The following post was authored by Tobin Conley, a senior consultant here at DelCor. Tobin is a frequent speaker at industry events and serves on the ASAE Professional Development Section Council.
Over the years, DelCor has had the opportunity to be involved with hundreds of associations and other non-profits engaged in various system selection and implementation processes. We've learned that investing a fair amount of time and effort on the front end is essential to ensuring a successful outcome.
Clearly establishing the rules of engagement—including the criteria by which decisions will be made and success measured—early in the process (and enforcing them throughout) leads to greater organizational buy-in and improves the chances of success. It also pays to work with staff members from all areas within an organization to get an accurate depiction of what key business processes are undertaken, what systems are currently used, and what needs remain unfulfilled.
Often the key to a successful technology project rests in paying attention to project management. This is often a highly detailed process, and can involve significant staff time.
Management of the project should not be considered merely another "hat" that someone is given in addition to their other duties; it involves significant oversight (and sometimes, full-time attention) of an individual throughout the course of system design and implementation—and even a substantial amount of their time thereafter.
Anything less than this may endanger the success of the project, and could ultimately prove more costly to the organization over time.
Having seen this play out postively and negatively in many different circumstances, we consider project management to be among the most important elements of an organization's strategic investment in technology. We aim to share this knowledge and experience with our clients and others in the association community in need of project management insights.
Every organization, at one time or another, will undertake a project and, no matter the size or scale, project management will undoubtedly play a role in the success or failure of the effort.
Whether you are new to the ways of project management, follow the waterfall way, are a certified scrum master, or engage in the agile approach, there's always more to learn. That's why the focus of our Progress U. program on May 18 is on project management. Come join your colleagues to exchange ideas and best practices and explore how you can help ensure the success of your organization's next technology project. Together, we'll work to give you the right tools to get the job done.
More info: www.nowthatsprogress.com