User-centric strategy drives San Francisco district ERP rollout

As part of San Francisco Unified School Districts’ “digital district” plan, the rollout of a new enterprise resource planning effort will develop critical systems and tools to transform the way it handles its workforce development.

“We now have an ERP implementation, so we’re going through a whole human capital transformation of our core systems,” Melissa Dodd, the district’s chief technology officer, says in a video interview. “I don’t want to say it’s not about the technology, but it’s around our people and our process as well.”

The ERP implementation is forcing the district that serves more than 58,000 students to reimagine human resources and human capital processes in a more user-centered way.

“[User-centered design will] really empower our teachers and our school principals in their HR process,” Dodd says.

In tandem, the district is working on its internal data infrastructure and designing and implementing a cloud strategy for that data. The goal is to ensure “that we have our data in the cloud and we have integrated systems in which our data is interoperable,” Dodd says.

Interoperability is key, she says, to avoid fragmentation among different systems.

“We’re not trying to piecemeal all of our systems together and manage interfaces that may have been developed years ago, or a decade ago,” Dodd says. “How can we get more real-time data into the hands of our school leaders and our district leaders so that they’re really able to use data to inform their work?”

Dodd on cybersecurity and data privacy:

Dodd on emerging tech:

Dodd on the future of her role:

This video was filmed at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on April 3, 2019.