CommunityForce’s grant management software and scholarship management platforms help organizations streamline processes and make operations more effective. However, before implementing a new technology platform, organizations need to make sure they are prepared. This often requires several steps, and communication is typically a key part of it. According to Information Week, between 37 percent and 75 percent of technology projects fail, and it’s usually not because of the software itself, but because communication was lacking somewhere during the technology implementation process.
Getting internal buy-in technology implementation
Often, before getting started implementing a new project, you will have to get buy-in from stakeholders. In other words, for an implementation to be successful, you need to carefully consider everyone who would be affected by a new software platform, and get them behind it. According to the Houston Chronicle, you should start by making a list of stakeholders, and put them in order of influence. For instance, it will be vital to get board members and executives behind the project. Ideally, one of the key decision-makers will be the champion of the project. It can help to have an individual who is vocal and advocates for the transition to scholarship or grant management.
Make a committee
Tech Impact suggests putting together a committee that will spearhead the project. Recruit employees who are tech-savvy or simply interested in process improvement to help you come up with an implementation plan. This group will also be the point of contact between upper management and staff. Get together and talk about the attributes you are looking for in a new platform. Make sure to identify the features that are truly a necessity for your organization. For instance, what drove you to seek alternatives to grant management in the first place? Was it the lack of transparency during proposal review? Make sure the new platform meets the basic needs you had in mind.
Talk to staff and start training
Once the project is truly underway, you will have to communicate to staff that new technology is coming and that they will be expected to use it. As Tech Impact notes, many people will be resistant to the idea of new processes, but the more you work with them, the more open-minded they will become. Start training early on, and introduce employees to technology platform in a low-stress time of the grant or scholarship management cycle. Ideally, you can identify a time to start the implementation that is typically less busy for your organization.
Ensure continued success
Once you’ve gotten started, maintain open communication with all stakeholders at the management and staff levels. Make sure employees feel comfortable raising issues about the new platform and that there is ongoing training to help solve problems that may arise. There should be one key person who continues to act as the project leader who people can come to with problems.
Technology can improve processes significantly, but organizations need to take the right steps to ensure successful implementation. A good vendor can also provide valuable insight into this process.