There's a lot of things out there to keep up with. Fashion trends change every season, that new Netflix series that "everyone" is talking about, the latest new smart phone, fun new apps - the list never ends.
While it's not that important for you to keep up with the new "mom jeans" trend, what IS important is that your technology keeps up with both internal and external changes.
Your organization is continually evolving, taking on new employees, new programs, new grants and funding sources. Then add on top of that external influences such as regulatory changes, new reporting requirements, and increased demand for your services. Your Finance, HR, Payroll and Case Management systems may be perfectly suited to your organization at the Go-Live date, but within a year, or even a few months things may be out of date.
Technical Expertise needed Post Go-Live
For most Nonprofits, the investment in a new software system is a significant one. It usually takes saving over years or working hard at securing technology grants in order to put aside enough funds for the initial implementation. During the project, your organization has access to many consultants, developers and software experts that ensure that your requirements are met. However, once the project ends most organizations don't have the budget to hire full time technical experts in-house to maintain and enhance the system over time. Therefore, they wait until the next major upgrade or until a massive change needs to be done to make incremental improvements. Every little thing ends up on a "wish list" that one day hopefully will be addressed while users get irritated, inefficiencies grow, and in worst case scenarios little problems start to build and eventually turn into critical problems.
Smarter, More Agile IT Implementations
For many organizations, saving enough or getting a technology grant for a large project isn't possible. Also having to pull a team together for a big-bang intensive, long implementation seems daunting. The recommendation for IT projects today is to break them down into smaller chunks and adopt an agile approach. That way you can learn as you build, celebrate wins earlier, spread out the budget and ensure greater success. In the US, only about 10% of large million dollar IT projects are successful. In many cases, once the long project goes live, so much has changed at the organization that the system isn't as relevant as it could be.
The Birth of Growth Driven Design (GDD)
With the above in mind, website design agencies started an innovative new process called Growth Driven Design. For a monthly fee, organizations have access to a bench of web experts that continually make improvements on their website. When Sparkrock came across this during our recent website project, we thought it would also be a great offering for our Sparkrock customers.
Sparkrock is devoted to supporting our customer interests in improving upon the initial implementation of their solution. That's why we are offering a newer more pragmatic approach to this goal - our own Growth Driven Design (“GDD”) service. It succeeds in minimizing the risks of traditional ERP and CRM improvements through a systematic approach that shortens the time to launch by focusing on implementing changes that deliver real impact, and continuous learning and improvement.
This continuous learning and improvement is particularly important since GDD is an iterative, ongoing process that contrasts with a traditional Work Order approach, which tends to be an all-at-once event. Rather than planning to do everything at one time, GDD focuses on iterations, or “sprints,” for shorter timeframes (which are less risky and less costly).
Rather than undertaking improvements to your Sparkrock solution every two to three years with outdated business processes that no longer align to organizational best practices, GDD makes regular, informed performance improvements to your solution based on testing, continuous learning, and research that’s derived from actual User feedback. In doing so, GDD offers a more adaptive model where businesses can change their business processes based on the conditions and obstacles they may encounter.
With our Sparkrock Manage (Finance and Workforce Management) implementations we suggest a Traditional Implementation to get you to your First Go-Live and then a GDD approach to make future improvements and refinements.
With Sparkrock Engage (Case Management, Donor Management and CRM) you can start with GDD right from the start of the project. This is an excellent way to avoid the high upfront cost of services that come with many CRM implementations.
What do you get as a GDD customer?
All of our GDD Programs include a dedicated Project Manager and regular status calls and meetings to proactively plan out the work over the coming months and to prioritize the Deliverables that will provide the quickest wins and most significant impact. GDD Programs are pre-paid quarterly and can be canceled at any time.
Sample GDD Projects:
- Process Led Transformation (PLT) of Business Processes
- Payroll Process Changes
- Transition from paper-based to electronic processes
- Supporting Legislative and Regulatory changes
- Custom Training/Implementation Services
- Custom Application Development Services
- Data Migration/Integration Services
- User Experience/Quality Assurance
- Analytics Assist Reporting
Why our customers love GDD:
- You won’t have to spend your budget on hiring full-time technical experts to maintain and enhance your system
- Your solution upgrades Go Live monthly, so the system that you rely on will never again lag your organizational priorities
- There’s less risk with agile improvements compared to big bang-style projects
- You’ll guarantee your system is always high performing
- Don’t wait years for a major upgrade to receive the updates you need now
- You’ll have guaranteed access to technical experts whenever you need them