Relevant Predictions for Community-based Nonprofits

I was reading the slideshow that’s linked to this post and thought, “Wow! This is spot on for our community-based nonprofit clients. They just don’t know it.”

 Whether or not it’s acknowledged, every organization engages in Business Process Management (BPM). Sure, sometimes it is executed as “that’s Jim’s job and he has it down to a science,” but I think we all inherently see the danger in this approach.

 Nope, true BPM, at the highest level, is knowing (and documenting) how you run your organization and deliver products and services, and the related technology layer that enables you to do so effectively and efficiently.

Not doing that you say? Well, you should, and these ten predictions help to underscore why. I’ll directly address a few, but I’m always free to chat about the others as well.

Let’s start with prediction #5: “Product distribution will become more complex requiring better management tools.” I interpret this to say, if you are a community-based organization, you realized long ago that issues must ultimately be addressed holistically. You need to not only take ownership of the services that your organization provides to the community, but also have a high degree of awareness of other related, supplemental, and potentially conflicting services being provided in that same community. Therefore, you have rich communication and collaboration processes and networks to ensure that your organization has an appropriate level of “situational awareness.”

So how are you managing that? As you execute your processes, how are you ensuring that your team is executing against your established best practices? How are you capturing and archiving all of the collaboration communication and decision making that occurs? How are you aligning and managing external activities, such as information requests and submissions to local, state, or national organizations? How are you capturing and reporting the metrics so you can answer the age-old funder’s question: How are you doing?

Let’s take a look at another prediction: “The domination of BYOD culture (“bring your own device,” i.e. all those smartphones and tablets) will change the way CIOs manage IT and maximize the business value of tech.”

For the community-based organization, this is an opportunity to increase service and communication capabilities at minimal or low cost. For example, by using a communications backbone, such as Microsoft Exchange, and deploying Outlook Web Access as well as providing for connections by smartphones, an organization can ensure that all of its team members can communicate from any location at anytime. Have an iPhone or Android-powered device? You’re good to go! Have a tablet with wifi (or a nearby Starbucks)? You’re ready to roll.

Now consider this: if you add Microsoft SharePoint, your team not only has full communication capability from anywhere, but they also have access to their shared or personal files as well. No more “can you find document X and email a copy to me?” Consider the operational value of this type of efficiency and flexibility.

So take a look at the other recommendations and see how you can turn them into opportunities to serve your clients and communities better. And give us a call so we can give you a hand.