Setting Goals With Your Outsourced IT Partner:
How To Measure Success With Your IT Services
Just like you’d approach any project or relationship, you need clarity on where you are and where you want to go. And it shouldn’t be any different with your outsourced IT partner.
By clearly defining what you want to accomplish during the terms of the contract, you can set goals that you’ll both work on for a successful project.
Approach this just like you would your school’s academic goals. Identify the main areas you want to work on, prioritize the ones that will be most beneficial and set goals for what success will look like.
Learn more about how to create measurable IT goals:
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Start With A 3-5 Year Technology Plan
The first step in setting your IT goals should be working with your outsourced IT partner to assess your current state and then create a 3-5 year plan for your charter school. It should take into account everything from your servers and infrastructure to your student and teacher devices.
Do you want to institute a 1:1 student to device ratio? Do you want to implement a new student information system? Or do you need to create a technology plan for a new grade or school location?
This helps you identify your top priorities and any issues that may be holding your students and staff back from reaching your school’s educational goals.
Divide Your Goals Into IT Network And IT Support
Once you have your technology plan, you can break down the goals into IT network and IT support. Consider any areas that need improvement. For network projects, this might include upgrading your servers, expanding access points or other infrastructure improvements.
For IT support, look for issues with your help desk. For example, if your school’s support tickets are slow to be resolved, consider implementing a service level agreement (SLA) that states that support tickets will be addressed in 24 hours.
Work with your outsourced IT partner to track metrics like how many tickets are open, how long it takes on average to get them resolved, number of overdue tickets, etc.
Also ask them to track the average number of tickets. Spikes or sharp declines can be good indicators that there are problems in the support process.
Sometimes when staff members are dissatisfied, you’ll see a significant drop in the number of tickets because they don’t trust the IT personnel to help them. The same with a sharp increase – it can signal that there’s a new system or process that is causing issues across the school network.
Schedule Monthly Or Quarterly Check-Ins
Once your outsourced IT partner is working on the major projects outlined for the year, they should set up monthly or quarterly meetings to go over their progress with you. The larger the school or school network, the more frequently you should meet. You may also need monthly meetings if you’re working on a very complex project, such as planning a new campus or building.
These meetings should include the school’s strategic leadership so they can see how the projects are going, provide any necessary feedback and make any preparations for the new tools and applications.
By conducting these meetings, your outsourced IT partner is demonstrating their commitment to your school’s success. A partner will always be focused on identifying your school’s goals, working with your school personnel to meet these goals and gather relevant feedback, and making sure that they’re focused on the projects that offer the most value to the organization.
Share IT Data In Reporting
Your IT partner should also be regularly sharing data and going over the reports with you. If they’re not doing that, they’re not helping you get the most from your school’s data.
A true partner will always be tracking your data to proactively identify issues and opportunities for your school. The best outsourced IT partner will follow Peter Drucker’s adage, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Monitor A Net Promoter Score
Another good way to get a sense of the quality of your outsourced IT partner is to launch a net promoter score (NPS) campaign. Do this by polling your staff and asking them one question, “How likely are you to recommend the outsourced IT services provider?”
Just like a parent satisfaction score, an IT NPS helps school leaders understand how the staff members view the IT team and the work they’re doing. Doing this also shows that your outsourced IT partner is laser focused on customer service.
An outsourced IT provider that is committed to your school’s success will demonstrate its willingness to partner with you with these actions. They’ll go beyond just offering the basic support services and offer the data insights, planning and strategy you need to meet your school’s educational goals.
Share Your Experiences:
How do you track the success of your IT partners? Do you receive regular reporting and progress updates? Do you have any advice you’d share? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
- Want to get more from your outsourced IT provider? Look at five key areas
- Start with a 3-5 year plan that lays out your charter school’s needs
- Divide your goals into infrastructure and network
- Schedule quarterly check-ins to go over the progress, identify any issues and get feedback
- Ask your IT partner to share all relevant data in regular reports
- Monitor the overall success of your IT partner by conducting a net promoter score of all your staff