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Importance of Contingency Planning for IT Projects in School System


​Information Technology is a vital part of many administrations for it to function fully. The use of it within school systems is required as it relies on information technology heavily. School systems use information technology for education, security, disaster management, telecommunication, analytics, and data management. Despite constant maintenance, there are still loopholes that will affect the projects within the school system. Schools have to visualize problems and create a system to address these for the unforeseeable future.  This is where contingency planning comes in.

Contingency planning is, in layman’s terms, essentially a backup plan. Large scale information technology projects within the school system require a contingency plan in case something goes wrong. This article will discuss the reasons as to why contingency planning for information technology projects are important in school systems.

What is Contingency Planning?

Contingency planning is the evaluation of a situation, in this case, the school system, and the creation of a plan that will take place should things not go the way it is planned. Contingency planning in large scale information technology projects is required. Before these large scale information projects can start, administration requires that IT professionals create a contingency plan.

Here are some of the reasons why contingency planning is important for large scale information technology projects within the school system.

Reasons why Contingency Planning for Large Scale IT Projects in School System are important

1. To reduce risks

Creating a contingency plan is based on coming up with scenarios of things going wrong and finding ways to address it. Large scale information technology projects within school systems will run into problems despite constant maintenance. One of the reasons why contingency planning is important is to reduce the risks of it happening.

Contingency planning reduces the risk of large scale information technology projects in school systems to grow into a severe problem. Preemptive planning, risk identification, and quantification ensure that there will be fewer chances of the system failing. A contingency plan already covers reasons for a system to malfunction before it even materializes.

Contingency planning means coming up with scenarios wherein the information technology project will not come out as intended and redirecting it to the expected outcome.

2. Create a Backup System

Contingency planning includes creating a fully-functional backup system. The backup system is there for an alternative use while the problem is being addressed.

The backup system will remove the need to halt the use of information technology in schools. Contingency planning will help make sure that these problems, when it materializes, will not disrupt the school system’s balance and itineraries. Contingency planning is essential in order to create a backup system that can handle mass usage until such a time when the original system is restored.

If the large scale information technology projects are damaged beyond repair, the backup system will become the main system. Making it is a must, and that is covered by contingency planning.


3. Control response to problems caused by internal and external factors

There are many ways for internal and external factors to affect information technology projects in school systems. It can be a security breach that caused the system to malfunction or a fire that took place and damaged the device.

Internal factors are failures within the system, while external factors affect or cause the problem for large scale information technology projects. By creating contingency plans, should any of the foreseen problems take place, the IT professionals in charge of the information technology problems can easily control the response.

IT professionals can easily address these problems quickly and efficiently. There will be no cause for panic because contingency planning already covered the probable causes and created a way to control the outcome.  


4. Restoration of a Damaged System

​Contingency planning predicts the outcome of a large scale information technology project to be severely damaged. When that takes place, there is already a plan that will help restore the damaged system, no matter what caused it.

           Contingency planning always includes restoration should there be a chance to salvage large scale information projects. Planning ahead will allow the people in charge to know how to restore the system. If there is no one in charge of the upkeep, then people who were trained to keep an eye out can fix the system to an extent while an IT professional is called into the field.

​Having a restoration part for contingency planning makes it easier for people to fix the damage because there are instructions to follow should anything go awry.

5. Develop a System

​Contingency planning is important in order to develop a system within the school. Developing a system goes both ways. First, there will be available material to give instructions should an information technology project crashes. Two, the people will be trained to react quickly and jump into action when the project crashes.

​Contingency planning develops a systemic order for how the failure of an information technology project should be addressed. Should the project crash or fail to upload, the presence of a manual or an instruction guide to diagnosing and fixing the bug will teach people how to fix minor bugs on their own or know when to call an IT professional into the field.

​Contingency planning also creates a systemic order for the people who are using the devices and the system. By teaching people, from assistants to administrators, how to respond when a system crashes, they will be able to handle things. Training people to activate the backup system or how to fix minor bugs is part of contingency planning.

6. Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the information technology projects

Large scale information technology projects developed in a school system will be evaluated during contingency planning. The strength and weaknesses of the developed project will be tested in the creation of a contingency plan.

The contingency plan will test the strength and security of the developed large scale information technology project by how it responds to minor problems. It aims to, as much as possible, close most loopholes to prevent the system from crashing. That means testing the system on what can trigger a possible crash or failure.

Contingency planning also minimizes the possibility of these triggers to manifest by addressing the system’s weaknesses and strengthening it. By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of these projects, the chances of possible damage totally taking place can be minimized.

7. Update Maintenance plans

Maintenance is essential in information technology projects. Contingency planning makes maintaining and upgrading the software easier. That is because contingency plans are often updated. IT professionals will check the software repeatedly, mimicking minor bugs itself to see how it responds.

​The plan is to keep the system updated and have it cater to the needs of its users for a long time. Adding new functions to keep large scale information technology projects is a part of maintenance and contingency planning.

​Contingency planning points out the weaknesses of the system for it to be addressed in the future with the introduction of new functions.

8. Flexibility

Contingency planning is not just a preventative measure or a risk reduction strategy. Contingency planning gives administrators time to adjust should something else arise in the future that can affect large scale information technology projects.

It can come into a form of a policy or the addition of a certain guideline that may restrict the use of these projects. Contingency planning allows these changes to take place without impacting the large scale information technology projects heavily. It gives flexibility for the projects used within the school system to adjust or have no need to be adjusted because it already foresaw these challenges to arise in the future.

9. Room for Growth

Information technology evolves, that is something contingency planning addresses. Large scale information projects will grow in time and having a contingency plan provides time and functions to adjust as it already anticipates changes before it manifests.

Contingency planning involves making the system easily adapt to changes, such as additions and subtractions of the large scale information technology’s functions. It gives IT professionals a heads up to quickly adjust to these changes. The contingency plan already prepares the software project before and while the change transpires.


10. Minimize Loss

Contingency planning covers the situation when a large scale information project is damaged beyond repair. It already anticipates it from happening, and the planning involves how to minimize the losses that come with it.

The probability of such damage is already reduced by contingency planning, but there is still a risk for it to manifest. Destruction is still predicted even when the cause is not known. That is why the contingency plan involves steps to minimize the losses when it arises.

Contingency planning covers the bases and includes backup systems for the operation to continue. The planning includes enumerating the parts of the large scale information project that is vulnerable and allotting resources that will help minimize the loss. Minimizing the loss also means that the system will not cause the total collapse of the project itself.

Conclusion

​Contingency planning is essential for large scale information technology projects within school systems. It is a must to create a contingency plan before a project even starts and have it updated as it changes.

​These are only a few of the reasons why it is imperative to make one. It should be noted that contingency plans are not foolproof. Even if its chances are slim, there should be a plan to prevent it or minimize the loss that comes with it. These plans are tantamount to ensure the success of large scale information technology projects.

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