5 Tips to Set Your Asset Management Program Up for Success Next School Year
Throughout the school year, school technology departments are running like mad to ensure that teachers and students have the devices they need for the business of teaching and learning.
But aside from all the work that goes into collecting, cleaning, servicing, and updating those devices over the summer, it’s also the perfect time to pull back and evaluate your program as a whole. Just as students can lose momentum over the summer if they don’t continue to engage in educational activity, your asset management program can experience the same thing. Thankfully, there are some great ways to set your program up for success in the coming year.
Update Your Policies and Procedures
Summer is a time for retrospection. Decide what went right or wrong with your asset management program last year. Start with a small group of people like your core inventory team to help brainstorm which processes are working and which need to be improved.
There may be changes to local, state, or federal laws that will impact how you operate your program. Ask your campuses for feedback about current tasks, because ultimately your processes should easily integrate asset management duties into their day-to-day roles and responsibilities. Look for opportunities to increase efficiency and automate tasks wherever possible to promote job satisfaction and process adoption.
Discuss New Initiatives Coming to the District
There may also be new initiatives coming to your district that will impact how you manage devices and assets, or you may be purchasing items with new funding categories (like E-Rate or ESSER funds) this year, which may require you to comply with additional accountability standards.
If a new initiative is coming to your district, you will need to address questions like:
Use the summer to have a wrap-up and planning session with your vendors. Ask them the same questions as your core inventory team: What worked this past year? What didn’t work? What will be changing for the next school year?
Some areas where your vendor can play a bigger role in asset management are:
Asset tagging and deployment
Providing an electronic list of purchased asset details (this would include a tag number, serial number, make, model, memory, warranty)
Warranty and repair
Pick-up and disposal
Ideally, you’re already doing this with your vendors throughout the year and have developed a list of challenges as well as needs that could enhance your asset management program.
Plan Your Trainings Early
Ongoing staff training is a key component to ensuring a successful asset management program. Summer allows you ample time to plan your trainings for the upcoming school year. Determine how often you’ll have training sessions, the type of content that will be covered, and the skills required to complete tasks effectively. Consider splitting up training by new/returning employees and building grade levels so situational stories are relatable to others.
These trainings also give you the opportunity to recommunicate the district’s vision and goals. As you share your vision, take another look at what metrics your district is using to measure the success of your program. Corral your team members and decide how to use metrics to motivate staff — if no one knows their tasks are being measured, your project could stall. Set attainable goals to show progress and reward staff for meeting those milestones.
Come Up with a Plan for Your Transitioned Inventory
Throughout the year, there are many reasons why devices may wind up somewhere you don’t expect. Your district may have renovated a building or implemented a new 1:1 initiative. You may have seen high staff turnover, or an extensive summer cleaning, that caused inventory to be misplaced and records to be out of date. A principal may have changed an instructional area, causing a large number of items to be misaligned to the needs of the students in that room. Devices may have inadvertently been put in the wrong room or cabinet by a staff member.
In each case, an asset management system should allow you to see what devices and materials should correspond with each room and each person. Look around your schools to locate your missing inventory, and ensure all items are back in the correct location before the school year begins.