It's not you, it's me! Yes, this is one of George Constanza's, from the TV show Sienfield's, most famous one liners which many of us have heard before. In this article, we wanted to underscore the importance people and personalities involved in software projects play in achieving success with nonprofit software engagements.
But, before we dig to deep, review the below for a little humor to get into the mood:
Yes, old George was continually finding ways to blame everybody except himself for his lack of success, wasn't he?
Let's face it. It's easier to point to the software as the culprit in your failure to reach your goals with automation. And, it's equally easy to think that a new database is the answer to all the challenges in your association. It may be, but the successful implementation of a new Association nonprofit engagement system requires people. And, People, the good, the bad, and the indifferent are the ones who will make the software a solution or a failure in most scenarios.
5 Ways People Can Be The Problem in Software Failure:
1. People's Software Expectations:
Piling all of your hopes onto the new software. It is our silver bullet, our knight in shining armor. Our faith in it is so deep that we just know — to our core, in our heart of hearts — that it will do absolutely everything we have or will ever need it to. And, if it does anything less than that, we are justified in hating it with a vengeance.
2. People's Love of Software Customizations:
Most people short change the software selection process by not defining requirements upfront. And, by doing so think that they may be able to overcome the "unknowns" by customizing the software.
3. Lack of Users Software Selection Experience:
Unless you have been intimately involved with previous software selection projects, most people underestimate what is involved. So, by agreeing to do our part like the good employees we aspire to be, we tend to see that projects don't meet deadlines, projects stall, or end up never doing anything.
4. People Monkey Jumping:
By returning back to old software as soon as there is a snag instead of getting help.
5. Executives Fooling Themselves:
By saying we agree to change but not really meaning it. Or, cverconfidence is a major contributor to software selection failure. The core of the overconfidence problem is not truly grasping the impact of the business consequences of a poor choice.
Avoiding The Software Trap Excuse for Failure
Even though most nonprofits are not spending the thousands of dollars they once did to acquire a new system, it doesn't matter. Whether you spend one dollar or hundreds of thousands of dollars, your investment is critical to the success and reputation of your executive team and your association.
We don't mean to sell the software short or give it a pass in responsibility with failure. But, If you haven’t upgraded your software in the last five years, trained your staff on the platform in 7, and don't have a data management plan in place for your systems, your software will suck regardless.
Most leading database management software providers today are all good and if you choose a product that aligns with your nonprofits needs I believe that you can see a vast improvement in productivity and effectiveness. But, you have to have the right mindset and people in place to succeed with technology.
People and Software Support Matters
Key Lesson: "The less hyped reality is this, the software is only about 15 percent of the solution".
The technology is important, but in terms of its impact on the overall success of the implementation, it’s a very small piece . The simple fact is that most of the problems that occur during a software implementation are not related to the technology, but how the project is being managed and how leadership views the importance of the project.
Finding a good vendor partner is critical to the success of any software you decide to move forward with. You should be very cautious on who you partner with to deliver the solution. And, we can help you find the right one to meet your needs.
If you would like to discuss, give us a call or leave a reply below. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.