Today, approximately 1.5 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operate in the United States. These NGOs advocate for environmental causes, aid vulnerable populations and encourage economic development.
However, NGOs typically lag behind other organizations when it comes to technology. Legacy systems and outdated technology can mean inefficient workflows and missed opportunities.
Investing in digital transformation, including business process management software can have long-term returns for NGOs.
NGOs Challenges to Overcome
NGOs face unique challenges. Funding sources can dry up, organizations can fail to stand out in a crowded field, and teams made up of both employees and volunteers can pose management challenges.
Many NGOs also struggle with technology and workflow organization. As NGOs grow in size and scope, they often continue to use systems that do not meet their current needs. In addition, implementing new digital technology can create challenges, especially as it relates to the workforce.
Without clear workflow systems, NGOs rely on manual processes that increase the risk of human error and inefficiency. Unless NGOs overcome these challenges, they can fail to achieve their missions.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation refers to the integration of technologies throughout all aspects of an organization. On the operations side, that can mean implementing automated processes to boost efficiency and free up employees for other tasks. Digital technologies also help organizations interact with customers, donors and volunteers.
Digital tools can transform how NGOs operate and serve their constituents. For example, adopting new software platforms can mean making better use of data, while project tracking tools can mean smoother overall operations and more satisfied employees.
Choosing the Right Digital Transformation Technology for Your NGO
Just as NGOs face unique challenges, they also have unique needs. What digital transformation technology does an NGO need to succeed? Consider the following tools that may benefit your NGO.
- Process Automation: Similar to other organizations, NGOs complete repetitive tasks that require time and effort. Process automation technologies improve workflows and operational effectiveness using tools that can boost communication and minimize the damage caused by human errors.
- Data Security: Reputation matters immensely for NGOs. Organizations must effectively secure personal data and sensitive information. Digital security tools can help NGOs prevent data breaches and limit the harm from cyberattacks.
- Analysis and Visualization: Many NGOs collect data from donors, volunteers and others interested in their mission. Data analysis and visualization tools make it easier to draw actionable information from large data sets. Leaders can make data-driven decisions while monitoring key metrics in real time.
- Collaboration Tools: NGOs often benefit from tools to connect with stakeholders, donors, volunteers and employees. Internal collaboration tools can streamline communication and help everyone get on the same page.
The Benefits of Business Process Management (BPM) Software for NGOs
Business process management (BPM) allows organizations to optimize operations and meet goals. BPM software automates repeated tasks and processes with predictable steps. By utilizing BPM software, organizations can streamline the hours devoted to business processes. Automation also minimizes human error.
Specialized business process management software helps NGOs operate effectively and fulfill their missions.
Strategies for Utilizing Business Process Management Software to Succeed
How can NGOs successfully select and implement BPM software? The process starts with understanding your organization’s mission and needs. Identify business processes that can be automated.
Think strategically about the most important tasks and prioritize solutions that meet those needs. During the strategizing phase, identify metrics to measure success when implementing software.
After considering your current technology, IT infrastructure and organizational needs, begin researching software systems. An experienced IT partner can help NGOs compare and select BPM software.
Training Teams to Adopt Business Process Management Software
Many organizations struggle with the implementation phase of a new software system, particularly systems related to business process management. Fortunately, many BPM software partners offer training modules and tech support.
In addition, your team must understand how the system works and why digital tools offer an advantage over previous methods. Organizations can improve the implementation process by highlighting the benefits of digitization to team members. Change management is a critical aspect of any new software implementation.
Key Metrics of Business Process Management Software
When implementing business process management software, NGOs benefit from creating and tracking key metrics. By developing key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with organizational goals, NGOs will have full insight into the payoffs of BPM software.
As a first step, NGOs must create baseline metrics for their current processes. This baseline creates a reference point to identify progress toward goals. NGOs can then develop targets for post-implementation.
Setting milestones and focusing on specific high-priority targets allows NGOs to see the fastest payoff for their investment. Finally, identify the stress points in current processes and create metrics to track their improvement.
Contact Hartman Executive Advisors for Your Digital Transformation
Is your NGO ready to automate business processes and implement digital technologies? Hartman Executive Advisors partners with NGOs and other nonprofit organizations to create a digital strategy that aligns business needs and technology.
Contact Hartman Executive Advisors today to learn more about our services and discuss your unique challenges.