Institutions are an essential part of the society, helping the young generation actualize their dreams, and making them a contributing part of the economy. A student’s growth and ability to develop various skills while imparting knowledge and nurturing self-confidence is the responsibility of a school hence the need to have the best school management tool as part of the institution.
However, due to an obvious lack of technology, school owners and other stakeholders have a hard time accomplishing their designated goals in dispensed time. As a result, their institute begins to lag behind other institutes, causing them to lose the preferred candidate’s attention. Success in everyday duties is what’s in demand of the emerging educational system, and to attain that one needs a strong and comprehensive faculty management machine which will automate their institution’s operations from classes, exams to school events calendar. Schools also need an adequate school software that has a powerful online community to bring parents, teachers and students on a common interactive platform. Therefore, emphasizing the need for school management portals such as Educare.
Building an adequate and comprehensive school management portal such as Educare is considered one of the most challenging development tasks, and it requires a consolidated vision of your company’s growth strategy. Below we have stated the necessary steps needed to build a comprehensive school management portal.
Steps to Build a School Management Portal in Nigeria
Firstly, before you begin planning your development process, your company needs to answer two major questions:
- What features should your school management portal have?
- Does your company host the expertise required to develop the school management portal, or is it better to hire a dedicated team via an outsource provider?
Once the first question is answered, the second question should answer itself. Furthermore, in order to build an adequate school management portal, both major company stakeholders and IT experts need to be consulted when drafting goals and requirements. These goals need to also be realistic and achievable.
Now, it’s time to explore the technical side of developing the school management portal and this stage requires an intense amount of research exploring the typical components of school management portals other industry players are using. At this stage, a blueprint should be drafted showing how your school management portal should be designed.
Thirdly, one must decide the type of system they want to implement. The two common options are web-based ERP software (where the backend and database are hosted in the cloud) or a client/server ERP (where a system runs locally on a network of computers).
Plan the development process step by step. If you’re outsourcing the development of your school management portal to an external team, it’s good practice to participate in wireframing so that you stay in the know. Here are the key things to go through at this point:
- Define modules: Based on the functionality of the school management portal, state the modules it should have. These modules could be a combination of CRM, finance management, supply chain management, or any resource management areas based on your requirements.
- Resources needed: Determine the size of the team working on the project and the resources that team will require.
- Timeframe: Although you might not yet be able to come up with concrete milestones or deadlines, try to establish a timeframe for the project.
Picking the right tech toolkit for developers is very critical at this point.
- You can host your school management system in the cloud or on your local server. Most enterprises select the first option because the cloud is considered more secure and doesn’t require constant in-house maintenance.
- Choose a reliable database for storing company data. Usually, you have to choose between relational and non-relational databases. This choice will determine how your system organizes and uses data. Relational/SQL databases are better suited for small companies that have a demand for standardization. NoSQL or non-relational databases likely better fit complex data infrastructures because they allow data storage in various easily manageable formats like JSON files.
Finally, once the development stage is completed, it’s time to start testing and reviewing. Review whether the system matches initial security, integration, and functionality requirements. Test the functionality of the school management portal by performing reporting or accounting operations across different modules and calculate the accuracy of the results that the system returns. Employ focus groups to test dedicated modules and module sets. For example, the HR department will likely work with some combination of modules designed around payroll recording, human capital management, and personnel records. To test how these modules work together, ask a few people from the target department to use the modules and collect their feedback. And lastly, Run security testing to allow you to track and respond to vulnerabilities as they emerge.
Cost of Building School Management Portal in Nigeria
Although building a school management portal makes the day to day running and management of institutions less tasking and more accurate and comprehensive, the cost of developing the portal is quite high. The costs of building a school management portal can range from $2,500 to $600,000. While planning your budget, consider that the cost of developing a school management portal is typically determined based on the number of departments that will use the system and the functionalities the system will deliver.
To keep your school management portal alive and functioning long term, your company must budget for ongoing maintenance costs and regular updates depending on the needs of the institution. Depending on the system’s complexity and development methods, this budget may have to cater to several different types of expenses.
If you develop your own school management portal, you’ll most likely assign a person/team as responsible for its functionality. This means you’ll have to invest in continually training staff on the system’s maintenance. Ongoing maintenance covers integrations, hosting, new feature releases, and client support. Either way, if you want to keep your school management portal healthy, maintenance is an investment you can’t afford to avoid.
In conclusion, one has to make sure they are developing a solution to someone’s problem so clear and adequate line of communication needs to be established between your company and a number of schools. You have to be committed and willing to hear their needs, requirements and how much they are willing to pay to use such a comprehensive school management portal.
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