We are evaluating marketing automation software and have listed our desired specifications in a spreadsheet with attributes like “must have” and “nice to have.” This sheet helps us easily compare features and see which platforms are lacking our requirements. Plus, after doing 4-6 demos, it helps organize what could be an overwhelming process.
However, choosing a new software platform or AMS or deciding whether to implement a proposed program initiative on behalf of our clients goes beyond a specified list of features.
Using only a spreadsheet to compare features seems sterile and robotic until we ask ourselves nine questions from our project decision matrix document. The questions demonstrate that we actually think about our clients’ missions and goals when making impactful decisions.
When your leadership is considering a new “toy,” be certain it fits in with your goals, objectives and mission. Ensure that you will be able to sustain the initiative beyond the initial excitement and implementation.
When considering a new initiative, ask your team the following nine questions:
1. What are we trying to accomplish?
2. Does this help reach our goals and further our mission?
3. What does success mean for this initiative?
4. What is the desired timeline for this project?
5. What does our resource pool look like?
6. How will feedback be provided by the client?
7. What is the long-term effect of this project?
8. Is this plan sustainable?
9. What are the major risks of the initiative?
These questions deliberate the process to give your organization and board the time to think about the initiative.
Questions like “What does success look like?” are painfully obvious. Yet, how many projects have you implemented where you have not planned to measure when you have achieved success?
Creating a presence on a trendy social media network where your members may or may not visit might be easy to do. Asking yourself, “Does this help our goals and further our mission?” may at least help you decide if it is worth the resources to maintain.
You might be surprised at how these questions could either green light or sideline a project depending on how well vetted, or thought-through it is.