As a school executive you likely understand better than anyone else the burden that ever-growing piles of paperwork create for admin staff and parents alike. The myth of the paperless office remains just that: a myth. Yet budgets remain tight, so, regardless of your job function, you’re probably being asked to do more work without adequate support.1 School principals alone experience workplace demands 1.5 times higher than the general population.2
Despite this rising pressure, most school staff members are doing an admirable job of balancing priorities and making sure the work gets done, never losing sight of their real mission, which is to educate children.
But when government regulations, health and safety compliance, and the day-to-day paperwork requirements mount up, it can be easy to see why many of you may experience some job-related frustration.
If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
The busier we are, the more likely we are to think it’s faster to do something ourselves rather than delegate. Similarly, with so many different digital technology solutions emerging, it can seem easier (and cheaper) to keep using the same processes that have served so well for so many years.
However, some schools have achieved astonishing savings by choosing the right digital technology solutions. For example, by moving to digital instead of paper forms, Masada College in NSW reduced manual processes by as much as 35 per cent in just four weeks. By choosing the right technology for your school, you can save time on admin tasks and spend more time focusing on educating students.
The trick is to understand what digital technology would benefit your school versus the stand alone solution that just digitises an existing process without adding value. Choosing the right one can let you achieve savings you may never have thought possible.
How to choose the right digital technology solution for your school
1. Set a goal
There is no single piece of software that will make every single aspect of your school run perfectly smoothly, so it’s important to understand exactly what you want to achieve first. For example, by focusing on reducing the paperwork burden, you can narrow your solution search accordingly.
2. Review your current processes
To understand where you want to go, you need to know where you are now. Take a moment to review your current processes and systems in light of your goal. Identifying the gaps will give you a greater understanding of how you can best fill them.
3. Re-imagine the possibilities
Simply digitising existing processes is unlikely to yield much of a benefit. Moving previously-manual processes to a digital solution lets you completely re-imagine the way you manage those processes. This lets you be creative and innovative in ways that can dramatically reduce the time and cost involved in those processes.
4. Engage a strong partner
Working with a partner that truly is an expert in their field can help you understand the pros and cons of different options as well as how they’ll work for your specific school. For example, a standalone solution that doesn’t leverage any of your existing investments is a poor choice compared to one that seamlessly integrates with your current systems, boosting their value. (For more information on how to choose the right partner for you, read our blog: The power of connectors: how schools get value faster from digital process solutions)
5. Understand the value
When it comes time to make your final decision, make sure you have a very clear understanding of the value the solution will provide. If your partner can’t help you create a strong business case for the solution, it could be a warning sign that it’s not the right solution for your school. The right partner should be able to tell you exactly how that specific digital technology will work in your school’s particular environment, solving the challenges you identified at the beginning of the process.
Why not start by reducing the paperwork burden?
Many schools have found that they can become more efficient than they thought possible by simply moving to digital forms. These types of forms make it fast and simple to provide the information required for various processes or activities, and they all but eliminate the errors that can occur with hand-written documents. In this way, they can slash costs, mitigate risk, and make compliance a breeze.
You’re probably doing just fine with managing paperwork at your school right now. But there’s an undiscovered country out there, filled with ways to eke out even more savings and efficiencies. For more information on how digital smart forms can streamline and automate your school’s processes why not book a demonstration or call us on (02) 8338 3444.