Grants Management Software Implementation? Don't Stress. You've got this!

05/10/2016

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When you bring up the idea of implementing new technology at your organization, you can be met with skepticism from your team. They might say, “Yes, the technology sounds great, but the implementation will take too long and is difficult," or, "We simply aren’t ready for the change.”

This is a normal response, if not based on myth. Don’t worry. We can help get your team on board, and we can help you prepare for your implementation.Technology – specifically grants management software – has never played a more important role in the way grantmakers work. The way foundations communicate, collaborate, and organize their workflow is now almost entirely digital – and for many, it all takes place in the cloud.

That’s why selecting and implementing the right grants management software solution is so critical. It can even be stressful at times. But there’s no need to stress out. With proper planning, good communication among stakeholders, and a focused long-term outlook, the stress from implementations doesn’t have to be debilitating – and shouldn’t prevent foundations from seeking out exactly the technology they need.

It all starts with planning.

It’s critical to understand that planning is a process. And for the process to go as smoothly as possible, gathering the right planning team is critical. Here are four tips to help you get started on the planning process and ensure that your implementation goes off without a hitch.

  • Create a small core steering committee from senior leaders and key influencers in your organization who can support and promote this project. Then it’s essential to involve key staff members – those who are subject matter experts and will be using the new technology. These staff should have great communications skills and be champions for change.
  • Perhaps the most important task of the planning team is to take the pulse of the staff.  Surveys, face-to-face meetings, and shadowing end users are all methods that allow the team to hear what each stakeholder expects from the new technology – what their fears are, and what they hope to gain from using it. Make sure to present your findings back to everyone in the organization and have an open dialogue about the pros and cons.
  • Set the tone. People don’t like change. Change can be hard for some. It can also be a huge opportunity for improvements. Leadership especially needs to see change as an opportunity. During any process of change, enthusiasm is contagious.
  • You don’t have to do it all at once, nor should you. Set up a plan to sequence the steps to prepare for an implementation and break the work up into smaller, more easily consumed, pieces. Gain momentum through completing tasks and let others know of your great progress. This is the essence of working in an agile manner, which has proven to be very successful for software implementations. 

Is it all worth it?

Yes, the implementation process is an investment – in time and resources. But look at your return on that investment. Now that you’ve starting using the software, has your work gotten faster, more efficient? Grantmaking software streamlines, simplifies, and speeds up work. You can spend less time tracking down paperwork, and more time out in the field with your grantees and beneficiaries. Because they are ultimately why you got into the social sector, aren’t they?

 

Click here for the complete guide.

Written by Aaron Lester

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