Last week ConnectVA kicked off our Nonprofit Technology Series with Power Planning: Tools for Effective Tech Planning. Kim Mahan of Maxx Potential presented an overview of how technology planning should be an integral part of a strategic plan. In fact, technology should not necessarily be a “strategy” but used as a toolbox for accomplishing your strategic goals. Start with your mission and ask whether a certain technology would support your mission.
What does the technology do? What is the technology useful for? Do you really need it? What is the end result of using the technology? Keep in mind that a successful technology campaign may actually run counter to your ultimate goal if it does not support your overall objective. One of the biggest perils of early adoption of new technology is distraction or misalignment from your strategic goals.
In addition to the questions above, when deciding whether to use a certain technology platform, application, software or device, it’s important to evaluate the difficulty to impact ratio – an ideal utilization of technology would require moderate to low difficulty with high impact that supports your mission.
Kim also reviewed the principles of Agile Management, which can be used for managing technology, a project or any change process.
- Focus on business value – your most fundamental goal!
- Use iterative and incremental delivery – focus on early delivery of the highest value features, and break the project up into small pieces that can be accomplished, build on eachother and lead to more successes
- Learn with adaptive planning – learn as you go and let the work inform the plan
- Foster collaboration – two (or more) heads are better than one, especially when they’re devoted to the project and are working together
Lastly, Kim concluded the clinic by sharing some free or affordable and user-friendly online project and time management tools. Check them out below.
“Planning and doing is never done. It’s about whether you’re making the most of your time now. Technology is a powerful tool to help.” – Kim Mahan, Maxx Potential.
Thanks to Kim for leading the clinic and to the Community Idea Stations | WCVE for hosting us!