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Six Keys to Successful Change Management

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Written by Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, Indiana
Originally posted in ACSD Express, Vol. 12, No. 18

During the annual conference of the Consortium for School Networking, an association for K–12 chief information officers, we hold an event known as “Fail Fest.” It’s a chance for edtech leaders to come together and learn from one another’s mistakes.

Each speaker during Fail Fest has five minutes to tell a story about an edtech project gone wrong. It can be cathartic to bare your soul to colleagues, share a laugh about your missteps, and know that you’re not alone. We can all relate to such errors in our working lives.

Two key themes have emerged from these annual Fail Fests. First, leading an edtech project can involve unforeseen challenges. Introducing change of any kind often makes people uncomfortable and can be fraught with difficulties. Second, the biggest reason many edtech projects go awry is that leaders underestimate these challenges and don’t pay enough attention to change management.

Change management is the process of transitioning employees and organizations to new ways of doing things. At the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indiana, our work in adopting a new platform for transforming curriculum, assessment, and instruction has shown us how important change management is to ensuring success. We took six key steps to help the change process succeed in our district…

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