Figure out the scope of the project and don’t go overboard, Winkelman says. “Involve key stakeholder departments in the planning, even if they won’t have much of a role in the initial deployment,” he says. “It’s important that they are on board from the beginning. In determining initial applications for rollout, talk to students and see what they want. They probably have some great ideas that you may not have considered.”
Getting the word out about the program to students is also important, says Heartland’s Emery. “You need to have the resources set aside and make sure marketing is in place so students know about the program,” he says.
Having the administration involved with this helps, says Winkelman. “The president of the college or university should have a card, and use it frequently and visibly,” he says. “That will show the campus’ commitment to the program and have a major impact on success.”
Schools need to make sure to identify who will be in overseeing the card program from the start,” says Summerall. “The biggest mistake from our perspective, is not identifying an owner for the card program, and a clear set of priorities,” he says. “Without an effective management model, the program will underperform its potential.”
And don’t forget to budget for ongoing recurring costs. “Buying a system to last forever won’t work,” says Bell. Hardware and software will require upgrades just like every other critical IT system.