Thought Leadership From Industry Peers

Project Management for Charities

Ashin Antony Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Ignitho Technologies

This blog is the first in a series reviewing the content of the Charities Project Manifesto published nearly two years ago.

Series: Charities Project Manifesto – Lessons learnt from discussions with IT project managers in 2015

Part 1 Carry out projects to introduce beneficial change

Benefit realisation

The issue, as I see it, is that most organizations focus on the implementation of technology not on the realisation of the expected business benefits.

How do you rate on benefits realisation?

If you have implemented a CRM system in the last 12 or 24 months have your realised these generic CRM benefits?

1. Reduced cost by not wasting time on irrelevant supporters   –   yes / no

2. Increased response rate from Campaigns                             –    yes / no

3. Increased rate of follow up leads (high value donors)           –    yes / no

4. Increased conversion rate to upsell donation products         –    yes / no

What is behind the issue?

Take the example of the delivery of a new and innovative CRM system.The uncertainty of outcome is less about the IT but the other changes in order to have effective use of the system and to deliver the desired business benefit.

Looking at the components of a project below (I have colour coded them for clarity) and it is easy to see the areas of greatest uncertainty that need to have our attention

IT Enablers. Enabling Changes. Business Changes. Benefits. Objectives
(Areas of greatest certainty) (Areas of least certainty)

Quote from a Charity IT project lead – “We delivered the project on time, cost and quality but nobody used it much. There was no real benefit”

Review your project management culture and capability

Start to review your teams’ project management culture and capabilities to deliver beneficial change. We can help with some self-assessment tools or conduct the review for you. A review will help you understand where you are and how you compare with others in the sector.


In my view, not enough people really understand the nature of change management and the importance it should be given to deliver beneficial change!

Lunch & Learn sessions

We recommend ‘lunch & learn sessions’ on the project management topics that have the greatest potential to bring value to project teams implementing Cloud and CRM projects. The sessions focus on topics and pragmatic tools to improve the project culture and practice within your organisation and there is potential to coordinate these training with staff development plans.

  • Benefit realisation
  • Benefit realisation
  • How do you choose the right projects?
  • How do you sustain the change?
  • Is it value for money?
  • Project governance
  • Decision making
  • Sponsor role
  • More detail on the LUNCH & LEARN topics….
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • TG model
  • HR and skills
  • Career paths
  • Agile ways of working
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Feedback
  • Stakeholder man
  • Agile ways of working
  • Change management
  • Accountability
  • Trust

About the Blog series

The blog is intended for project teams who are implementing CRM and Cloud projects that are currently being challenged by the hectic day to day operations in the run-up to the Christmas period. I’ve tried to keep the format for each topic similar. The format of the series is to outline the topic and highlight the key issue that charity project staff have raised over the last year. Topic, Description and my views on the topic together with a quote or two from charity practitioners and a report card rating for how I think the sector implements the topic. I also include a poll or questions on the topic to get your input.

I have asked 4 yes/no questions about CRM benefits in this blog to get your feedback on the current topic to better understand the significance of the issue across the sector. For other blogs, I will include more questions or polls.

Tags: Project Management, Software Development, Charities

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Ashin Antony Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Ignitho Technologies
Ashin brings to Ignitho two decades of technology leadership experience and was with Mindtree for close to a decade playing key tech leadership roles. His areas of specialization include Big Data, Cloud and Emerging Technologies; with expertise in designing and implementing digital enterprise solutions. Ashin is driving Ignitho’s Data, Cloud and Digital Engineering areas. He is also a business partner and is part of the core leadership team at Nuivio Ventures, Ignitho’s parent company.
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