Strategic Technology Planning

Before making any decisions about hardware, software or Internet presence, a non-profit organization should clarify technology goals as they relate to the organization's mission and its other programs.

A strategic technology plan establishes priorities, organizes relevant stakeholders and creates evaluation systems. Preparing a strategic technology plan is crucial to making sure that resources are allocated to efficient and productive programs. The planning stage may take 5 to 8 months. The complexity of the organization and the depth of the plan will affect timing.

The following are the basic steps to creating a strategic technology plan:

Form a technology team
This team should include technology and non-technology experts from different parts of the organization. The public relations director must be included in this team to ensure that technology plans coincide with the organization's mission.

Share the possibilities
Discuss the potential of technology and the impact it will have on the organization with staff, funders and the board of directors.

Define your organization
Analyze your organizational history, strategic plans, constituencies, environmental climate, staffing, funding and other issues.

Assess current technology
Evaluate technology that is already working towards fulfilling the organzation's mission. Take note of programs that might not be working as expected or hoped.

Set technology goals
Clarify specific goals and strategies for programs and internal operations. Prioritize the goals to reflect the organization's mission, culture, staff, and funding capabilites.

Plan ahead
Include sustainability aspects of the technology plan such as evaluation methods, training, technical support, policies and procedures.

Find the resources
Prepare budgets, funding plans and grant proposals.

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