Integrating software for charities
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Integrating software for charities
Blog articles, products and other materials that I will be referencing in my presentation on Integrating Software which I am giving at the Charity Technology Conference on 25th November. Covers a wide range of topics: the challenges of integration, organisation and people issues, project management techniques, choosing the right platform, finding right solution provider, etc, etc
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Charity IT and technology news - Charities not able to get full use of supporter data, study finds

Charity IT and technology news - Charities not able to get full use of supporter data, study finds | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Charities are struggling to manage the abundance of data available about their supporters, according to a new study.
Richard Collings's insight:

Some interesting and not surprising stats about the challenges that charities face in integrating the data that they are gathering from all the different sources that they are using in their fundraising work.      I suspect similar problems exist in the majority of cases in relation to their service delivery work as well.    In my view, data/systems integration is probably one of the largest challenges faced by the not for profit sector at the moment (and into the foreseeable future)

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T-shaped Hybrids in the Multi-disciplinary Team

T-shaped Hybrids in the Multi-disciplinary Team | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
A survey of recent commentary and presentations by Ken Schwaber and others on the merits of the multidisciplinary, T-shaped, team-member within an empowered cross-functional team.
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Looks like others are also realising the need for a cross-functional role within software teams

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Resources — Flexible Contracts

Resources — Flexible Contracts | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Resources and background materials for flexible contracts
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Haven't looked at this in detail but it looks like a useful resource for those tackling the thorny problem of how to do agile projects under contract

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A View To Agile Requirements

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This is a good introduction to doing requriements at the appropriate level of detail for agile projects

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Beginners Guide to Master Data Management (MDM)

Beginners Guide to Master Data Management (MDM) | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Underpinning MDM is the need for an effective data quality management strategy and appropriate toolset so with many organisations dipping their toes into the choppy waters of MDM we thought it's high time we provided an overview to get you...
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Useful and reasonably straightforward introduction to Master Data Management and some of the challenges it presents

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Seven master data management best practices

Master data management best practices and potential pitfalls from early adopters of master data management programs.
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Useful summary of some key things to get right if starting down the Master Data Management route

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Master Data Management software: Download the white paper - Human Inference

Master Data Management software: Download the white paper - Human Inference | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it

Master Data Management software (MDM) is operational very quickly, and allows your employees to experience its added value immediately. What's more, Human Inference Master Data Management software offers sufficient flexibility to change and grow along with your organization. Whether this involves adding new data (for instance, input from social media) or connecting additional systems (which may be required after a merger or takeover), you always have access to a complete single customer view.

Richard Collings's insight:

One area that there seems to be a limited awareness of in the UK NFP sector is Master Data Management.    And I do think it is relevant.   Indeed one of the people I spoke to (who is working on improving data quality for one of the larger charities) said to me:  'What we really need is an intelligent hub'.

 

I don't have any direct expereince of this product but they have an interesting story to tell.and NFP clients in other countries.

 

One of the things I like about it is that you can start small (but not that small - it isn't cheap!) and grow progessively.

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Dancing Around EAI ‘Bear Traps’

Dancing Around EAI ‘Bear Traps’ | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it

Entrerprise Application Integration  projects suffer from a failure rate of roughly 70 percent, and attendees of an EAI Industry Consortium workshop in July had little trouble sharing and detailing numerous “bear traps” that projects had been tripped up by, causing them to run late, go over budget, produce less-than-hoped-for results, or any combination of the three.

Richard Collings's insight:

Although this article is quite old, it provides a useful list of some the challenges that larger corporates have found in trying to integrate their applications

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Databases For Charities: The need for The Solution Owner role when implementing CRM systems

Databases For Charities: The need for The Solution Owner role when implementing CRM systems | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Richard Collings's insight:

This is an excellent article. My own experience is that there is a real need for this cross project role on most database projects of any size as often there is nobody who fully understands the business and technical implications of the complex decisions that need to be taken on this project.    I also think that this person is in an excellent position to pre-emptively identify incipient issues before they become major problems.    The term I have used for it in the past has been 'project glue' but I also like 'Solution Owner'

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Charity IT and technology news - Software integration: how to do it well

Charity IT and technology news - Software integration: how to do it well | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Richard Collings will be speaking at the Charity Technology Conference on 27 November about the drivers for and benefits of integrating different IT systems. Read on for a taster of his presentation.
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My article on the Civil Society website providing an overview of the software challenges facing charities what are looking to provide a more integrated service - either within their own organisation or in collaboration with partner organisations

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Implementing Agile with Non Technical Teams

Implementing Agile with Non Technical Teams | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
London Scrum User Group:Implementing Agile with Non-Technical Teams: At the next LSUG meetup we d like to discuss adapting scrum methods for non-techn
Richard Collings's insight:

I saw James and Caspar from Macmillan Cancer give this presentation on how they used Scrum to improve cross-organisational engagement and understanding on a major web site project.    An honest description of the challenges they faced and a good summary of what worked and what didn't work.  Definitely worth watching

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Alistair.Cockburn.us | Agile contracts

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Alistair Cockburn writes extensively and agnostically on agile techniques and this looks like a useful set of thoughts on how to do agile contracts

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Mary Poppendieck: Agile under contract

lsoftware development e a n Agile Under Contract Win–Win Contractsmary@p
Richard Collings's insight:

Much of my approach to software projects draws on the work of the Poppendieks which is very thoughtful and non-didactic.   This set of slides sets out their thoughts on how to tackle the difficult problem of contracts and agile.

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Charity events - Charity Technology Conference 2013

Charity events - Charity Technology Conference 2013 | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Ensure you are informed on the latest concepts and keep up with the pace of progress.
Richard Collings's insight:

This is the conference where I will be talking about 'Integrating software for charities:  Increasing efficency and enabling collaboration'    Or to put it another way: A pragmatic and honest look at different ways of integrating databases & information systems to support the delivery of joined up services and to build a holistic view of outcomes and impact

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The What, Why, and How of Master Data Management

This paper explains what MDM is, why it is important, and how to manage it, while identifying some of the key MDM management patterns and best practices that are emerging. This paper is a high-level treatment of the problem space. In subsequent papers, we will drill down into the technical and procedural issues involved in Master Data Management

Richard Collings's insight:

Introduction to Master Data Management - from Microsoft but written without too much (any?) product promotion.  Quite heavy going tho'.   A single sentence may describes several  person years of work!!

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Gartner Says the Vast Majority of Social Collaboration Initiatives Fail Due to Lack of Purpose

Gartner Says the Vast Majority of Social Collaboration Initiatives Fail Due to Lack of Purpose | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it
Although social technologies are employed by 70 percent of organizations, Gartner, Inc. said most social collaboration initiatives fail because they follow a worst practice approach of
Richard Collings's insight:

Spot on!    I have used collaboration tools very successfully on multi-stakeholder integration projects involving staff from all levels across multiple organisations (and generating a valuable knowledgebase in the process) but it has been hard work driving up and maintaining the level of use.   

 

It just doesn't happen on its own.  I like their catchline:   'Provide and pray'

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How IBM Conned My Execs Out Of Millions || kuro5hin.org

Last year, I worked as part of a project management office for one of the biggest defense contractors in the world. I was a contractor myself, getting paid by the hour to help them with project planning, forecasting, status, and other PMO and IT advisory functions. So when IBM conned them out of millions of dollars, I was sitting right in the front row

Richard Collings's insight:

In researching this area,  nobody I spoke to had had positive experience with the big sytems integrators and there were a number of horror stories.  This echoes my 'less than positive' experience.   This blog is now quite old and I cannot vouch for its overall accuracy but the various behaviours that he describes are ones that I have seen myself and others have described.

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k5's curator insight, December 23, 2013 4:59 PM

wow. neat. scoop.it

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The role of leadership in software development

Google Tech Talks May 6, 2008 ABSTRACT When you look around, there are a lot of leaders recommended for software development. We have the functional manager ...
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Mary Poppendieck hits the spot for me on how to do software projects

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Data Governance: Puzzling Over the Pieces?

Data Governance: Puzzling Over the Pieces? | Integrating software for charities | Scoop.it

Have you ever found yourself trying to implement a data governance programme on its second or maybe even third attempt? Data governance initiatives are not the easiest thing to implement even when you're starting to design and implement the whole framework from scratch, let alone after one or more failed attempts.

Richard Collings's insight:

I liked this article about the challenges of building good data governance and the analogy with jigsaw puzzles.   

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