Has your organization made the important decision to implement a new grants management system or make enhancements to your existing GMS to optimize the way you work?
Grantmaking is a core function for funders, and it is essential that you effectively use technology throughout your grantmaking lifecycle, from budget planning to outcomes measurement. Your technology investment is a crucial element of your organizational strategy. While there are plenty of resources available to help you select the right technologies to meet your needs, supporting your technology journey and ensuring its success can often present a set of challenges. Many funders struggle with digital adoption; even staff at large foundations find it hard to adopt technology solutions. On top of that, a great deal of funders experience challenges in training and supporting nonprofits that are not yet comfortable using digital tools to apply for funding or to complete reports.
Your organization’s ability to successfully manage this change will have a positive impact well beyond the initial rollout. Your technology will be able to make internal and external processes more efficient, elevate equitable practices, and drive your organization’s grantmaking to be more effective.
We understand that implementing change isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to technology. For more than fifteen years, we have worked with organizations of all sizes to implement and evolve grants management systems and other software, as well as train and support users through technology change. We have seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t; in fact, our own journey to find better change management solutions led us to digital adoption. We have found that many organizations can get more out of their technology investments while easing change for users with the use of a digital adoption platform (DAP).
What is change management?
Change management is a structured approach for preparing, supporting, and helping individuals through organizational change. In relation to a digital transformation, a technology change management strategy is key to a smooth and seamless change initiative.
What is digital adoption, and why is it important?
Digital adoption is when individuals can use technology to its fullest potential with minimal interruption and limited engagement with technical support. A digital adoption platform (DAP) is a tool that sits on top of your system to accelerate users’ digital adoption. It can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort required to onboard and train your community of users, resulting in more effective and efficient users.
1. Are Users Struggling to Get Up To speed? Do You Have Resource Constraints on Your Team?
When it comes time to launch your new or enhanced grants management system, training is a critical element of success, but is often the most challenging component of any software implementation. You’ve spent a lot of time creating resources such as user manuals, video tutorials, and more, and you’ll likely launch user training with an instructor-led session. During this session you may introduce the changes, outline benefits to the applicants and staff, and end with a demonstration of how to use the system and where to find available resources.
This can be overwhelming for your staff and grantee partners. Why? It’s due to the sheer volume of information they are required to absorb within a short period of time.
Studies show that users forget 70% of new information learned in the first 24 hours.¹ All that hard work? It’s practically gone in an instant…well, a day. Now users are off to navigate the system and they will require assistance. Typically, they will spend time searching for resources and sifting through them to find answers. Users will become easily frustrated and unproductive if resources are hard to find, navigate, and search. Further, if your organization is like most, your system will continue to evolve, and training resources can quickly become outdated. This creates a time-consuming and costly cycle for your team to maintain resources on an ongoing basis.
What if you could solve these challenges and maintain the momentum from your kickoff training? Envision the time saved if resources were maintained in parallel with your system enhancements. Imagine if you could reduce user frustration and train your community while they use the system. What if you could guide users through each step in your process, enabling them to easily search for answers at their exact moment of need from wherever they are in the system?
A digital adoption platform (DAP) can simplify user training and provide a centralized resource center within your system, which leads to a more streamlined user experience.
On-screen guidance equips users with bite-sized pieces of information when and where they need it, just like a personal instructor. Your nonprofit partners must navigate a variety of grants management systems with distinct application and reporting processes, which can be time-consuming and challenging. With the use of a DAP, you can implement on-screen guidance to lead applicants through the application process from start to completion, and guide grantees through reporting requirements. This will eliminate any guesswork, save time, and increase efficiency, so grantees can focus more of their efforts on their mission.
By ‘learning as you go’ with on-screen guidance, your staff can quickly create a new organization or user, schedule payments, and more. This leads to instant efficiency gains as tasks can be completed without the need to stop what they are doing to search for help elsewhere. Compared to relying solely on traditional training, this approach accelerates user adoption and proficiency.
Interactive Resource Center
If a grantee partner or staff member encounters a roadblock, they can turn to an interactive resource center within the GMS. This interactive resource center serves as a centralized hub for resources, including tutorial videos, user manuals, help articles, FAQs, and provides access to on-screen guidance. A search with specific keywords or phrases will return results and access to available resources and on-screen guidance, effectively guiding users through the necessary processes.
In addition to serving as a hub for resources, you can also create a section that organizes onboarding tasks for different types of roles to ensure people are trained on relevant items. Provide a checklist of items and include links to videos and article resources that enable individuals to see their progress as they move through tasks.
A centralized resource center encourages applicants, grantees, and staff to discover answers on their own, which reduces the strain on your support team. You’ll deliver a better user experience and ultimately reduce support tickets, so your team can focus on work that moves your organization forward.
When it comes to new technology, you chose it for good reason: to improve how your organization operates so you can realize greater impact. It is important to reap the benefits quickly and continuously, so you can derive the most value from your investment. That means having people use the system effectively. Yet today’s users struggle with steep learning curves. Digital literacy and skills training are an ongoing concern among foundation staff, and they are frequently challenged in their efforts to learn new tools and platforms. Why? They can’t keep up with the pace of change. The average employee is expected to learn three or more new apps every year.² It is a lot, and it doesn’t even factor in new features and processes. The rate at which new technology, new features, and new processes are introduced is difficult to manage for everyone, especially users.
Rather than re-training staff and grantees on a regular basis, what if you could provide tools that constantly supported them and enabled them to learn on their own? Applicants and grantees have different needs from your team, and their training experiences should reflect that. With a DAP, you can create a tailored experience for different staff, applicants, and grantees on your system, and provide relevant training that reduces confusion and information overload. This customized experience not only boosts momentum when launching a new system, but it also keeps your staff and grantees productive and engaged every time they use the system.
Creating a customized experience with a DAP can include automating processes to increase productivity. By using an action chatbot, grantees can receive answers to questions through a conversation, obtain guidance through their desired process, such as uploading financial details, and have information automatically entered to save time and maintain accuracy. This same process can be used internally. For example, if you have staff creating new contacts or organizations, this process can be automated by answering a few questions in the chatbot. Staff will be guided to the account creation page with the details already completed. This saves time navigating within the system and completing details that have already been captured.
Grantees, applicants, and staff can spend less time on administrative actions when you automate tasks and processes. Having automated tasks with a DAP means you can jump right into the task at hand, and you no longer need to wait for the next training session, spend hours searching for answers, or send multiple support tickets to get their issues resolved. This empowers users to navigate through the system with ease and confidence. A DAP will help not only with initial learning, but it is available every time staff or grantees approach the system. It guides them back through the learning curve if they have forgotten information since the last time on the system. This helps them maintain momentum in the system and creates a seamless and productive experience that they will remember each time.
3. Does Your Support Team Struggle to Keep up with Ongoing Support and Training Demands?
The technology landscape in which funders work continues to increase in complexity. Staff struggle with the sheer number and disconnected nature of systems needed to perform their work. They simply cannot keep up because they are overwhelmed by the pace of change. The challenge extends to grantees as they struggle to navigate different experiences with each funder.
Supporting users with traditional approaches can put a strain on your organization while leaving staff and grantees feeling frustrated due to slower response times and a delay in their workflow. Investing in a DAP allows you to take a different approach that addresses the root causes of these challenges efficiently and effectively. But what is the impact on your bottom line?
Overlaying a DAP on your system not only makes your users more productive, but it also makes the team members that support them more efficient. A DAP can significantly reduce the time and resources needed for creating and updating support materials while expediting your ability to support new technology implementations, new features, and process updates. The positive impact extends to onboarding, with a 50% reduction in internal staff onboarding time and a 70% decrease for external users like grantees. Furthermore, with the introduction of in-app guidance and an interactive resource center, you are likely to see a 60% decrease in support ticket volume.³
With a DAP, not only will your operational costs go down, but you will also see heightened job satisfaction amongst team members as they navigate through the system without interruption. Alleviating the burden of repetitive user support tasks and training allows your team to redirect their efforts towards impactful initiatives that drive your organization forward.
4. Is Your Change Management Strategy Future Proof?
How are you measuring the success of your software implementation? Can staff work in the system effectively? How are grantees navigating the new experience? Are you able to identify where users are struggling and improve their experience?
By implementing a DAP, you can continue to improve the user experience by collecting analytics over time. You can gain insights into your staff and grantees’ journeys to see where they may be getting stuck or spending more time. This data empowers you to identify areas for improvement and provide practical solutions to users where they need it most, while also pinpointing opportunities to enhance your grants management system down the road.
With the detailed DAP analytics, you also gain insight into the searches conducted by grantees and staff. This can help you understand which resources are most useful or where they may be hitting roadblocks based on what they are looking for. This can be used to guide future improvements with help resources and provide direction when it comes to tagging materials to ensure they are relevant and easier to find for grantees and your staff.
Make continuous improvement a regular part of your practice with DAP analytics. Your change management strategy will evolve with your system enhancements and your DAP to ensure your staff, grantees, and applicants are up to date with the latest advancements. Using a DAP allows you to make data-driven improvements to not only better support your users but also work towards your organization’s mission to create greater change.
reSolved’s Digital Adoption Solution for Change Management
With over fifteen years of experience, our team of experts has been supporting organizations like yours with their digital transformation while also assisting them with change management and digital adoption. Driven to provide our clients with exceptional services, we partnered with WalkMe, a leading provider of digital adoption solutions. This partnership enables us to offer a best-in-class digital adoption platform so our clients can help staff and grantees be more prepared when new technology is introduced, streamlining their workflow, and optimizing their productivity to focus more time on creating change.
1 Stephen M. Stahl. ” #416-MPP PlayItAgain.” ResearchGate, Stephen M. Stahl, 2013/07/14, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249008560_416-MPP_PlayItAgain.how.
2 Harvard Business Review. ” The State of Digital Adoption 2021.” Pulse Survey, 2021, 3, https://hbr.org/sponsored/2021/04/the-state-of-digital-adoption-2021.
3 Forrester. ” The Total Economic Impact™ Of WalkMe Digital Adoption Platform.” Forrester commissioned by WalkMe. October 2020. https://www.walkme.com/pages/forrester-tei-study/?eco=TEI&camp=TEI&abt1=7014G000001GN5J.