The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) represents school leaders within primary and secondary education as well as maintained nurseries. With 12 regions throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the union represents the interests of more than 49,000 school professionals in membership.
Following the pandemic, NAHT was able to expedite its long-term plan to go fully cloud-based and complete the move from their bricks and mortar head office to the cloud in 2023.
With all staff now working remotely, when existing technology partner Espria was tasked with replacing 111 end-of-life laptops with new devices, the spread of remote workers created an additional layer of complexity that required careful project management. Leased laptops were returned to their lessor, and all new devices were purchased to make cost savings and built with the latest operating system. However, the singular most significant challenge of this project was deploying a third-party application with compatibility issues with the new devices and Windows 11. These infrequent issues had not been encountered before but needed effective management, both with the app developer and Microsoft to minimise the impact on end-users and facilitate resolution.
The Espria Project Manager approached the issue with great care, ensuring that end-users were aware of the implications and how it might impact their workflow. Working closely with the stakeholder and the Espria Technical Services Team (who worked closely with the third-party supplier), the PM kept the client and the Espria internal teams informed. She effectively managed escalations, ensuring the correct people were involved internally to support and realise the solution.
She established a clear and frequent communication channel to ensure all parties were kept up to date and maintained a clear track of all issues and decisions while ensuring all parties knew who owned which action.
Despite a delay in deploying the new devices, once they were commissioned and in use, all applications functioned as required. Working with a number of third-party vendors to resolve the issue required patience, diligence and a desire to problem-solve.
“Molly has been great as the project manager; quick to remediate any issues and ensuring that I was fully informed of progress throughout.” – Andy Bone, NAHT IT Director.