Washington Global Health Alliance had recently brought on a new executive director who was looking for some outside advice on two projects their organization was undertaking: the move away from SharePoint to another storage system and the possible acquisition of a CRM (constituent resource management) tool.
I offered to consult on both projects, simply as a facilitator and subject matter expert on gathering requirements and software deployments.
We met initially on the decision to move away from SharePoint, and this turned out to be quite a short meeting (and easy decision for them). They had a robust SharePoint deployment, but their team was only 5 people and they lacked the resources and expertise to develop an infrastructure to fully utilize SharePoint's capabilities in a way they needed. They had decided to use a file system for storage of their data, and wanted to combine that with processes and workflow in a CRM. This was a sound approach for their needs, and we moved to the next stage of the project: gathering requirements and assessing needs for a CRM tool.
Over the course of 2 sessions and much homework completed by the WGHA team, we identified the core areas of business that needed support by a CRM, and then documented the key functional areas required to support those business activities. In the end, the team had a much stronger sense of their own business plans and future, and were each able to elaborate on how a CRM, when chosen, could support them.
The outcome of these sessions was a requirements document, which the team will use when it is ready to engage in the purchase of a CRM.