Project Management and Implementation for Nonprofits - Part 1

Updated: May 3

The Project Management Institute estimated that as of 2017, organizations were wasting an average of $97 Million for every $1 Billion invested due to poor systems implementation. As a nonprofit, you cannot afford to make a mistake with your systems implementation. This is part 1 of our 4 part blog series that will help your nonprofit unlock its technology potential. Click here for part 2. This is adapted from our e-book. If you would like to access the complete e-book, please click on the button below:

We live in a technology-driven world. However, all too often, nonprofits are left without a place at the table. Enterprise-level organizations, and even SMBs, have access to solutions that drive improved impacts, engage an audience, monitor progress, and automate tasks to free up time and allow them to focus on what they do best.

Nonprofits have the same needs – automation can save much-needed time and money, allowing you to focus on key objectives and mission-critical goals. Other technology can help you identify where your audience spends the most time and then augment your ability to engage with them to spread your message and drive support.

The good news is that these technologies are available – they can be developed and implemented within your organization, allowing you to take advantage of their myriad benefits. Achieving that goal is not without its challenges, though. It requires time, expertise, and, most of all, an understanding of the four steps involved with project implementation.

This blog series will walk you through the four steps required for successful project implementation. Within it, we’ll highlight not just the primary steps but key areas where organizations stumble and provide the solutions you need.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself

To help streamline the project implementation process, start by answering the following 10 questions before doing anything else:

1. Do we have the talent necessary to handle project implementation in-house? Do those team members have the bandwidth necessary?

2. Do we have a project manager capable of developing the team and then managing the project from inception through implementation and monitoring? If not, can we train a project manager in time?

3. Is there organization-wide support for this project? Can key members of the administrative team help with change management and getting others on board?

4. Do we have an accurate timeline and budget for the project? What happens if the project runs later than scheduled? What happens if we incur cost overruns?

5. Have we empowered the project manager to obtain the resources required for a successful project? Have we accurately allocated resources that the project manager will need?

6. What changes will the project create for other members of the organization? Have we accurately mapped the predicted impacts so that change management can occur?

7. Do we have a roadmap for testing? Does it include accurate data and potential scenarios we are likely to face?

8. Do we have a data plan? What data will be migrating? Where? Do we have appropriate safeguards in place to protect that information?

9. Who will be trained to use the new technology initially after project implementation? Do we have a training strategy to support that? Does it support sequential training of others within the organization?

10. Who is responsible for monitoring and maintenance? Are those responsibilities clearly outlined and communicated?

Once you answer these questions, the next step is to consider the risks. In part 2 of this blog series we will discuss how to conduct a risk assessment and then determine what you’ll need to do to manage potential fallout from the project.

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