuals on this team have the authority to make decisions on aspects like deadlines, roles and responsibilities, and system architecture. They also may have access to necessary systems and data for migration, synchronization, and integration, as well as supervision of individuals who will ultimately carry out these tasks.
To get started with building your primary implementation team, consider the following:
When planning for your Concourse implementation, think about the various individuals who may be assigned to your primary implementation team and ultimately accountable for the following responsibilities.
Note: The Syllabus Geeks have seen many institutions fall into the trap of assigning “everyone” to be part of the primary implementation team. Keep in mind that the function of the primary team is to identify the necessary tasks and personnel who will carry out the implementation tasks, and manage the project timeline. When your primary implementation team is too large or includes individuals who are generally not in a position to make decisions or manage individuals and timelines...this can be a serious setback to your Concourse implementation goals. Break the cycle and follow the guidelines within this article to ensure this doesn’t happen to you!
Those in supporting functions will be called upon as needed and suggestions taken under advisement. At most schools, this team is usually comprised of instructional designers, faculty representatives, directors. and chairs. These individuals will assist with carrying out the specific tasks necessary to implement and deploy Concourse on your campus. These tasks include things like documentation, training, and communication.
To get started with building your supporting implementation team, consider the following:
The following chart illustrates an example of how this information should be captured. You may not know at the time you create this chart who specifically will be appointed for each responsibility, but you should know which area they will come from. Your primary implementation team should, however, be entirely identified and committed.
Without the proper planning, system implementations can absorb more time and resources than necessary. Don’t let that happen to you! Once you have decided on your implementation teams, you can begin working on your implementation timeline and becoming acquainted with your Concourse sandbox and the Support Center.
The Syllabus Geeks have seen it happen too many times: An implementation team is formed, and works diligently for two or three weeks before fizzling out due to the demands of competing projects and lack of understanding regarding a reasonable timeline and level of effort and commitment for implementation and deployment.
One of the best ways to combat this is to create a timeline as part of your initial planning phase. While this timeline may be adjusted due to resource constraints or personnel issues, it should be adhered to as closely as possible to ensure that your institution can begin to enjoy the benefits of using Concourse in as little time as necessary.
The following is a comprehensive list of project tasks we recommend for your consideration. Further the sequencing of these tasks may vary depending on your institution. Please note that this list is not meant to be an exhaustive list of tasks, and at the same time many may not be necessary for every implementation.
Planning - Determine who will be responsible for which elements of the implementation and the sequencing and timing of activities.
Templates - Determine the overall architecture for data organization, source, flow, and access.
Administration - Determine how high-level roles and responsibilities will be distributed throughout the system.
Integration - Determine which ways the system will be accessed and how it will consume and produce data to and from other systems.
Deployment - Determine what remaining elements are needed for go-live and bring together decisions made in previous phases.
Maintenance - Determine the ongoing activities post initial deployment.
The Syllabus Geeks are extremely proud of the fact that most client questions can be answered immediately by reviewing the Concourse Support Center! Examples of frequently asked questions that are answered in the Support Center include:
In order to help you become acquainted with our Support Center, the Syllabus Geeks recommend exploring answers to some of the following. Utilize the search function in the Support Center to locate answers to:
Once you’ve become familiar with the Concourse Support Center, a key part of your planning should include how your institution plans to use your Concourse sandbox. It is standard practice to utilize the sandbox for the following tasks, prior to using your production system:
The Syllabus Geeks have assisted many institutions through simple and complex implementations, and the Concourse sandbox has been an extremely beneficial tool. Since the sandbox is not tied to your production system, nothing you do in the sandbox will affect any information or configurations you may have in production. A little time spent playing in your sandbox could mean saving hours of fixing costly mistakes in your production system! Do not underestimate the power of the Concourse sandbox!
In order to become best acquainted with your Concourse sandbox the following is a list of suggested tasks to learn about the functionality available in your Concourse system:
Concourse users who utilize their sandbox have a superior understanding of how their system works, and can better assist others with questions and concerns. Concourse clients who have taken the time to understand the capabilities of the system by working within their sandboxes have reported shorter and smoother implementations and shorter decision-making turnaround times. Become a Concourse expert for your institution by working within your sandbox system as soon as possible!