Nonprofit Project Management: Building Bridges in Technology Projects - Heller Consulting

Nonprofit Project Management: Building Bridges in Technology Projects

When it comes to new technology initiatives for nonprofits, project management is critically important. However, nonprofits sometimes underestimate the value of project management.

While it might seem like a nice-to-have, strong project management helps to ensure that large and complex technology projects stay on track and result in fully meeting the nonprofit organization’s goals.

Let’s look at what project management is, why it’s important, and how you can get the project management help your nonprofit needs for a successful technology implementation.

What is project management for nonprofit technology projects?

Simply put, project management applies processes, approaches, expertise, skills, and experience to achieve project goals and objectives within agreed budget, scope, and timeline. It’s all about working efficiently and effectively to reach a desired outcome.

It can relate to not only the implementation of technology, but also to technology planning and roadmap projects.

Why is project management important for nonprofit technology projects?

While nonprofit leaders need to stay involved at the highest level of technology projects, their time is better spent in other ways than managing the details of a technology project. Also, they typically do not have the experience needed to set milestones, closely coordinate work, and monitor for potential risks in a technology project.

For these reasons, working with a professional project management team helps nonprofit leaders to ensure that big technology projects stay on track and on budget while meeting the organization’s needs with minimal distraction to the day-to-day work of nonprofit staff.

Project managers can also help resourcing on a project, making sure the people involved do not burn out. Finally, by closely monitoring the project progression, project managers make sure the budget is well managed and financial resources are being used effectively.

In effect, project management helps nonprofit leaders to be good stewards of their funds.

Finding the right project management team for your nonprofit technology projects

Here are some key things to look for in a strong professional project management team to help with your nonprofit’s technology projects:

  • Expertise and experience – Successful project management requires a solid knowledge of project management best practices as well as relevant experience. Look for a professional team that has Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications, understands project management methodologies, such as Agile and Waterfall, and has experience working with multiple large and complex nonprofit technology projects.
  • A proven project management process – The right project management team will guide you through key steps of the project for your organization’s specific needs. Look for a team that has an established and proven process that helps your nonprofit leaders with every aspect of a technology project – from project planning and identifying key stakeholders to managing the project budget, supervising day-to-day work, and watching for potential risks along the way.
  • A solution approach – When you purchase new software for your nonprofit, the software vendor might offer project management services. While these can be helpful, they sometimes miss the mark. That’s because vendor project management teams often focus more on getting the product up and running, and not as much on what you need the product to help you accomplish. Look for an independent project management team that gives as much attention to your nonprofit’s overall goals as the implementation of the technology itself.
  • A strong connection with change management – While project management focuses on organization, change management focuses on end-user adoption, paving the way for smoother technology and process changes through communication and training. Look for a project management team that understands the value of change management and works hand-in-hand with change management professionals to make sure the project not only runs smoothly, but also minimizes risks and maximizes user adoption.

Learn more about key concepts for change management in our guide for nonprofit leaders: The Nonprofit’s Guide to Change Management

Professional Project Management with Heller Consulting

Here at Heller Consulting, we understand the value of project management for nonprofit technology initiatives based on our experience working on thousands of nonprofit and higher education technology projects over nearly three decades. In fact, we’ve had a project management team since long before it was a standard offering from nonprofit technology consultants.

Here are some of the ways we provide the project management services needed for success:

  • A team dedicated to nonprofit technology project management that works closely with our team of change management professionals and our clients to deliver a comprehensive and goals-oriented solution
  • Continual investment in PMP and change management certifications
  • An established project management process that easily adapts to each nonprofit’s unique technology project

Discover how project management and change management played a key role in a complex technology solution for Canadian Cancer Society: Read the case study

Take the next step

Project management is all about helping to ensure your nonprofit’s technology projects stay on track and deliver the results you expect. It’s a vital aspect of any large technology initiative.

If you’d like to learn more about how our project management team can help you ensure a successful technology project for your nonprofit, contact us today.

About the Author

Okiemute Numa
Okiemute joined Heller Consulting after years of strong project management experience in the public sector. With an eye for process improvement, Okiemute has enabled organizations to reimagine and re-engineer their efforts for better efficiency. He also has experience with procurement... Read More

The Nonprofit's Guide to Change Management


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