This article is a supplement to the Implementation Guide and provides tips and information on how to carry out different operational activities before and during the early stages of implementing a digital assessment project.
- How to choose your team
- The importance of anchoring in management and organisation
- Defining scope, goals and risks
How to choose your team
It is essential to establish the right teams from the start in order to accomplish a successful implementation project. The following functions should be considered, although it depends on the scope of your project:
The time required from the people involved will, of course, depend on the scope of the project. Is the project a part of a bigger roll-out plan or is it just testing on a very limited scale?
The project team should include representatives from all departments in order to cover all the requirements and needs of the project. The members of the project team should have a dedicated role in the project.
You could include:
The reference group should contain staff members and candidates that will be able to test and comment on the processes and the product throughout the project.
Super user group
The super user group should include those you are planning to involve during the project. It is common to have some overlap between the members of the project team and the super user group.
You could include:
The group members should be your first line of support for questions related to
Inspera Assessment from the rest of the organisation, also after the project. The group will be responsible to continue the training of new users in your organisation.
For K-12 it is important to assign one designated super user for each organisational unit subject to Inspera implementation.
The project members should be able to raise important decisions and risks to the steering group/committee. This way, any issues can be resolved quickly, allowing the project to progress in a timely manner.
You could include:
The project manager should report to the steering group.
The importance of anchoring in management and organisation
Implementing digital assessment is essentially about people, not technology, and the implementation should be seen as a business-critical change management process. Like any other change management process, it is essential that the project is anchored within the management of the organisation. It is equally important to involve all stakeholders from all involved organisational units.
In some cases, a digital assessment project is driven directly by management as a strategic project. If that is the case, the project manager needs only to report diligently to the management throughout the project to ensure consistently anchoring.
In other cases, the project is driven by early adapters in the organisation, such as teachers, assessment administrative units, or learning technologist units. In these cases, the project manager will need to ensure anchoring and buy-in from management to ensure the success of the change.
There are various means to ensure anchoring and maintenance of management ownership to the digital assessment project:
General awareness and project communication activities are important tools in order to make the management accept and support the digital assessment project. The project owner should consider:
- creating a web page dedicated to communicating the project to candidates and staff with regular updates of the progress. The web page could link to the introduction and awareness videos or to any other communication materials created by the project team
- setting up an initial meeting after the project kick-off with relevant members of management. At the meeting, the members should discuss the project goals, success criteria, and project plans and how to align these with the organisation’s overall strategies
Steering group reports
Regular reports from the steering group to the management will increase the transparency of the project activities and increase anchoring with management.
The evaluation report of the implementation project should ideally be based on inputs from the management. The report should ensure clarity and organisational alignment on the objectives of the transition to digital assessments.
The project manager/project owner should schedule an evaluation meeting with the management early in the project. Early involvement of the management is important because it sends out the signal that the project will be reported on professionally and that the management’s attention will be required.
Defining scope, goals, and risks
Prior to an implementation project with Inspera Assessment we recommend that you and your organisation go through what you want to achieve with the project.
Why digital assessments
Define why the organisation wants to implement digital assessment:
What are your key drivers?
What are your goals?
What are your objectives?
Define the scope
When defining the scope keep in mind that you may want to change the scope during the project. The scope can also be defined by phases, covering different parts or levels of the scope.
When defining the scope, your should keep in mind:
It is also important to address what is out of scope – what should not be covered by the project. For example, is building a new facility for digital assessments part of the implementation project or outside the scope?
Define the success criteria
It is important to define success criteria per stakeholder/area and what they are determined by, which is easier if they can be measured in some way. Of course, they should then be measured both before and after (and perhaps during) the implementation project.
Some examples on success criteria:
A more familiar and efficient assessment experience for the candidates.
|The graders can access submissions anywhere with Internet access. Graders to be able to cooperate on marking.
|Simplify or entirely remove the logistics of assessment paper transportation through digital distribution.
|Expose any gaps between actual state and the desired state.
A risk assessment of the project should be done as early as possible to define potential risks and plan accordingly and should be reassessed frequently during the project.
A risk assessment should assess:
- The implementation project (project goals, progress etc)
- Inspera Assessment (the system and functionality)
- Infrastructure (IT, capacity, facilities etc)
Many projects have a template for performing a risk analysis - two of the more common techniques used are a SWOT-analysis or a Facilitated Risk Analysis Process (FRAP). The point is to identify (or avoid) risk, estimate likelihood of identified risk happening, prepare to manage risks, and of course monitor activities/risks throughout the project.