Implementation resources: Project strategy

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

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?


Project team

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 should include:

  • Project manager
  • Staff working in different parts of the organisation
  • Administration/Exam office
  • Representatives that cover the needs of:
    • Graders/markers
    • Invigilators
  • IT department


Reference group

The reference group should contain staff members and students 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, e.g. authors and graders. The group members will also be trainers for the rest of the users in your organisation. For K-12 it is important to assign one designated super user for each organisational unit subject to Inspera implementation. It is common to have some overlap between the members of the project team and the super user group. You could include:

  • Staff working in different parts of the organisation
  • Administration/Exam office
  • Graders
  • Invigilators
  • IT department


Steering group/committee

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 should include:

  • Decision makers
    • Representatives from management
  • Representatives from the teachers/staff involved
  • End user representatives (students/candidates)

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 examination 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 adaptors in the organisation, such as teachers, exam 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 examinations project:



General awareness and project communication activities are important tools in order to make the management accept and support the digital examination project. The project owner should consider:

  • creating a web page dedicated to communicating the project to students 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.


Evaluation report

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 examinations.

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:

  • Strategic approach
  • Benefits for organisation and staff
  • Benefits for students

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:
  • Which courses/classes should be selected for digital exam
  • Which types of activities should be selected
  • School exam / Home exam
  • Closed book / Open book
  • Use of Safe Exam Browser (SEB) and/or Inspera Exam Portal (IEP)
  • Question types
  • BYOD / Computer labs
  • Number of students/candidates
  • Units involved
  • Roles and processes included/affected

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 exams 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: 

Stakeholder Success criteria
Test takers

A more familiar and efficient exam experience for the test takers.

Achieved through:

  • use of similar tools to those used outside of the exam scenario
  • better use of test-taker’s time and the possibility to edit and change their response
Academic staff The graders can access submissions anywhere with Internet access. Graders to be able to cooperate on marking.
Administrative staff Simplify or entirely remove the logistics of exam paper transportation through digital distribution.
Project Expose any gaps between actual state and the desired state.


Risk assessment

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.

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