Impossible is nothing

This article aims to pick up a blunder that practically each and every one of the 28.000 schools in Spain have committed since January 1 of the year 2000 (since the Internet began to be present in our society). I could also talk about this with real knowledge in several other countries of the planet, but it is not the time (we are not the only ones, well, although that is not an excuse)

Any company, large or small, whether it is products or services, regardless of the sector to which it belongs (health, education, banking, production of goods, commercial services …) need three “digital spaces” to do the job; at least. You need more, of course, but al least (I said) you need these three “platforms” that I will explain below.

  1. A PRIVATE website that can only be accessed by the WORKERS of the company; This platform is conceptually an INTRANET and is usually referred to as “private area”, “business area” or it may even have a more familiar name. Perfect. This application should be used to digitalize those internal management and communication processes, both operational and strategic (with different levels of access and rights).
  2. A PRIVATE website oriented to REAL CUSTOMERS, which can only be accessed by company employees and customers-who-are-already-customers, mainly CURRENT (this product may have subsections for old customers). This platform is what we conceptually call EXTRANET.
  3. A PUBLIC website… a platform that we will conceptually call WEB PAGE and that should be aimed primarily at POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS (without being exclusive with other interest groups of humans, of course).
    keep attention: instead of putting “dots” in the previous paragraph I put “numbers” because the order to make / have / publish these three platforms is very important.

And what happened in schools in the last 20 years? Well, many things have been done without order or strategy in this field. I will try to summarize it in a couple of ideas:

  • All schools (or almost all) have a website. The vast majority also have an extranet (call it “Educamos”, “Alexia”, “Racima”, “Seneca”…) and very few have an intranet. We start badly, because the intranet is the starting point for everything else. If the staff is not used to communicate and manage in this way… how do we expect to be successful and efficient before an extranet, where customers are already?
  • Instead, we have started by having a web page to tell who we are and what we do, having to hide in many cases important lacks. And then we have had an Extranet (panic, right?) In which it is possible that there is some resources only for the staff … but to perform processes in a very impersonal, very generalistic way … because that tool has been made by an external company that most likely he does not know the particular casuitistics of each school’s operations.

Summary: instead of taking steps 1, 2 and 3 we have first taken 3 and then 2, and there, quietly, we have wanted to start partially step 1.

Such a disaster uh? Well, it’s not just that … because if we go into technical questions (programming language do things, how to design systems, provide resources for user training …) we could talk about big-big mistakes whose consequences have generated discomfort among teachers, frustrations … bad.

In maths, we say that the order of the factors does not changes the product. Well, we have no option. If your school already has a website, and if your school already has an extranet, then think about the intranet. Let’s do things right, right? There is nothing impossible. Of those 28,000 schools there are more than 1 that need to refocus this. Insurance. Yours, maybe?

Seeing the correct numerical sequence and being optimistic, maybe it was not necessary to do 1 – 2 – 3 but 3 – 2 – 1 and that’s it! Yes it will be that. Ok, let’s go.

(I illustrate this article with a mythical image of the great Muhhamad Ali, one of my favorite boxers, and I title it with a sentence from him drawn from a speech.)

This text is also available in: SPA