With a college merger or takeover, changes happen quickly and staff need to be kept informed. Dashboard software makes it quicker and more efficient to communicate your goals and identify potential opportunities and threats.
The Association of Colleges (AOC) has, understandably, expressed disappointment in the Chancellor’s announcement in June of a£260 million cut to the further education and skills budget. That’s a 10% cut to further education (FE) colleges. As a result, staff working within colleges fear redundancy and the threat of a takeover. Combining institutions makes financial sense and, with the use of dashboard software, communication can be enhanced and change managed more effectively.
The commitment and effectiveness of staff is crucial to the success of any merger.
It is vital for anyone working within an FE college to understand their institution’s aims and targets, and manage their area’s statistical data – dashboard software can help staff keep ahead of the game. Dashboard implementation means college staff no longer have to draw information from several data sources and interpret it themselves to get a complete picture. Instead, they are presented with dashboards that allow them to display all college data and easily identify areas for action. For example, early warning signs may be highlighted to show if a course is under threat, and action can be taken.
When skills Minister Matthew Hancock sent aletter to every college chair and principal in England reminding them of merging rules, he stressed accountability, consultation and competition as key. Active dashboard from Dynistics can play a vital role in this, monitoring progress and giving ownership of data – something that is particularly useful if two systems are merging.
Any good business will already have strong communication channels with its staff, but the right dashboard software can improve this even further. With just one version of information, and with it stored in just one place, when change does happen, active dashboards can smooth the transition.
Top level management are usually well-informed, and IT professionals can advise them on how to use active dashboards to keep staff up-to-date, avoiding rumours and panic. Staff news alerts and messages can be sent out to ensure everyone is receiving accurate, consistent, timely information on changes.
In addition to producing efficient and cost-saving reports, Dynistics Active Dashboards can:
Provide email notification of issues, achievements and performance-related updates.
Access information from internal and external sources, enabling the delivery of feeds from web-based sources such as RSS news, Google Analytics and sources such as national benchmarking data.
An FE week article published in July by David Sherlock, former college principal and Director of Beyond Standards Ltd, argues mergers and acquisitions are logical steps towards increasing educational sophistication.
They may result in expansion and positive change, responding to any demand for increased FE provision among young people. With the right tools, staff can prepare for opportunities ahead, rather than worry about potential threats.
With the right dashboard software, staff will have a clear picture of their institution and where it is heading, and embrace change positively. One effective system used across the board will also make administrational mergers smoother and ensure consistency from the start.
Individually, staff can:
Take ownership of data to strengthen their area and prove their worth.
Easily examine key metrics and look out for early warning ‘alerts’ so they can be ready to take action.
Gain access to consistent messages and news alerts so they have the knowledge and understanding to manage change effectively.