Plan for the Success of Your Trac System
Posted by JT Burns on 13 August 2013 01:35 PM

Plan for the Success of Your Trac System

The most effective way to implement your Trac System and its features is through organized and specific planning. If you execute a successful implementation plan and your Trac System is set up properly, it will be a simple system for your users to operate. However, with poor planning, it can become very complex for users to perform even the simplest functions.  Below is a step-by step guide to proper implementation of your Trac System:

- Form a Team to Implement Your Trac System

- Review the Trac System with Redrock Support

- Decide Options to implement in Your Trac System

- Establish a Timeline to Implement and Test Features

- Follow-up With Your Team and Redrock Support

...Remember, while careful thought should be used throughout the entire planning process, enjoy yourself! Exploring and implementing a new system that will change and enhance your services is exciting (and a bit frightening!) so look forward and trust that Redrock Support is here for you!


Form a Team to Implement and Support Your Trac System

Your Implementation Team might just be one individual or it might be a group of 3 to 5 individuals. We recommend that you try to keep your team to a maximum of 5 people to maintain efficiency and productivity. There should be one person that takes the Technical Lead for the team. This is the most important role in the team and this individual should be selected based on two primary factors: technical aptitude and cooperative attitude. If you only have a team of one, then this individual needs to be selected for their attributes as the Technical Lead. Other roles that need to be filled in the group would be User Liaison, IT Liaison, and Trainer. Whether these roles are filled by a single individual or by multiple individuals is up to you. Just remember that it is important that there be a person on the team that can work directly with the users of the Trac System at your institution, a person that can receive quick and direct access to a member in the IT Department, and a person to train the other users on the program features.

Technical Lead
The Technical Lead is primarily responsible for conducting training sessions with Redrock Support and learning the full configuration and set up of the Trac System. The Technical Lead does not have to have a technical background, however, this individual needs to have the ability to learn software applications and translate technical information to the 'common' user. The Technical Lead will often be the lead of the Implementation Team, even if this user is not in a role of authority with their other responsibilities. In addition, the Technical Lead will often share the roles of User Liaison and/or Trainer.

User Liaison
The User Liaison is primarily responsible for representing the needs of the users. There may be multiple User Liaisons to represent the needs of different departments. The User Liaison often shares the role of Trainer and is responsible for showing users how to work in the Trac System.

IT Liaison
The IT Liaison is primarily responsible for representing the IT Department and addressing their concerns. The Trac System can inter-operate with Student Information Systems, Campus Authentication Systems, Campus Portals, etc. and the IT Department will need to be involved in any of those aspects of the implementation.

The Trainer is primarily responsible for introducing the Trac System to the users and demonstrating how the users will operate in the Trac System. The Trainer will often share the role of User Liaison and is responsible for representing the needs of the users in the sessions conducted with Redrock Support and the Implementation Team.


Review the Trac System with Redrock Support

Now that your Implementation Team has been formed, it is time to schedule a couple of introductory sessions with the Redrock Support Team. Your first session or two should be to review the capabilities of the Trac System. You will find during these sessions that the Trac System can be configured to meet just about any possible scenario. The sessions will last 45-60 minutes and are scheduled from the Training Request Form located on the Trac product web pages.

Redrock Support will review the standard options for recording visits, scheduling appointments, checking out resources, and utilizing modules. A majority of your configuration will be set up within preferences and settings that you can access and enable or disable through your SysAdmin accounts. Some items discussed will require some customization by the Redrock Support team. During these sessions, your Implementation Team will just be in the 'sponge phase' and soaking up information. There will be many decisions to be made, but first, just take the time to explore the options and discover what the Trac System offers you.

It is a good idea to keep a written list of features that you want to implement, or review in more depth, with Redrock Support. This list will be your foundation as you continue further into the set up process.


Decide Options to Implement in Your Trac System

After your review of the Trac System and its many options, your Implementation Team will meet together, with or without Redrock Support, and start making decisions on how to set up the Trac System. At this time, you will use your previously created list to organize and prioritize the Trac System options. This will be the primary role of the User and IT Liaisons as they represent the different departments with an interest in the Trac System. Each of the liaisons will have requirements of the Trac System to meet the needs of their users.

When deciding the options to implement, organize them into a prioritized list to be set up and tested.


Establish a Timeline to Implement and Test Features

With your prioritized list of features to implement, you can now work with Redrock Support to set up a timeline to implement the features in your Trac System. Most of the basics (recording visits and scheduling appointments) are simple to set up and are usually at the top of the priorities. Setting up several groups with different levels of access will typically take more time and usually takes place after the basics are set up. Customizations, such as LDAP Authentication or Data Imports from your student information system, are usually discussed early on, but should not delay the implementation of other features.

Your timeline should set clear benchmarks for testing features in your Trac System and 'signing off' on their progress. Your Implementation Team will set these benchmarks and assign members of the team responsible for their follow-up while scheduling training sessions to follow progress, make adjustments, and complete tasks.


Follow-up With Your Team and Redrock Support

After your priority items have been set up and tested on your Trac System, your Implementation Team will work with Redrock Support to make any necessary adjustments. Realize that adjustments may need to be made.  For example: your needs may change, users may change their minds about system settings and configuration, new features may be introduced to the Trac System that your team will want to consider implementing, or users may introduce new questions that your team does not know how to answer. Because there are many reasons to continue to follow-up with Redrock Support we ask that you not hesitate to work with us when needed.

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