Change management for a global, faith-based youth organization’s Salesforce implementation

The Client

  • One of the word’s largest faith-based youth organizations
  • Thousands of local units throughout the U.S. and the world
  • Manages thousands of staff and many more volunteers to engage and make connections with kids to deepen their faith

The Opportunity

This organization came to us because they are in the process of transitioning to a centralized CRM platform, from a situation where most staff used systems and processes specific to their local unit.

They had taken steps in recent years to centralize banking, caging and cashiering and some of the programs. However, they were embarking on a project to use Salesforce as the platform for a unified system that covered fundraising, volunteers, events, gift processing, reporting, and eventually many other functions.

The organization recognized that moving from thousands of technology silos to one cohesive unit was going to be an enormous effort. The organization had grown organically through the passion and commitment of local staff and volunteers and had a strong entrepreneurial and “get it done” ethic. The ethic was critical to the organization—but presented challenges in creating and implementing a stable, secure information system with compelling functionality that would be well-adopted.

The Solution

The first phase of the project was focused on the core transactional nature of the system and would largely impact the organization’s headquarters staff.

We conducted a comprehensive assessment of the status and scope of the project, interviewed dozens of staff at every level of the organization and reviewed the organization’s internal capabilities for managing a change of this magnitude.

Our change management plan was built on three primary conclusions reached during our review:

  1. There was a lack of consensus and mutual understanding on the scope, sequencing and priorities for the first phase of the project
  2. The Phase 1 impacts on the organization were going to be larger than anyone at the organization had realized
  3. The organization was under-resourced in the training, change management and support functions

We developed a comprehensive stakeholder and impact analysis and change management plan which provided the organization with a clear plan for leadership alignment, communications, training, and support.

We also served as an ongoing support resource to the organization throughout the Phase 1 implementation, as they built out their own internal change management capacities. In addition, we supported their change management planning on Phase 2 of the Salesforce implementation, and led the change management effort for an 18-month non-technology policy change affecting the whole organization.

The Results

As a result of our work together, the organization has achieved the following:

  1. The organization narrowed the scope of Phase 1 to make it more successful—including greater preparedness for the identified change impacts
  2. The organization has ramped up its internal change management capacity, including applying those skills and resourced to additional projects to increase leadership alignment, communications, training and support
  3. The stakeholder and impact analysis has served as a toolset that is used throughout the organization to understand and prepare for the impacts of many different change efforts
Systems Replacement for a Global NGO