Technology Decision Makers

last person joined: one month ago 

A group for those in nonprofit IT decision-making roles to connect with peers and share best practices. This Technology Decision Makers group is for nonprofit IT or MIS Directors/Managers as well as CIOs and CTOs to connect with their peers and share best practices. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to: hardware and software management, product reviews, emerging technology, best practices, collaborating effectively with other departments, and management conundrums. Membership is restricted to IT staff at nonprofit organizations.

Software Assessment/Configuration Resources

  • 1.  Software Assessment/Configuration Resources

    Posted Sep 07, 2017 12:03
    Hi folks!

    I am new to this community, and it's nice to (virtually) meet you all.

    I am working on a project to assess the current configuration of my organization's primary information system/CRM. The system does not seem to have been maintained at the same rate as programming has grown in the last 3-5 years. Does anyone have software assessment resources or tool-kits that have been helpful when assessing information systems on an organization-wide scale?

    I need to be able to look at the system details while also considering the change management and organizational culture aspects of the project.

    Thanks in advance,

    Charles

    ------------------------------
    Charles Riebeling

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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Software Assessment/Configuration Resources

    Posted Sep 08, 2017 09:09
    Charles,

    I don't have any idea of your context or size of organization, so its hard to give specific advice.  A couple thoughts:  Have you downloaded any of the Idealware guides to get a general sense of what to look for?  They have some more general guides/suggestions, and then some specific guides such as evaluating low cost donor management.   Of course, one has to keep in mind that any guide of features will be "outdated" within a year, since the feature may have been added to a product.  There are software selection sites out there for almost any type of software (e.g., capterra.com) , but often they mostly help you get a sense of the market and it still takes hours and hours of research to figure out which software is best suited for your scale and industry.  Its much easier to check with colleagues (like you are doing) or get referrals to consultants in the field.  Many sites will give you their analysis of features between competitors if you are willing to give them your email and phone number so that they can refer you to options (and get their referral fee from the winner), or give you templates with checklists.
    I feel like I should be able to send you a list of the best template I have used in the past, but they will be outdated.  I'll see if any might be helpful, but you may be just as well off downloading them from the internet and creating your own from their suggestions.

    Btw, I commend you for looking at the change management and cultural aspects of the project, as that is 2/3rds of the battle.

    Dan

    ------------------------------
    Dan Shenk-Evans
    Director of IT
    Capital Area Food Bank
    Washington DC

    dshenkevans@capitalareafoodbank.org
    202-644-9803
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: Software Assessment/Configuration Resources

    Posted Nov 01, 2017 11:31

    I am very late to this thread but hope this is still useful. I have put together an outline of a needs assessment and tool evaluation toolkit at https://ecl.gy/needstoolkit. (I'm working on expanding the content beyond the outline but it is slow going because I do it in my "spare" time, hahahaha.)

    It lays out all the steps of the process I use, and has sample docs and templates for the deliverables for each stage.

    There's also a brief section for resources related to change management and rollout planning.

    Another resource on the change management tip, Build Consulting did a webinar a few months ago about this and as part of that they shared a very simple and useful template for getting concrete about how tool and process changes will impact people's daily work and what needs to happen for people to be prepared and supported around those changes.


    On 9/8/17 6:09 AM, Dan Shenk-Evans via NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network wrote:
    Charles, I don't have any idea of your context or size of organization, so its hard to give specific advice.  A couple thoughts:  Have you...

    Technology Decision Makers

    Re: Software Assessment/Configuration Resources
    Reply to Group Reply to Sender
    Dan Shenk-Evans
    Sep 8, 2017 9:09 AM
    Dan Shenk-Evans
    Charles,

    I don't have any idea of your context or size of organization, so its hard to give specific advice.  A couple thoughts:  Have you downloaded any of the Idealware guides to get a general sense of what to look for?  They have some more general guides/suggestions, and then some specific guides such as evaluating low cost donor management.   Of course, one has to keep in mind that any guide of features will be "outdated" within a year, since the feature may have been added to a product.  There are software selection sites out there for almost any type of software (e.g., capterra.com) , but often they mostly help you get a sense of the market and it still takes hours and hours of research to figure out which software is best suited for your scale and industry.  Its much easier to check with colleagues (like you are doing) or get referrals to consultants in the field.  Many sites will give you their analysis of features between competitors if you are willing to give them your email and phone number so that they can refer you to options (and get their referral fee from the winner), or give you templates with checklists.  
    I feel like I should be able to send you a list of the best template I have used in the past, but they will be outdated.  I'll see if any might be helpful, but you may be just as well off downloading them from the internet and creating your own from their suggestions.

    Btw, I commend you for looking at the change management and cultural aspects of the project, as that is 2/3rds of the battle.

    Dan

    ------------------------------
    Dan Shenk-Evans
    Director of IT
    Capital Area Food Bank
    Washington DC

    dshenkevans@capitalareafoodbank.org
    202-644-9803
    ------------------------------
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    --  Lisa Jervis Principal Information Ecology: Strategic technology for progressive organizations https://iecology.org/  My pronouns are she/her.  Want to send me encrypted email? My public key is available at https://ecl.gy/lj-gpg. 



    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline