Techspeak for Nonprofits:


     How to Communicate
     Effectively with Technology
     Professionals
Facilitators

  Nadia Gouveia
  Partnership Coordinator
  Partnership Platform


  Jane Zhang
  Partnership Coordinator
  ...
Introductions

  Name

  Organization/Role

  Have you experienced communication
  issues around technology?
The Partnership Platform

  Trillium-funded project that helps non-
  profits find partners to implement
  technology proj...
What We do
 Building partnerships to help with:
 Strategic technology plans
 Security audits
 Web development projects
 Ne...
Agenda
 Role of technology
 Role-Play exercise
 Case Study: Ray Gilbert
 Break
 Case Study: Samantha Hodder
 Clear Channel...
Technology is a simplifier
  Technology is a tool and not a solution.
  Technology exists to simplify tasks so we can
  fo...
Technology is an enabler

 Technology enables people to
 participate in events surrounding them
 Technology empowers peopl...
So….

Why is technology so scary?

Why are technology projects so
 frustrating to manage?
Role-Play

 Please follow our role-play exercise
 and see if you think this project will
 succeed and why.
Why technology projects fail

  The organization did not have a clear
  vision.
  Technology project not aligned with
  th...
Role of each side on a
   technology project
                              Technology Professional
Non-profit Organization...
Clear channels of communication

  Explain your business needs for the tool, do not try to apply a
  technical solution un...
Manage your resources

 Manage the operations aspect of the
 project; define the project timeline,
 budget requirements an...
Take charge of the planning

  Remember you are in the driver’s seat, the
  Tech professional works for you, you are the
 ...
Project Steps
  Agreement among the project stakeholders
  A plan shows an overall path and clear
  responsibilities, cont...
Project Steps Cont’d
  A controlled scope, or quot;stakeholder expectations
  managementquot;, to ensure that everyone inv...
Establish a governing framework

                        Layout the aspirations for your organization

         Vision
   ...
Organizational Business Structure
                  Vision
                 Mission

                     Goals

         ...
Sections and Steps in a Typical Strategic
Plan


                         Situation
Goals       Objectives                ...
Strategic Plans

              Strategic technology plans include:
                Overview
                Technology ass...
Finding the right vendor
  Find a vendor that shares the same vision as your
  organization and understands how voluntary
...
What have we learned?

 Effective planning enables effective
 communication in a project
 Communication is one of the key ...
Tech Speak For Nonprofits Nov 9 07
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Tech Speak For Nonprofits Nov 9 07

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Do you feel frustrated and that you have no control of your technology projects? Are you having a hard time trying to understand what IT professionals are saying?
Technology can be intimidating, and feeling like you are not on the same wavelength as your technology provider can be a frustrating experience for everyone involved. </p>
http://www.partnershipplatform.ca/</p>

Published in: Economy & Finance, Technology
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  • Great information for Nonprofit Oranganization professionals. For more great information visit www.NonprofitResourceDirectory.com

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Tech Speak For Nonprofits Nov 9 07

  1. 1. Techspeak for Nonprofits: How to Communicate Effectively with Technology Professionals
  2. 2. Facilitators Nadia Gouveia Partnership Coordinator Partnership Platform Jane Zhang Partnership Coordinator Partnership Platform
  3. 3. Introductions Name Organization/Role Have you experienced communication issues around technology?
  4. 4. The Partnership Platform Trillium-funded project that helps non- profits find partners to implement technology projects Identify your technology needs Get connected with corporate resources Help find technology volunteers Help develop a technology strategy
  5. 5. What We do Building partnerships to help with: Strategic technology plans Security audits Web development projects Networking solutions Fundraising/on-line donation advice Securing software/hardware donations Funding advice Software development
  6. 6. Agenda Role of technology Role-Play exercise Case Study: Ray Gilbert Break Case Study: Samantha Hodder Clear Channel of Communication Managing Resources Take Charge of Planning Project Steps Governing framework Strategic Planning Finding the Right Vendor
  7. 7. Technology is a simplifier Technology is a tool and not a solution. Technology exists to simplify tasks so we can focus on issues we truly care about. Technology enable us to automate tasks so we can increase our capacity to reach out to a wider audience Implemented correctly, technology should be a part of our daily operations.
  8. 8. Technology is an enabler Technology enables people to participate in events surrounding them Technology empowers people to have a louder voice in advocacy and civic engagement More and more people are sharing, contributing, collaborating and communicating online.
  9. 9. So…. Why is technology so scary? Why are technology projects so frustrating to manage?
  10. 10. Role-Play Please follow our role-play exercise and see if you think this project will succeed and why.
  11. 11. Why technology projects fail The organization did not have a clear vision. Technology project not aligned with the organization’s vision. Poor planning and management of the project Poor communication between the organization and the technical team
  12. 12. Role of each side on a technology project Technology Professional Non-profit Organization communicate business avoid using technical ideas clearly jargon; communicate concepts in plain English set and manage timelines, budgets and work within the timelines training requirements and budget requirements, deliver proper training Define a clear vision on documentation how the tech project is aligned with the mission translate business and mandate of the requirements into organization, technical process
  13. 13. Clear channels of communication Explain your business needs for the tool, do not try to apply a technical solution until you are fully informed. Don’t be intimidated with all the jargon. Ask for clarification if a term or concept is unclear, ask for a non technical explanation. Focus on what the terms can do for your project and not on what it is and how it works. Ask questions. “What can that do for me?” Meet on a bi-weekly bases discuss project status and challenges. Take Time Out for Mental Digestion: An individual needs about 72 hours to absorb a new idea.
  14. 14. Manage your resources Manage the operations aspect of the project; define the project timeline, budget requirements and training capacity. Select the right vendor that will work within the guild lines Discuss with your staff their capacity to adapt to new technology Build an IT advisory committee to help identify potential issues
  15. 15. Take charge of the planning Remember you are in the driver’s seat, the Tech professional works for you, you are the ultimate decision maker. Discuss projects with a Need to have, Like to have, Wish to have Seek external support in the initial conversation (i.e. a knowledgeable board member, external support such as Partnership Platform, etc.) Do your homework about your options (Talk to other non-profits)
  16. 16. Project Steps Agreement among the project stakeholders A plan shows an overall path and clear responsibilities, contains the details for estimating the people, money, time, equipment, and materials necessary to get the job done Constant, effective communication among everyone involved in the project in order to coordinate action, recognize and solve problems, and react to changes.
  17. 17. Project Steps Cont’d A controlled scope, or quot;stakeholder expectations managementquot;, to ensure that everyone involved understands exactly what can be accomplished within a given time frame and budget; Time – Try to determine a distinct time line for a project and work towards that, it may mean compromising on scope or budget. Budget- Make sure that you have a sense of how much something like what you are asking for would cost. Time- Ensure that you have the time budgeted to implement a project. Upper management support, quot;managing upwardquot;, guiding the upper managers toward timely decisions that keep the project moving – to supply
  18. 18. Establish a governing framework Layout the aspirations for your organization Vision Clearly define what your organization will Mission accomplish, how to get there, and the implications for stakeholders Goals O Set out clear, tangible high-level goals B that are achievable J E Identify the major efforts that must be C executed in order to support the vision T I and achieve the goals. V E Prioritize the strategies that collectively S deliver on the objectives. Evaluation Tools Identify the critical cross- organizational tactics that are required to deliver results
  19. 19. Organizational Business Structure Vision Mission Goals P H R F F C A M R U E U I O D A O M P N N M M R G A O D A M I K U N R N R I N E N I A T N C T I S M R I G I I C T E N A N A R D S G L G T A E O S I T L U O I I R N O V C S N E E R S Strategic enablers Y
  20. 20. Sections and Steps in a Typical Strategic Plan Situation Goals Objectives Users Messages Analysis Strategies Tactics Evaluation Budget Timelines
  21. 21. Strategic Plans Strategic technology plans include: Overview Technology assessment Situation Analysis Technology infrastructure Users Training and support Web site and online applications Strategies Individual technology projects Tactics Action plan and technology budget
  22. 22. Finding the right vendor Find a vendor that shares the same vision as your organization and understands how voluntary organizations work. A vendor that is able to explain things in a way that you can understand is likely someone who understands your needs as well. Avoid vendors that may represent a particular software or hardware company as they will push the solution even if it’s not what you need. Find a vendor that is clear about the responsibility of the project, timelines, budget and deliverables.
  23. 23. What have we learned? Effective planning enables effective communication in a project Communication is one of the key to success in technology projects It is not how it work, but what it can do for you.
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