Web and CRM projects are now transformational or should be! Be ready to involve multiple business lines, staff, data, systems, reporting, processes and don’t forget culture.
Member’s digital needs and skills have moved at a very rapid pace due to COVID-19, as have the workload of membership staff. This growth may slow down, but this pandemic has taught us that we can’t be complacent, the need and therefore the workload will not magically reduce. It’s time to make some changes.
When we look at the latest digital report from Memberwise (Memberwise Digital Excellence report 2021/22). A lack of strategy and planning is really holding the sector back with their digital transformation, with only 32% having a digital strategy, only 29% have a member engagement strategy and satisfaction levels are down significantly with current software suppliers/providers.
In a recent survey that we ran across the sector, we saw 62%* of organisations have increased their focus on online member services since the start of the pandemic, with 84% stating that they had a positive attitude to digital transformation. Over the last 18 months, organisations have had to make digital technology work for them putting digital sticking plasters on systems and technology, but this will not last forever.
Some changes can be adopted or simply tweaked and enhanced to be permanent, but this should be part of the overall digital plan. If planned correctly this could be one of the most impactful changes for the organisation and it’s worth investing time to get this right; it will save you budget but also heartache.
Based on our experience of running many digital projects over the last few years, we have put together some key questions that should be asked in the early stages of your transformation.
- Have you done a risk assessment? This is a standard practice across many areas of the business and is just as important here. Staff tell you they need a new system; the volume of workarounds and manual process are too much…but do they? Perform a risk analysis – ask staff what they need, what they fear about a new system, will there be job security concerns with more automation, do they accept that they will need to change process and allow time to get up to speed.
- Do you have sponsorship at a senior level in the organisation? Leaders across the organisation need to be prepared, supportive and understand the benefits but also understand the impact to their part of the organisation.
- Have you built a communication plan? While this is not always a complicated aspect of the project it is key to keep it on track, and more importantly can be a major factor that will make or break the project. Once you have done your risk assessment you can ensure that you are addressing staff fears and are able to mitigate informed risks.
- Have you scoped out the budget? This is an area that many organisations come unstuck, the budget number they have defined is just not realistic for their project aspirations. There are key areas that are forgotten which the budget must include. Technology is the obvious one, but you will also need to consider integration costs, data, content, staff training and reskilling – potentially there will be new roles (CRM and Digital content managers). There will be costs to change management, communications to your members and time needed from your staff.
These can be hard questions to ask but remaining flexible and with an open mindset, you can work through these. As with all key projects, not everyone will be happy, it is important how you communicate and engage with them, and this always takes more time than you think!
All through the project remember this is about your business requirements first not just technology, it’s very natural for people to get excited by the art of the possible, but the question is do you really need it, and will your team use it?
Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient, and innovative organisation. With its broad cross-sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners. Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.
If you need any help with the next steps in your journey, simply call Ben Sturt on 07469 768990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you’d like a copy of our recent whitepaper (A director’s guide to tendering for a new website and CRM) or the referenced survey, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.