Wageningen University & Research (WUR) did an installation of a new scheduling and resource management system in less than 6 weeks. How was it possible?
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) wanted to replace their old scheduling software and started a tender procedure to replace that system. TimeEdit won this tender and had to implement the scheduling system within 6 weeks from contract signature - right in the middle of the worst COVID-19 restrictions.
The implementation commenced in mid April - a point at which the university was still closed and staff was working from home due to COVID restrictions, so face-to-face meetings could not take place. In addition to this, the new scheduling system had to replace the old system within June to commence scheduling for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The implementation took place complete remote. TimeEdit’s standard implementation methodology was changed to make it suitable for a completely online version. Instead of longer physical meetings to discuss needs for each element of the configuration, many shorter sessions were organised to ensure short feedback loops and smaller iterative build-ups of the configuration. This way, the Customer Success Team of TimeEdit was able to set up the Wageningen data model and scheduling framework very rapidly. It helped the installation speed immensely that WUR decided to stick with the same data structure and scheduling rules as they had used before, having very clear visions of the output and outcome of the configuration.
"If you know what you want on beforehand, it is easier to get what you need implemented quickly."
- Fred Jonker, Functional Manager at WUR
Training was done online in multiple shorter sessions divided over several days instead of the usual longer training workshops, as it would be more tiresome and difficult to follow longer sessions online than with physical attendance. This also ensured that the staff could get more hands on experience between sessions, learning the software piece by piece. Each session was recorded, making it easy to look back and repeat a particular session - which has proved handy even after the training period concluded.
The kick-off of the implementation was mid-April and the Go-Live date was at the start of June. Within six weeks, the timetabling team could start scheduling the first period of the new academic year. Looking at the size of the university, this was a speed record for TimeEdit. The WUR Timetable team was able to schedule the coming academic period faster and more user friendly than before, and see the new solution as a huge upgrade with regards to user experience and performance.
"In terms of performance and user experience, TimeEdit is a huge upgrade for WUR!"
- Fred Jonker, Functional Manager at WUR
The publication and integrations were live mid-July. The integration with the WUR integration layer was based on the existing fields so minimal changes were required. The most impactful change was the move from week/ year based structure to a continuous database set-up, which implied a few changes to the logic, but makes the maintenance of the integration less painful. The integration with their Student Information System OSIRIS will be done in a next phase once the covid crisis cools down a bit.
WUR's top tips and tricks for a fast implementation
- Share clear scheduling processes already during the market consultation phase
- Check with providers if a fast implementation is possible - and make them commit to it in the contract
- Mention short timeline in tender documentation to set expectations to all stakeholders
- Work with a small and agile implementation team that includes key resources from the timetabling team, technical integration team and a project manager
- Have clear opinions of what you want before you start the implementation
- Record all trainings so you can revisit key aspects easily afterwards.
- Organise frequent short Q & A sessions after implementation is done to ensure efficient and smart use of the system
About Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research is in many rankings one of the best agricultural universities in the world. Their main campus is located in Wageningen in the Netherlands, and serves about 12.500 students and 6.500 staff. The university focuses on combining teaching and research in various fields of natural and social sciences, offering 19 BSc and 30 MSc programmes.
The university leverages the following TimeEdit products:
· TE Core
· TE Viewer
· TE Reserve
· TE Reporting