Upgrading 101: Fessenden's Best Practices Outline
1. Establish your Timeline why in the middle of the school year?
■ The sooner the better!
■ There is no “good” time
■ Things to consider
● in 201313, 14 : communications with constituents from a school
are now year round. (There is no hard start and stop for the school
year anymore re.cmcts.)
● Find a relatively quiet month (if you can) best of all evils (grading
● During the Summer everyone is away, it’s more difficult to put
together training and brainstorm sessions
● Would we do it that way again? Absolutely!
2. Stakeholders who we had in the room for our final decision (keep the committee
■ IT Director
■ Director of Institutional Advancement
■ Communications Director
■ Associate Director of Technology
■ Division Heads
3. Kicking Tires Sessions
■ Assemble your testing team(s)
■ Testing, testing, testing weekly 2 hour group sessions with core team
4. Building anticipation
■ Initiate a marketing strategy with your own constituents. Develop “brand
language” for the “upgrade”
● Create a Trailer Video
● News stories
● Reminders in parent weekly email about the upcoming “change”
● Pushpage to parents a few days before the switch as a reminder,
link to walkthru, list of office hours created for this, and a link to the
news story that was published a few weeks earlier
● More indepth videos
■ Reach out to Administrators and office staff
■ “what to do day 1” for fac/staff a scavenger hunt of sorts!
■ Make a big deal of flipping the switch with your school (Get good snacks
from dining hall and bribe the people to come to you for support)
■ Dropin sessions with Support + snacks first two days
● Dropin sessions with your core team first week and ongoing
● Create office hours devoted to the rollover so people can come on
their own time.
■ Get to Faculty/Division meetings as soon as possible
■ Don’t sweat the Data it just rolls!
■ Tutorials & WalkThrus are crucial for getting information to the masses.
■ Once it’s released try to keep track of immediate feedback even anecdotal
■ Ongoing support is critical be Active as support, not Passive.
■ We should have been more responsive to the few who took up issue with
■ Put together a formal survey for users a few weeks/months later to get
■ Be active on user voice and with Whipple Hills support team throughout
the entire process.
■ Managers (Academics, Admissions, Athletics, etc.)
● The manager experience is not upgraded yet....
■ Bugs (ongoing)
■ Prevention vs. Reaction try to anticipate the problem areas where damage
control will be needed most (“Who moved my cheese?”)
■ WorkArounds Remember where these were put in place,
enhancements come fast and furiously for their correction.