We sometimes hear about universities who’ve decided to build a PGR system ‘in-house.’ Sometimes we hear from them before they start the project but more often a few years later when the system they built is no longer meeting their needs.
Here’s the problems we’ve seen and why you may want to avoid building in-house:
1. Graduate Schools are complex, this is a significant undertaking. Please ask to see a demo of PhD Manager to understand the breadth and complexity of functionality required.
2. It will only be a success if people use it. Getting usability right is hard and time-consuming, and often the part of the project which is cut when in-house projects overrun.
3. A PGR record system needs to be far more flexible than a student record system designed for taught programmes. Most in-house PGR solutions will be built using technology that doesn’t support this flexibility. We had to build our own platform to provide the flexibility required.
4. Comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date data is key to the success of the system. You get this best when records are updated automatically during integrated workflows, rather than expecting people to input decisions into a separate system at the end of a process. Building a flexible database, with integrated workflows, fine-grained and flexible permissions, and comprehensive reporting takes a significant amount of time.
5. Ongoing support. This is where in-house systems fail most. Graduate School requirements are always evolving. The system needs to be actively supported and developed ongoing which is a resource commitment many university’s are unable to support.
If you’re considering building an in-house solution, please talk to us first.
To see a demo of PhD Manager, please call 020 7100 1155.