DC2009:Managing 3rd-party software implementations

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Managing 3rd-party software implementations, including a new Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system, fundraising system, member management system, or any software that your organization paid big bucks to a vendor for, is an opportunity for creative tension and creative solutions. This session will present learnings from projects, including project management, technology integration and testing. We’ll also fold in discussion of pitfalls to avoid and specific actions to take during implementation, actions aimed at supporting the achievement of operational and reporting needs that organization’s seek by implementing such systems.

Session Notes

Adoption as key word—sharepoint has been found to be too clunky for users to adopt. • 80-20 Rule: 80% of success of third-party system, is people’s ability and willingness to use it. 20% is the technology and its effectiveness. Opportunity for organizational development. • IT requirements to maintain day-to-day operations leads to increased ROI o New systems can make organization more effective and see a return of investment Data mapping is necessary for CMS implementation. • Need to create an excel spreadsheet of the current fields and new fields in the database. o Vendors often time have tools to assist in the data mapping process. • For CMS systems, determine who “owns” each web page and determine what to be changed on it. Data clean-up: either do it before, but based on new system, can be imported and cleaned later. • Need clean data to keep/build trust. • Keep track of the number of invested hours in data clean-up. Need to have multiple data conversions to test before going live • How many are necessary? • Need several validating persons when checking conversion test. Double-check that the vendor has included all the requirements listed in the RFP-Case scenarios • Need a test-drive to be sure that it’s set up properly Third Party Integration • Need to hold a joint call to verify document requirements and plan between the two vendors Training versus learning • Need to have training before testing. • Learning through doing case-scenarios. o “buddy” system- several people testing the system can help each other when in the learning process. • Having power-users as “buddies” makes them advocates for adoption. Business processes instructions for new system • Need to have preparations for users/constituents to change their behaviours in the new system o “buddy” system to help o case-scenarios prepares the user o There will always be users/constituents who will have complaints about the new system Ongoing Communications with stakeholders (vendor, internal champion, key constituents). Have a database/applications administrator

Buddy System to increase adoption and accessibility of new system Testing/Training sessions for new system. • Case-scenarios – having new business procedures documented beforehand. A new system can lead to new organizational development, which will lead to increased ROI