The Most Important Step That Most Organizations Skip When Selecting New Technology
Technology is a crucial piece of mission fulfillment and delivery for your nonprofit. You need technology that is robust enough to support your unique organizational requirements and challenges. It also needs to be easy to adopt by your staff, and to scale with your organization as it grows.
In a perfect world, your solutions are also fun and satisfying to use.
If your current technology feels more like a burden than a help, you may be thinking that it’s time to find something new. But before you issue a Request for Proposals, read this…
First, take a look in the mirror. You need to know more about your organization’s goals, desired outcomes and history to issue an RFP. This is true not just from a technology requirements perspective, but a mission and staff perspective. Sounds simple, right?
It’s simple, but not easy. You need to engage in a thoughtful, objective assessment with a variety of stakeholders to identify the landscape before you embark on this journey.
Too many organizations skip this critical first step of a Pre-RFP Technology Assessment, and it costs them money, presents challenges with their data or donors, and often leads to staff turnover.
Here’s what a Pre-RFP Technology Assessment should look like:
- Identify the goals of your organization
- Define your desired outcomes from technology
- Identify the leaders, stakeholders and end users of technology
You should also take time to figure out how you got where you are:
- Take inventory of what technology you’re currently using
- Document what function the technology is supposed to fulfill
- Articulate whether the solutions are doing what they’re supposed to, and what is missing
You’ll get this information by conducting in-depth interviews with your staff. These structured conversations should focus on translating the desired outcomes from your technology into requirements for whatever solution you’ll end up using. You’re building a roadmap for your organization to transform its technology use – and the staffing you’ll need to manage it.
This sounds great, right? But you may be asking, who’s got the time to conduct thoughtful and unbiased interviews with so many different people, synthesize the information, and turn it into a roadmap on top of their day jobs?
We do - Raise HECK. We have experience with nonprofit organizations, technology, and change management. We’ve seen it done well, and we’ve seen when it misses the mark. We are an objective third party who can gather this information from your staff and turn it into a complete roadmap that you can use to issue an RFP that will net you the right solution for your unique needs and people.
Also – like your ideal technology solution, we’re fun and satisfying to work with! Check out our services, and when you’re ready to talk, contact us.