3 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Digital Membership Transformation ProjectOctober 20th, 2017 | Share on:
Are you running your membership from an Excel spreadsheet, or do you have a database that isn’t meeting your member and admin needs? It might be time to move to more efficient digital technologies that free up your time and let you focus on engaging your members.
Understanding the project's impact on your stakeholders and thoroughly evaluating its scope before you start will help to make your digital transformation as seamless and effective as possible.
Here are three questions to ask before starting the project.
1. Who are the stakeholders?
You need to understand who the stakeholders are as early as possible, and specifically before taking any decisions regarding project scope and timeline.
If parts of your team, membership, or external stakeholders are missing it can cause significant disruption and delays. It can even derail the entire project if difficult changes are requested too late in the implementation stage.
A great project starts by identifying all stakeholders, both internal and external, including the team who are going to use the system, your members, and the technical infrastructure teams. Involve each of these stakeholders at the start to understand their needs and desired functionality, and keep up the conversation throughout the project to gather feedback.
2. Are there wider organisational efficiencies to be won?
Rethinking the big picture of the project might uncover organisation wide elements that can be improved - The ‘Digital’ in Digital Transformation is just a tactic to achieve a strategic business transformation.
It is important to take a step back and not get too stuck into the technical details straight away. Instead of copying and pasting your current methods into a new system - ask yourself and your team if there are organisational processes that can be simplified.
It can be tempting to tailor a software solution around your existing method, but by being open-minded to adapting your processes you can gain significant cost savings. These savings should outweigh the cost of transitioning your team to a new way of working.
3. What really needs digitised?
It is also good to rethink the details by removing the presumption that everything needs to be digitised.
Digitising everything in a workflow without questioning it can have undesired consequences. By striving to include all edge cases within your new system you risk extra expense, complexity, delays, and ultimately lowering the quality of how the system handles your most important tasks.
Very often the most successful digital transformation projects leave edge cases for later phases, or to remain as manual tasks. You might want to consider a phased approach that enables you to focus on the core transformation first, and then augment the functionality to tackle edge cases over time. Usually, a good approach is to include 80% of your tasks in the first project phase, and add the remaining 20% in later phases.
At VeryConnect we make sure that your new membership software meets the needs of your stakeholders and performs the tasks you really need digitised as effectively as possible. Get in touch with us today for personalised software advice.
Part of this blog has also been published on mrc-productivity.com together with other expert opinions