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Technology staffing/capacity

  • 1.  Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Mar 28, 2019 08:28
    My question relates to building technology capacity without hiring staff.  I oversee knowledge management and am the Salesforce system admin for an organization of 70 staff members. In addition to the SF system admin role, I am overseeing our migration to the cloud and implementation of Box for file management and document collaboration.  We have a part-time IT manager and part-time IT help desk that are contracted (they are supervised by our Director of Finance and Operations).

    I am hitting a capacity limit in my role with SF and KM. There are no plans to hire additional support, but I've been told to look into outsourcing. I definitely need someone part-time to act as system admin for Box (although I will remain lead on overseeing). And also need additional admin support with SF.

    I'm reaching out to this community to see if you have any experience with expanding capacity without staffing. I'm considering looking into hiring a consultant on a one-year contract to do system admin for Box and back-up SF system admin and help desk. (Rather than hiring and managing multiple consultants for multiple roles.) Does that sound like a reasonable solution?

    I would welcome any suggestions and/or any follow-up questions to help me clarify the problem to solve?

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    Ilene Weismehl
    Knowledge Management, Database, and CRM Manager
    Community Catalyst
    Boston, MA
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Mar 29, 2019 06:27
    Ilene,

    I can understand your desire to hire one person rather than multiple for management simplicity, but I think of Box.org implementation and Salesforce admin/helpdesk as different enough skills that you may further complicate things by trying to find those skills in one person.

    It also seems to me the Box implementation is time-limited (once implemented, ongoing admin and support should be minimal and/or manageable by your part-time IT manager), whereas the Salesforce admin work is ongoing.

    A while back I put together a simple matrix for evaluating whether to outsource, contract, hire or staff a particular need. I included it below.

    Looking at your needs through this matrix, I'd recommend the following:

    • Box implementation: Identify a scope of work and contract it out. Include a transition to IT Manager for ongoing support and admin of Box. 
    • Salesforce: See if there are candidates within Community Catalyst for a part-time Salesforce admin. Maybe someone would relish an opportunity to up-skill via training and maybe even get a pay bump for the new skills and responsibility. Alternately, look for a Salesforce vendor who can provide admin and support onging. You could even compare those two costs (investing in in-house staff vs. vendor outsourcing) and see what looks better for year 1, 2 & 3.

    That's my $0.02. Interested to see how others respond. I hope that's helpful, Ilene.

    -JP



    ------------------------------
    Joshua Peskay
    Vice President
    RoundTable Technology
    joshua@roundtabletechnology.com
    www.roundtabletechnology.com
    ------------------------------

    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Mar 29, 2019 06:49
    @Joshua Peskay thank you for your response and for the helpful matrix.  And for your recommendations about dividing the work. That is really helpful!

    Just to clarify: I wasn't speaking of a Box admin for system implementation (I am working with Box and and independent consultant that). I was speaking of a Box system admin for the ongoing support and back-end functions, which you also address.  To add another limitation, we currently  contract with very part-time IT manager. I will explore if we can increase our time with him for Box system admin.


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    Ilene Weismehl
    Knowledge Management, Database, and CRM Manager
    Community Catalyst
    Boston, MA
    ------------------------------

    Tech Accelerate


  • 4.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Mar 29, 2019 08:32
    Hi Ilene,

    Personally I would be cautious in building up the skills internally in order to satisfy critical IT roles. If you have not already identified a clear 'change leader' / internal power-user, I am not 100% sure that you have the right person to develop into that system admin role.

    More importantly someone formally trained in technology (front and back end dev, databases, hardware and tech in general) will bring much more to your organisation in terms of process improvements and efficiencies. From my experience these individuals more than pay for their salaries.

    I understand you have limitations - just my opinion.

    Joshua


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    Joshua Grant
    Controller
    Pathways to Education Canada
    Thornhill, ON
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 5.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Apr 01, 2019 09:58
    Hi Ilene,
    We offer a Managed Support subscription for organizations in similar positions. In addition to ongoing support requests that come up, we create a roadmap for other tasks or Salesforce wishlist items like documentation and creating automations. Here's the description: https://501partners.com/managed-support-services/. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

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    Lindsey Peterson
    501Partners
    Boston, MA
    ------------------------------

    Tech Accelerate


  • 6.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Apr 02, 2019 06:40
    Hi Ilene,

    We offer outsourced ongoing support in a couple different forms and would be excited to serve you.  Everyone on your Mission Matters Group team is driven to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible because we are passionate about building community.  Your support team can fix, tweak, customize and provide training to empower your team to learn and grow. Everything we do is approached through the lens of your mission. I'm happy to connect if I can be of service.  Hope you have a wonderful day!

    All the best,
    Jeremy

    Link to services
    ----------------------------------------
    Jeremy Aranda
    Managing Partner
    Mission Matters Group
    jeremy@missionmattersgroup.com
    www.missionmattersgroup.com

    ----------------------------------------

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    Ryan Johnson
    Overland Park
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 7.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Apr 02, 2019 07:01
    Jeremy was traveling so I posted for him :)

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    Ryan Johnson
    Overland Park
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 8.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Apr 03, 2019 11:15
    We were in a very similar situation last fall -- and have about the same number of users. Managing Salesforce, Box, and Office 365. After a planned hire fell through we decided to "hire" a managed services company instead. We're now about four months in and have learned how to make this work well.

    I'd be happy to share more if you are interested. We're really pleased with the results.

    David

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    David Limiero
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 9.  RE: Technology staffing/capacity

    Posted Jul 17, 2019 09:06
    Hi IIene,

    Just joined the community and thus a bit late in my reply but a few thoughts.    As an organization that provides managed services to NfP and Associations - a few items to consider.

    1)   Be exact and specific on scope, required service levels (i.e. response times) and deliverable schedule
    2)   On-site versus off - site models.    We utilize both based on budget tolerance.   We have very very competitive off shore resources for complete SF support (configuration, customization, implementation, data QA/conversion, Operations, maintenance and administration).   But if you want/like the "high touch" model, that would be more local resources.    Off site/off shore models require a bit more flexibility in terms of management, coordination and communication - but most find it a small "price" to pay given the economic advantages

    Hope this helps and feel to reach out

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    Robert Bowell
    Senior Vice President
    Tandem Conglomerate
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    Tech Accelerate