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Donna Caputo
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Organizational Readiness: The five Cs


So you’ve decided to implement a fancy new CRM system for your fundraisers. Good for you!

You’ve defined your requirements, you finished your system selection, and you’ve chosen Blackbaud CRM. Good for you!

Before you kick it off, before you finish your project plan, before you wipe a tear away for your old system, ask yourself one more question. Are you ready?

Of course you’re ready, right? Maybe, maybe not. Understanding in what ways an organization is ready or less ready is an important piece of preparation. And sometimes in the excitement of negotiating contracts, building budgets and gathering blackout dates, it’s easy to miss getting these answers.

Organizational readiness for BBCRM Implementations can be assessed with the five C’s.

  • Case: the justification that a Development CRM implementation is warranted and worth the investment.
  • Capability: the skillset of the staff who will be responsible for implementing and supporting the Development CRM.
  • Capacity: the organizational structure in place, number of staff to support the implementation, and expected workload of those staff.
  • Change: the organization’s disposition to make changes to its core technology and business processes.
  • Culture: the organizational characteristics that affect an implementation. This includes the support, both political and financial, that the Development office has within the organization and the level at which senior leadership will support the project.

Why does this matter? It matters because if you know where you’re ready and where you’re not ready, you can adjust for success. For example, if you know that technical resources will need new skills in order to participate in the implementation and later to manage the new system, you can incorporate that into your preparation. You might find that you have enough people to run the system once it’s implemented but that you need help during your implementation. That leads to different activities than if you identify you are already understaffed. 

Take the time to evaluate each of the five C’s and score the organization in each area on a scale of 1 to 5. You might have ten factors tied to capacity and fifteen tied to capability.  Average your scores and use a Radar chart to visualize your results. Set a goal of reaching at least a four in each of the readiness areas. When you identify an area in which you fall below a four, work with your team to identify ways to improve your scores.

Readiness Radar

You will never complain that you prepared too well.  Now go!

Need help evaluating your organization's readiness? Contact us.

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