Building a Better Nonprofit Software Selection Process: Ask the Experts (Video, MP3)
Transcript coming soon!
Building a Better Nonprofit Software Selection Process: Ask the Experts
To be successful with selecting new software at your organization, you need to start by identifying and planning for the organizational change that will occur within the future implementation. This is true no matter what type of software you want to choose: CRM, ERP, HRIS, digital engagement, program management…you name it.
In this “Ask the Experts” webinar co-presented with Community IT Innovators, we answer your questions on ways to create a sound process for software selection, before you consider the specific technologies available to meet your organizational needs.
Join Build Consulting co-founders Kyle Haines and David Deal as they leverage their combined 70+ years in nonprofit technology projects to answer your questions about what makes a software selection successful.
As with all our webinars, this presentation is appropriate for an audience of varied IT experience. And Build is scrupulously vendor-agnostic.
Build’s clients often tell us that our nonprofit software selection process is unlike what they have experienced before. And vendors often tell us that our clients are better prepared than any other nonprofits to approach software selection and implementation efforts. In answering registrant and attendee questions, we also talk about what makes Build’s approach different and successful.
The untold story of successful nonprofit software selections
If you search the Internet for how to select the right software for your organization, you’ll find plenty of articles and checklists that tell you how to go about doing it. And the basic recipe really isn’t that complicated: talk to people inside your organization to determine your needs, identify software solutions and implementation partners (consultants) that can meet those needs, engage with them through a competitive process, and pick the winning option that emerges from that process.
The Internet is also rich with advice on how to avoid common pitfalls inherent in software selections: conduct a process that engages the people that will be using the system, don’t go with the first shiny object you see, make sure you take everything into consideration when budgeting, etc.
Nonprofits can do better at selecting software
Yet despite all the information available—and the fact that there are more good software solutions for nonprofits than ever before—the failure rate for software implementations is still as high as 50%. Some implementations fail immediately, before the system is even in use. Others fail soon after the software “goes live,” as users struggle to adopt (or even outright reject) the new software. Still others fail after the organization has struggled to use the software effectively for months or even years.
Success can be achieved by applying one important principle
Build Consulting believes that most software selection and implementation failures are avoidable. In our experience working with hundreds of nonprofit organizations across well over a thousand projects, we’ve learned there is one important thing nonprofits that experience failure don’t take into consideration: technology doesn’t come first, it comes last. If you want to have success with technology-supported change at your organization, the change must start with you, not with the technology!