It doesn’t matter how much time, effort, and expense you put into selecting the right software for your organization—if you don’t plan all the steps necessary to ensure a successful implementation, you’re wasting your precious resources.  

Implementation involves a number of elements, including getting buy-in from the people who will be using the system and those who lead the organization, making plans to migrate data and integrate the new software with your other systems, and training staff on procedures and best practices for using the new software.  

We designed this course to help you with each step. We’ll show you how to make sure you’re including all the right people throughout the process. We’ll help you determine whether you need outside help—and how to work effectively with consultants or vendors. And we’ll identify common mistakes and show you how to avoid them. 

During this course you will learn: 

  • What a typical implementation project looks like.
  • Who is involved.
  • How to adjust for common scenarios.
  • How to keep the project on time and scope, including best practices for project management and avoiding common bottlenecks.
  • How to work with vendors and consultants.
  • What common mistakes to expect, and how to avoid them.
  • Best practices for change management and user adoption. 

Session 1: Planning Your Implementation Project
In this opening session, we’ll define what typical implementation projects look like—and what successful ones look like. We’ll review key software selection techniques to apply, identify the steps of an implementation project and who should be involved in- and outside your organization, consider timelines and budgets, discuss project scope, and address the process of migrating data from your existing systems.

Session 2: Keeping the Project on Track
In this session, we’ll look at examples of common challenges nonprofits face that cause projects to fail, and introduce project management basics to help you plan your implementation and see it through on time and on budget. We’ll also address relationships with consultants and vendors and how to make sure you’re getting what you need out of them, and explain how to evaluate an implementation project after completion to make sure everyone involved learns from the experience.

Session 3: Fostering User Adoption
After reviewing the first two sessions, we’ll discuss the critical role user adoption plays in a successful implementation project and introduce the idea of change management to help ensure your success. We’ll also look at the importance of training and cultural shifts in user adoption. 

About the Presenter

Eric LelandIdealware Expert Trainer 

Eric has spent two decades working with progressive organizations and businesses tackling online and offline technology challenges. He’s a founding partner of FivePaths (, a technology firm that offers strategic technology consulting, information architecture, and web CMS and CRM platform development expertise to each project. Eric is very active in nonprofit, philanthropy, and technology circles, having served as co-chair to the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in San Francisco, on the National Advisory Board for the Addiction Technology Transfer Center, and as a member of NTEN and the Tech Underground.