When managing change during a technology project, it is essential for individuals and departments to understand their role and responsibilities to help the organization through the transition. The planning team should consider each set of expectations, and determine if team members understand their role, and know how to communicate and achieve those expectations. Do they have the required skills to support this change? For example, does the Executive Director understand what role they will play on the CRM project and how their role and influence will make a difference during the project? Clearly the database administrator will also have a role, but do they understand why their input is necessary, and what they need to accomplish?
In the case of an Executive Director, it’s important they are the messenger of the change. They are a key part of building awareness and reinforcing this message to the rest of the organization. The Executive Director may also be the key messenger to external constituencies, such as funders or the populations being served. It’s important that the responsibilities of this leadership position is understood, and the required support and resources provided. They may need communication templates, regular progress updates, and specific highlight stories to maintain awareness and support for the project.
The database administrator should understand they are responsible for providing information on the existing system and facilitating the mapping of existing data and business processes to the new system. This will require significant investment of time, so it is important that the appropriate time is carved out for this role throughout the change. They may also need training or collaboration with other experts to coordinate the data transition.
Each role and stakeholder will require different knowledge throughout the change, but the key part is for each role to be clear on what knowledge is required of them, and their path to obtaining that knowledge and serving their role appropriately. Additionally, it’s important that each stakeholder group has a clear understanding of how their role on this project is connected to the larger change. For nonprofit organizations an effective way is to tie it back to furthering the mission of the organization— the ultimate driver for why constituents are engaged with an organization.
For a CRM project, a high level visual of the plan like the one above can demonstrate how the roles and participation of each stakeholder group in this project are connected, how that aligns with executing the CRM project, and how that will eventually benefit their core mission. This map will evolve throughout the project, and can serve as a clear path to help teams understand what is happening, and what will come next.
For more information on this topic, please download Managing Technology Change in Enterprise Nonprofits below. In this paper we discuss factors that influence an organization’s response to change, a process for managing change, and how managing change effectively can impact the success of a nonprofit organization’s CRM and technology initiatives.
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