It’s a new year (and maybe a new budget). Your organization is about to start a major project to update your website. Or migrate to a new CRM. Or upgrade your event management tools. Congratulations – you’ve got yourself a nonprofit technology project on your hands! Here’s a question for you – who should manage your next nonprofit technology project?
Dwight Schrute? Um…no.
Wait – Doesn’t My Technology Vendor Provide the Project Manager?
Keeping your team on track isn’t going to happen by itself. Someone needs to work with your vendor partner too. Oh, and there’s monitoring the budget – so you don’t end up with a surprise invoice at the end of it all.
Sure, you’ll have a project manager (PM) from your vendor’s team who is responsible for keeping their team and your team moving along according to the plan. But you also need an Internal Project Manager on your side too.
Who Will Lead Your Project Team?
One of the things I help my clients with is defining their project team’s roles and responsibilities. The PM you pick must have the right combination of expertise and natural abilities to help them get the job done. If you haven’t talked about it or are trying to decide who will serve as your PM, this video is just for you!
Hint: It’s Not Dwight
You want to set your team up for success. You need to have this project go well. Assigning it to someone based on where they sit in the org chart may not be in your best interest. Look for the person who:
- Is organized
- Can run effective meetings
- Has a good attitude
I can’t overstate the importance of having at least a dash of these characteristics in your PM. Sure, it’s funny to watch Dwight try to find ways to manage The Office. But having a PM like Dwight is going to make your project team very unhappy. He’s going to be too bossy, too micro-managery, and no one is going to want to work with him.
A Growth Opportunity
Hopefully you now have an answer to the original question: who should manage your next nonprofit technology project? The PM is responsible for the successful start, planning, design, execution, monitoring, adjusting, and wrap up of the project. That’s a lot of action – especially when you add it to an already full plate! You might not find the “perfect person” in your team, and that’s okay! Prepare to do some coaching and mentoring to help them do a fantastic job. You’ll both do a little learning and growing, which is a huge bonus – in addition to the feeling you’ll get when your nonprofit technology project is wrapped successfully.
Have you worked with the Dwight Schrute of PMs? Do you have an experience from your last tech project to share? Fill us in – pop a note in the comments below!