YES! Your school is moving to Google Apps. Collaboration will be easier. The technology will be easier. Working with your students will be easier. See a trend?
While many at your school will be excited to learn Google Apps, there will be others who will be filled with hesitation. They don’t know Google Apps and the immediate reaction to the change is one of reluctance.
How do you increase adoption early on and ensure a smooth implementation for your school? Below are 12 tips addressing change management, training and adoption.
1. Set the stage with open and honest communication.
People naturally resist change. Spend time listening to your fellow colleagues and their fears and questions in order to build trust.
2. Get buy in from the top as early as possible.
Once you have the full support of those in management (or the equivalent) there will be a trickle down effect.
3. Show the ‘what’s in it for me?’ quickly.
To make the change a beneficial one, it will ultimately come down to each individual wanting to know how his or her daily working environment will be affected.
4. Start small.
Managing change can be daunting. It’s often best to start small and expand from there. Keep it simple. You want to present a detailed plan to everybody at your school but you don’t want to bury them with detail.
5. Whet their appetite.
Don’t overwhelm anyone with the technology. Get the staff on board and comfortable before the students. Or better yet, get a few departments on board before expanding.
6. Work your plan.
Google recommends a communication plan that consists of a series of emails that aims to provide information and build support over time.
7. Slow and steady.
Many organizations choose to migrate only email and calendar rather than going with a full-blown transition initially. It proves to be a fairly effective way to ease into the change.
8. Create a training website.
This site will serve as a way to promote all the training content that you’ve developed. Add videos where people can brush up on the basics and/or a training calendar where users can sign up for training courses. You could also forward The Gooru Newsletter to your users!
9. Embrace the tools.
There are lots of strategies to implement that can help make training your staff easier but one is to use the actual tools within Google Apps. Hangouts for example is a super tool. Share tips via Hangouts on Air and that way you’re leading by example.
10. Stay top of mind.
Keep the Google Apps momentum going by staying top of mind with your users. Sending out a “tips of the week” email is helpful to ensure users are continuing to learn. Be sure to email your users with new fun features from Google.
11. Develop Google Guides.
One key to the success of a Google Apps implementation is to develop a core group of committed Google Guides. They transition to GApps earlier and can therefore give extra product training and support.
12. Stay in constant contact.
It’s critical to keep communicating – often and through multiple channels. Share tips and success stories via email, department meetings, district meetings, brainstorming sessions, or in the hallway.
Best of luck getting your school up and running on Google Apps. Need an additional resource? Grab our eBook on Growing Google Apps for Education here for FREE. Happy Google Apps adoption!