Building a Business Case for Web 2.0 implementation at your school

This blog is 11 of 19 in a series on how to implement an Enterprise 2.0 framework for schools.

1. INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this blog is to provide a framework that will assist the School Enterprise Consultant in developing a Business Case, for Social Media use, in their school. There are many websites that provide example templates for building a business case. Essentially, however, there are three main parts to a business case. The first part requires a description of the organisation in its current state i.e. What are the organisation’s business needs. What are the desired outcomes for the future of the business / project? This section should also briefly describe, how a potential solution has a strategic fit. It should also briefly describe the scope of this solution. The second part of the business case presents a ‘viability option analysis’. What are the viable options that can fulfill this business need. A cost benefit analysis should be provided for these business solutions. The final part of a business case will address the implementation considerations of the solution e.g. the capacity of the organisation to change, timelines, scope, impact and risk.

The scope of this blog is to help the enterprise consultant build the business case by providing a basic understanding of how to model and position the current ‘as is state’ of schools. I also provide a template, to build a ‘viability option analysis’. This blog does not address the third part of building a business case; implementation considerations.

This blog starts by outlining an example school vision statement. Social Media should be a tool to support the outcomes associated with the school vision. Clear statements that show how social media use supports the school vision, characterises a strong business case. The  second part of this blog states the key services that are delivered by a school to a student. This blog will provide a framework that shows how social media enhances these services thereby facilitating the outcomes of the school vision. This should forms the basis of a business case for social media use in your school.

2. SCHOOL VISION

An example school vision is as follows;

“Inspired by our values and beliefs, our students will engage in a dynamic and relevant curriculum, rich in diversity. It will focus on delivering experiences that cater for and extend the range of learning styles where students are challenged to attain standards
that empower them to reach their potential. A whole school approach will promote the development of all dimensions of the individual giving him the opportunity to be a lifelong learner, a creative and critical thinker and a discerning participant in the world, now and in the future”.

Ultimately any business case should show how web 2.0 tools will be able to support this vision.

3. BUSINESS STRUCTURE OF SCHOOLS

There are a number of different ways in which a school can be modelled as a business. For the purposes of this blog I will use a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) model i.e. what are the key services that are delivered to a student throughout their enrolment at the college. From this perspective the key business drivers are, and correspond to those key services. Figure 1.0 displays the key services that are delivered to a student throughout their enrolment.


Figure 1.0 – Key Services / Business drivers of a school.

The first service experienced by the student is the ‘Enrolment Process’. Once the student has been enrolled, they are prepared access to a number of services within the college. The student chooses their subjects and their timetable is consequently developed. For each subject at the college, course structure, course content, and the course delivery mechanisms are developed. In alignment with the student’s academic development,
pastoral care and student support services are an integral part of the student’s personal development. All students will complete subject based assessment as well as central examinations. Finally student records and statutory reporting are prepared on behalf of the student.

4. MAPPING SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS AGAINST EACH OF THE SCHOOL SERVICES.

The following table demonstrates how Web 2.0 technologies can be used in your school to enhance the services delivered to the students. The following table is just an example
framework to help facilitate the development of your business case. You may have more ideas than what is listed in this blog.

Table 1.0 – Social Tools Mapping viz Services – 1

Table 2.0 – Social Tools Mapping viz Services – 2

Table 3.0 – Social Tools Mapping viz Services – 3

This section has provided a basic framework, to aid the Enterprise 2.0 Consultant in developing the first two parts of a business case. Once these two parts have been documented  you will also need to develop budgets, and an implementation plan. The budgets and implementation plan will obviously be dependent on the scope of your newly defined scope of works. This will complete the third part of your business case.

This concludes this blog on developing a business case for social media use within your school. Should you wish to make any comments on this blog, please feel free to do so.

Advertisements

About whellmuth

Working with the education software industry to build software with standard arhitectures that allows schools to have extensible and well integrated technologies. Member of Software QLD. Member of Microsoft advisory board on cloud computing. My doctorate specialises in Software Architecture in the Education environment. My Master Research specialised in IT change management.
This entry was posted in Blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Facebook, Social Computing, Twitter, Web 2.0. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Building a Business Case for Web 2.0 implementation at your school

  1. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an
    extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll
    definitely comeback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s