Category - Change Management

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CRM Roadmap to Transform a Food Bank
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Webinar: Preventing Project Failure
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Cynthia Coleman on Becoming a Certified Change Management Professional™
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Worst Case Study: When Everything Went Wrong
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Hear This: Common Phrases That Undermine Project Success
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3 Major Reasons Technology Projects Fail
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The Costs of Struggling or Failing Projects
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Dreamforce Session on Change Management
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How Do Nonprofits View Change?
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Recognizing Resistance to Change

CRM Roadmap to Transform a Food Bank

We recently had the opportunity to develop a CRM Roadmap for a large food bank that wanted to streamline its systems and business processes to better serve its community. Like most food banks, it has a loyal constituency: many volunteers are also clients; many donors also volunteer; individuals might first encounter the food bank through an employer-sponsored activity and then sign up for a peer-to-peer fundraising event.

Instead of internal systems showing the many ways people connect with the food bank, employees often find out from the constituents themselves. This is frustrating for both the constituents and the food bank team. More than ever, nonprofit supporters and clients expect to be known. They expect that when an organization sends them an annual appeal request, it is doing so with a full understanding of giving history, past volunteer hours and gala attendance over the years.

That is all much easier said than done.

But it is possible.

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Webinar: Preventing Project Failure

Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and many nonprofits are looking to use new strategies and technology to increase the impact of their missions. While new technology initiatives can be a boon when successful, they can be a bust when there are unexpected challenges, barriers, and obstacles to overcome draining and demoralizing the team for months or even years.

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Cynthia Coleman on Becoming a Certified Change Management Professional™

Our very own Cynthia Coleman has just earned her CCMP™ credential through the Association of Change Management Professionals. Over the years at Heller Consulting, we’ve learned that the logistics of strategy and technology projects can be managed through project management, but true success ultimately depends on how the individuals involved participate and adapt to new ways of carrying out their work. Change management is the key to ensuring that our clients fully realize the benefits of their investments in technology.

Cynthia has been a true leader in bringing best practices around change management to our work and we’re thrilled to share her insights on what it takes to become a Certified Change Management Practitioner™.

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Worst Case Study: When Everything Went Wrong

worst case study train wreck

When things go awry in complex technology projects, organizations can find themselves trapped between two difficult options. They can continue pushing forward with the initiative, potentially wasting resources on a project that is beyond hope of success, or they can abandon the initiative, undo existing work, and hope for funding to try again in the future. Both options carry risk of damaging support for the project and morale of the organization. If the issues in the project impact the organization’s constituency, their reputation could also take a hit. (Read more about the costs of struggling projects here >>) It can be extremely stressful to figure out the best path forward when mired in issues and trying to carry out business-as-usual at the same time. Unfortunately, technology has not (yet) given us the ability to stop time while we get our operational houses in order, but it can help to reach out to an objective third party for help.

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Hear This: Common Phrases That Undermine Project Success

9 phrases that mean trouble egg brink fall

During a technology initiative, the signs of trouble are not always clear. Team members can be working their hardest to complete their tasks, but somehow the project milestones keep getting delayed or redefined. Rarely do staff want to pull the emergency brake on a project, openly calling attention to major concerns, even if they are frequently discussed in private and impacting costs. (Read about the costs of struggling projects here >>) This is why it’s essential for leadership, managers, and staff to be aware of common warning phrases that can signal trouble is on the horizon for a project.

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3 Major Reasons Technology Projects Fail

3 reasons technology projects fail

Have you ever purchased a kitchen gadget or a piece of exercise equipment that promised to make your life amazing and then used it one-to-six times before abandoning it? I know I’m not the only one who has multiple garlic presses in a drawer and have watched more than I’d like to admit of the infomercial for that twisty board thing that is supposed to tone your entire body. Luckily, those sorts of purchases don’t really result in huge cost overruns or months of lost productivity. However, when we go to work, we tend to bring the same brains that buy gadgets and sometimes use them in large technology projects, but to disastrous results. In our experience, here are the 3 biggest reasons technology projects fall apart:

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The Costs of Struggling or Failing Projects

cost-of-project-failure

The costs of struggling or failing projects are very real and can result in both short and long-term impact on an organization’s ability to deliver its mission. This shouldn’t come as a surprise–every initiative costs time and resources. However, less obvious costs that enter the equation as a complex implementation initiative starts to struggle do often come as a surprise and can really throw things off. As a project’s risk of failure increases, it becomes difficult to establish a clear, objective viewpoint. It’s common for teams to scramble for solutions as well as find someone to blame for the problems they are encountering.

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Dreamforce Session on Change Management

dreamforce-video-slides-change-management

At Dreamforce this year,The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Database Services Officer Sara Darga presented with Keith Heller on how to strategically manage change during a technology project. Sara shared some of the tools and techniques that make up a comprehensive Change Management Success Framework and Keith outlined a few of the red flags that indicate a project might be in jeopardy. In this session they show how The Council’s combination of an effective change management plan and real-time monitoring was instrumental in helping them achieve extremely high user adoption of their system, allowing them to provide a more effective forum for world leaders, policymakers, and other experts to speak on global issues.

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How Do Nonprofits View Change?

not-change-we-mean

It’s nearing the end of the year, and many nonprofits are their busiest during this quarter. With all of the year-end campaigns, fundraising activities, and general calendar-year close going on, it can be a time when an organization can feel at capacity. To make sure that no one burns out, organizations plan carefully to make sure that every task is assigned appropriately and that all that hard work is rewarded with bowls of chocolates or even a morning celebration when the year-end fundraising goal gets surpassed.

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Recognizing Resistance to Change

change-management-recognize-avoid-resistance

It’s somewhat commonly known that a large portion of change initiatives, including technology-based initatives, fail. While the percentage varies by study, it’s high – about 70%. We are living in an age of technical and social disruption – and today’s nonprofits are challenged to evolve through that disruption successful while stewarding donor dollars effectively. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs experienced this disruption first-hand, and worked together as a team to overcome the challenges they faced.

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