Switching to a new MIS can be a daunting prospect.
It can involve weeks of training and months of trial and error before you finally begin to feel comfortable with your new MIS. On the flip side, a new MIS also has the ability to rejuvenate a worn out faculty and make daily life so much easier. To make sure you find yourself on the latter side of the fence, here are 4 top tips that you can apply when switching MIS.
1. Ask Questions
This one may seem obvious, but if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to annoy people by asking too many questions so you commit to finding most answers yourself. This can work when you learning a globally known software like Photoshop, where Youtube tutorials and forums are plentiful, but an MIS is a very specific product and the documentation or tutorials are not as forthcoming. So whether you are having a demo with the provider or just registering your initial interest in an MIS, make sure to ask key questions and discuss any potential pain points before making a final decision. Certainly from our point of view, we would rather you left a discovery session happy and fulfilled, not with uncertainty and anxiety.
2. Speak to other End Users
When buying a product, the transparency of the salesperson/contact can massively impact the consumer’s decision. At Bromcom, we always encourage questions during discovery sessions and will tell you honestly if our system can’t do something or works differently compared to your current system. Arguably the best way to see what a product has in store, is speaking with other users that already own/use the product. Hearing directly from daily and impartial users gives you a raw take on how day to day life might look and helps to manage expectation.
3. Consider Parental engagement
Understandably Parental engagement is a massive part of every day life for Schools, and having an MIS that makes this smooth and easily accessible is a massive win. For example, with Bromcom’s MyChildAtSchool (MCAS) platform, Parents can see key data for their children in real time like Attendance, Behaviour and Timetables. From the School’s point of view, it gives them a cost free method of communicating with Parents en mass, publishing Documents and offering Clubs, Trips, Dinner Menus and much more. Having an additional product or service like MCAS can be a game changer for Schools, so make sure that your MIS provider has something similar or has strong communication functionality built in.
4. Discuss with your Team
Lastly, depending on the size of your School, switching MIS may have an effect on hundreds of people and how they carry out their day to day jobs. So it definitely makes sense to discuss the decision, at least with key figures and hierarchy within the School. It is unlikely that every department will be jumping for joy at the prospect of leaving a system they are comfortable using. Some may have mastered how to get/do what they need, while others are fed up of the system and embrace the change with open arms. Either way, try to give your staff plenty of time to prepare for the change and discuss any concerns with your new potential MIS provider to make sure that all areas of your School are being catered to.