One year ago the International School of Flanders at Waterloo (later indicated as ISF) decided to introduce a complete Google environment in the school. This meant buying Google tablets and Chromebooks, introducing smartboards and digital Google apps.
PMIef as mentor
Because it is a huge change project, they contacted PMIef through Jacques Neyns (the liaison officer) to help them in the process. Because we were already involved in introducing Project Management in the school (see an earlier article about the Winter Show), we accepted the challenging offer. Jacques functioned as the mentor for Belinda Yates (the head of school) of ISF to guide her through the change process.
The first thing we did was to create a project plan, with all the steps that had to be done by whom and a high-level time line. Phase per phase we went in more detail for the steps important at that moment. This was a tight collaboration between the school and PMIef. We also made a RISK plan that showed some dangers that the teachers were not aware of. It was a bumpy road sometimes with two teachers who even left the school because they did not believe in the new way of working. The viewed it as not compatible with their way of teaching. Luckily ISF found very fast two new teachers who really embraced the new environment. This is change management in real life.
The purpose was to get 6 teachers Google certified by the end of May, everything went well until Google changed their rules, exams became much heavier and teachers had to study more then the double to certify.
We were able to tackle the Google risk and now the school is the first to be Google Certified in Belgium.
The project was terminated on time, within budget and matching the higher demands of Google. We can call it a success, thanks to the tight collaboration between Jacques from PMIef and the school head Belinda.
You can read more background in the article "Project-based learning skills for life"
Chapter event 20 May
On May the 20th we had a PMI event held inside the school where PMIef en ISF showed the long and winding road to success. PMI attendees at the event were very enthusiastic, we had very high quality feedback scores. The school learned a lot about project plans and RISK and Change management and will continue to use this knowledge in following projects. PMIef keeps involved in their future projects. At the end of the event Belinda got an award for outstanding project management effort, offered by Jacques Neyns and Dirk Huyers from the PMI board of Belgium.
The main benefit of this project was to show that with professional help all organisations can take advantage of a project management approach. Even not professionals like teachers, can learn how to use project management techniques.
The presentation of the evening can be consulted here.