Emily Hicks-Rotella is a Nonprofit Data & Tech Strategist. Her firm, Make Tech Work For You, helps nonprofits with their technology. We talk about her consulting practice, and how nonprofits can get the most value from a consultant:
- Make the consultant commit to documentation. You can ask to see templates of their documentation, ask them to brand it for your org, and ask them where they can do “embedded” documentation (right in your system, so you don’t have to click a link that brings you to a one-pager somewhere else).
- Ask them to keep a parking lot of everything that you discuss, even if they aren’t working on it right now or even ever. You don’t want to lose those ideas in the shuffle.
- Don’t hold yourself back when asking for your tech to do something. Dream big about it! Even if the consultant hasn’t done it before or you aren’t sure if the tech system can do it, the consultant should try to find out what is possible for you.
- Decide how rigid or flexible your needs are – some projects can be done to the letter based on a Statement of Work. But many can’t, because things change and priorities shift. Have a clear process for discussing the direction of the work and priorities at many different touchpoints.