Managing IT Volunteers Mark Walker, SCIP ICT Champion for the South East
Managing IT Volunteers <ul><li>Where to find them </li></ul><ul><li>Which projects are appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>Whic...
Today’s Programme <ul><li>Where You Are Now </li></ul><ul><li>How IT Projects Work </li></ul><ul><li>The Right Project </l...
VCS and IT Volunteers <ul><li>Good policies and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of experience of working with volunteers ...
About Me <ul><li>SCIP: IT services and training to charities and community groups </li></ul><ul><li>Social enterprise foun...
About You <ul><li>In pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Name, organisation, role </li></ul><ul><li>Your experience with IT Volunteers...
What is an IT Volunteer? <ul><li>In pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers you have been involved with </li></ul><ul><li>Proje...
Volunteers are rarely 'free’ <ul><li>Staff Time  </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li...
What sets IT Volunteers apart? <ul><li>Different working environment and style </li></ul><ul><li>Highly skilled with speci...
There are pros… <ul><li>The ideal volunteer project </li></ul><ul><li>Someone with the right experience </li></ul><ul><li>...
but there can be cons… <ul><li>Mismanaged  </li></ul><ul><li>Misintentioned </li></ul><ul><li>Mismatched expectations </li...
The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by board and o...
Getting IT Projects Right <ul><li>Preparation  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buy in </li></u...
Understanding IT Project Processes <ul><li>Identify Your Needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Brief </li></ul></ul><ul><li...
LUNCH
Understanding IT Projects <ul><li>Understand how they work </li></ul><ul><li>Understand your role in them </li></ul><ul><l...
Web Site Brief Can Include <ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives/Targets </li></ul><ul><li>Timetable </li></ul><ul...
EXERCISE: Website Projects <ul><li>In pairs </li></ul><ul><li>One of you wants to update website </li></ul><ul><li>Describ...
www.ictknowledgebase.org.uk/websitebrief
The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support ...
Possible Problems <ul><li>Volunteers enthusiastic but unskilled </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitments of volunteers </li></ul...
Suitable for a Volunteer? <ul><li>Volunteer qualified and experienced </li></ul><ul><li>Project well managed, by organisat...
Ideal for IT volunteers <ul><li>Independent advice and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>One to one training for staff/other volu...
Exercise <ul><li>Green = suitable for an IT volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Amber = a possibility, but some aspects need to be...
Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We are developing a new project targeted at unemployed youth. We need a simple website...
Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ I am responsible for the IT in our 10 person organisation. At present we have a mix of...
Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We have just raised some funding for a systems upgrade. We need someone to help us wit...
Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We have obtained £30,000 funding to develop a web based resource directory for profess...
Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ Our IT is a complete mess and we need someone to help us make sense of what we have an...
Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We are a small organisation heavily dependent on IT, and we are fed up with getting ri...
Project Issues: Don’t forget <ul><li>Is your data safe/backed up? </li></ul><ul><li>Passwords and basic documentation </li...
The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support ...
Finding the right volunteer <ul><li>Advertise </li></ul><ul><li>Professional brokers - iT4C, Pro Help, Media Trust, BiTC <...
IT4Communities <ul><li>Telephone-based service </li></ul><ul><li>Create a project brief </li></ul><ul><li>Share it with 3,...
www.it4c.org.uk
 
Summary: Top Tips <ul><li>Choose the right project </li></ul><ul><li>Define your needs clearly  </li></ul><ul><li>Choose t...
Where to get help <ul><li>www.it4c.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.ictknowledgebase.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.ictchampions...
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091111 Managing It Volunteers NEW With Notes!

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I run a one-day session for people who want to recruit IT volunteers. This presentations has notes explaining how it can be used in a workshop. Please feel free to use/adapt as required.

Please contact me for similar workshops, as well as a 90 minute version of the same thing that is ideal for teams from Volunteer Centres and so on.

**Big thanks to Anne at IT4Communities for all her help.

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  • There are lots of people with IT skills looking for charities who could use those skills. And there are lots of charities looking for help with IT projects who don’t know where to look for volunteers, or don’t know what skills they need from a volunteer. This workshop looks at what you can do to solve that problem. It is practical and will focus on your needs.
  • A challenge: why is this so hard? The voluntary sceor is good at recruiting managing and supporting volunteers, so why does it struggle with IT? Does it see it as different? Is it different? What is different?
  • I will write up your questions and we will review tem at the end of the session
  • This is a good chance to reflect on what you already know about IT projects in general, as well as those which involve volunteers. It could be that you are not confident working with IT projects, or have only limited experience eg built websites but never developed a database. This exercise should also show what broad range of projects and activities need IT, and the different skills it needs, including people skills
  • Think about risks, and weigh up potential benefits
  • Back to the challenge: in what way is this different to your needs when looking for voluntary help with human resources or legal issues or accountancy? Use this time to talk about how you view these different specialist functions and work out is different about IT – to what extent is it about the people and they way they behave - a common complaint about IT people?
  • So why do it? Save money, build knowledge and skills of your team, involve people in your community….
  • Does it make any difference if you pay? What difference does it make? Are you any better at managing the risks if you pay?
  • This is a suggested list – can you think of any other criteria?
  • This part of the session helps you to review how successful projects work, and looks at the key steps involved in a successful IT project. When reviewing this slide we will be talking about what you understand by these terms and I will be asking you about your own experience and training in project management. Lots of people have these skills but may need reminding of how important they are. They may also want to discuss how this links to the way their organisation makes decisions especially in terms of getting ‘buy-in’ from board members and other staff.
  • How familiar are these steps? We will talk about the brief being the critical first step for you as the client – are you starting by identifying the problem and your goals? Or are you spending your time working out the solutions? Your needs should be focused on issues such as income generation, better services, achieving efficiencies or making your work more effective. Before you leap to the design process be sure that you brief says what you think will be different once this project is complete eg our service users will be able to access information 24 hours a day. This will drive the project forward and give you targets againts which you can review progress.
  • A catch up – a reminder that your are running a project and looking for a volunteer to help you with it. So use sound project management processes from the start, or look for a volunteer with project management skills and lots of project experience, rather than specific IT skills.
  • Here’s an example that is fairly common – a website brief. IT4C says that the most common projects are websites. So here is a brief for a website, not necessarily everything you need, and may not be in this specific order, but about right. I will ask you what questions you have and we will talk through each heading to see what we each think of it
  • I will click back to the previous slide to give them the suggested headings This exercise helps us review what we think we know about projects, and get you talking about real projects and may give you stuff to take away and use straight away
  • Here is a source of further help about preparing a brief for a website
  • A reminder
  • Questions and answers based on feedback from IT4Communities.org.uk
  • Red/amber: timescale too short, not enough focus, more work needed on the brief, could be a linger term project involving the young people, look for someone to help prepare a brief before deciding how to build the site
  • Red: too little structure and too easy for this situation to run away from you – you need it to be managed carefully so that it definitely works otherwise you risk losing all the good work to date. Also, a new person coming in would probably have their own ideas and may end up undoing something done y a volunteer
  • Green – ideally look for someone with a combination of procurement skills and technical knowledge
  • Green/Amber, the only caution is because this is a critical and large scale project which may be supported by a volunteer but may also become more complicated the more people who get involved. Another observation would be that you don’t choose a web designer who can’t speak you language - £30k is a lot of money so you should have plenty of choice.
  • Green, but you may not specifically need a techie as much as you need a good analyst or communications person who can link IT decisions to your overall gaols
  • Amber – sounds plausible but my be very difficult to manage
  • This slide can be used to discuss current issues that people are facing and discuss ways of resolving them – especially helpful to show how they are not IT issues, but may be about confidentiality, or security or internal management issues…
  • A reminder
  • Discuss experience of the group to localise this information – esp things like who to talk to at a local college or university of local businesses that are known to be sympathetic
  • The only specialist organisation – really good project briefing process
  • The website gives some good examples of projects that volunteers have delivered, including databases, websites, installations, etc
  • You can also add a widget to your site showing requests for volunteers as they come in
  • This underlines that it is about knowing how to run successful projects, not just choosing the right person
  • 091111 Managing It Volunteers NEW With Notes!

    1. 1. Managing IT Volunteers Mark Walker, SCIP ICT Champion for the South East
    2. 2. Managing IT Volunteers <ul><li>Where to find them </li></ul><ul><li>Which projects are appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>Which ones aren’t </li></ul><ul><li>Where to get help </li></ul><ul><li>Working with groups </li></ul>
    3. 3. Today’s Programme <ul><li>Where You Are Now </li></ul><ul><li>How IT Projects Work </li></ul><ul><li>The Right Project </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiting IT Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Where to Get Help </li></ul>
    4. 4. VCS and IT Volunteers <ul><li>Good policies and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of experience of working with volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative and resourceful </li></ul><ul><li>So why are IT volunteers different? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they different? </li></ul>
    5. 5. About Me <ul><li>SCIP: IT services and training to charities and community groups </li></ul><ul><li>Social enterprise founded in 1996, based in Brighton </li></ul><ul><li>I am also regional ICT Champion for South East England </li></ul>
    6. 6. About You <ul><li>In pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Name, organisation, role </li></ul><ul><li>Your experience with IT Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Two questions you want to answer today </li></ul>
    7. 7. What is an IT Volunteer? <ul><li>In pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers you have been involved with </li></ul><ul><li>Projects you think may be appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Skills you think are available/required </li></ul><ul><li>Where do they come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Any examples? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Volunteers are rarely 'free’ <ul><li>Staff Time </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Associated costs e.g. hardware, web hosting, software </li></ul>
    9. 9. What sets IT Volunteers apart? <ul><li>Different working environment and style </li></ul><ul><li>Highly skilled with specialist knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Same as any volunteer? e.g. may have to leave, other commitments, expect professionalism and respect, etc </li></ul>
    10. 10. There are pros… <ul><li>The ideal volunteer project </li></ul><ul><li>Someone with the right experience </li></ul><ul><li>Working in partnership </li></ul><ul><li>A solution with minimal or manageable staff and resource cost </li></ul><ul><li>It is your project - no ‘backseat drivers’ </li></ul>
    11. 11. but there can be cons… <ul><li>Mismanaged </li></ul><ul><li>Misintentioned </li></ul><ul><li>Mismatched expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Poor risk management </li></ul><ul><li>No project management support </li></ul>
    12. 12. The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by board and other staff </li></ul><ul><li>Well planned – know your aims </li></ul><ul><li>Well managed </li></ul><ul><li>Well supported </li></ul>
    13. 13. Getting IT Projects Right <ul><li>Preparation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buy in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Brief </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project Management Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timescale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Understanding IT Project Processes <ul><li>Identify Your Needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Brief </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify Your Options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review your Brief </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Select a Provider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue Brief </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection Process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agree Specification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rebuild, re-test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roll Out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. LUNCH
    16. 16. Understanding IT Projects <ul><li>Understand how they work </li></ul><ul><li>Understand your role in them </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how they are likely to run </li></ul><ul><li>Understand expectations of the people you are recruiting </li></ul>
    17. 17. Web Site Brief Can Include <ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives/Targets </li></ul><ul><li>Timetable </li></ul><ul><li>Milestones </li></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><li>Roles </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>User Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management </li></ul><ul><li>Site Structure </li></ul>
    18. 18. EXERCISE: Website Projects <ul><li>In pairs </li></ul><ul><li>One of you wants to update website </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Create a brief for a web designer </li></ul><ul><li>You have 20 minutes </li></ul>
    19. 19. www.ictknowledgebase.org.uk/websitebrief
    20. 20. The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support of the organisation’s board/other staff </li></ul><ul><li>Well planned – know your aims </li></ul><ul><li>Well managed </li></ul><ul><li>Well supported </li></ul>
    21. 21. Possible Problems <ul><li>Volunteers enthusiastic but unskilled </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitments of volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuitable solution </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Culture/communication complications </li></ul><ul><li>They leave - the knowledge leaves </li></ul>
    22. 22. Suitable for a Volunteer? <ul><li>Volunteer qualified and experienced </li></ul><ul><li>Project well managed, by organisation and volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer well-supported </li></ul><ul><li>Teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>Buy-in </li></ul>
    23. 23. Ideal for IT volunteers <ul><li>Independent advice and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>One to one training for staff/other volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>IT strategy/IT planning </li></ul><ul><li>Trustee – with technical expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Working directly with clients </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing and supplier decisions </li></ul>
    24. 24. Exercise <ul><li>Green = suitable for an IT volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Amber = a possibility, but some aspects need to be checked </li></ul><ul><li>Red = definitely not suitable for IT volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>You may also like to suggest the budget if the project was being paid for </li></ul>
    25. 25. Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We are developing a new project targeted at unemployed youth. We need a simple website explaining the services that we will be offering, which needs to be ready for our project launch next month.” </li></ul>
    26. 26. Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ I am responsible for the IT in our 10 person organisation. At present we have a mix of stand alone and peer to peer machines. We have just had a new server donated and I was about to install a network, but I have been offered another job and I’m moving on. We really do need the upgrade to a server-client network – it’s a fairly simple job and as my post won’t be filled for several months I’d like a volunteer to do the installation. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We have just raised some funding for a systems upgrade. We need someone to help us with the tendering process, and the selection of a supplier.” </li></ul>
    28. 28. Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We have obtained £30,000 funding to develop a web based resource directory for professionals and families who need to know about specific disabilities. We don’t really have anyone with a technical knowledge in our staff team and we would like to a volunteer to act a translator between us and suppliers.“ </li></ul>
    29. 29. Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ Our IT is a complete mess and we need someone to help us make sense of what we have and what we need for the future!” </li></ul>
    30. 30. Exercise: Red/Amber/Green <ul><li>“ We are a small organisation heavily dependent on IT, and we are fed up with getting ripped off by IT contractors every time we have a problem. We would like to develop a long-term relationship with a volunteer who we wouldn’t need to see regularly but who would be able to fix any problems as and when they arise.” </li></ul>
    31. 31. Project Issues: Don’t forget <ul><li>Is your data safe/backed up? </li></ul><ul><li>Passwords and basic documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Who owns the project? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is producing the content? </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining the site once the volunteer has gone </li></ul>
    32. 32. The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support of the organisation’s board/other staff </li></ul><ul><li>Well planned – know your aims </li></ul><ul><li>Well managed </li></ul><ul><li>Well supported </li></ul>
    33. 33. Finding the right volunteer <ul><li>Advertise </li></ul><ul><li>Professional brokers - iT4C, Pro Help, Media Trust, BiTC </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Centres, CVS, Voluntary Action </li></ul><ul><li>Universities & colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Local businesses – ask their staff </li></ul>
    34. 34. IT4Communities <ul><li>Telephone-based service </li></ul><ul><li>Create a project brief </li></ul><ul><li>Share it with 3,000 IT professionals </li></ul><ul><li>£85 p.a. for unlimited requests </li></ul><ul><li>Includes follow up support </li></ul>
    35. 35. www.it4c.org.uk
    36. 37. Summary: Top Tips <ul><li>Choose the right project </li></ul><ul><li>Define your needs clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the right volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Allow time to run the project </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Document everything! </li></ul>
    37. 38. Where to get help <ul><li>www.it4c.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.ictknowledgebase.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.ictchampions.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Walker </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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