Evaluating tech tools may sound stressful because there are so many options available, seemingly too many options available. However, if you break it down into four simple questions, you will be able to find the tech tool that best suits your needs. Finding your tech tools should be just as simple as trying to find a new restaurant.
1. What’s my goal? (01:38)
In terms of finding a restaurant, this question would correspond with the question, what am I craving? While answering this question, start with very concrete goals. This will help you narrow down the pool of tools you can use so that you can save time and energy, rather than searching in all the wrong places.
2. What are the major pain points with your current tool? (02:08)
Otherwise known as, why am I hangry? This is the perfect time to talk to the rest of your team to try and figure out why your needs are not being met by your current tool. At this stage in the process, do not try to make wishes for what could happen, and just focus on what is causing you pain. Remember to focus on the people and the process, and the product will come soon after.
3. What features would make you better at your job? (02:54)
A.K.A what flavors would satisfy my craving? Now is the time when you figure out what functions the tool offers that will help you achieve your goals. Try to be very specific about what you want and aware of how it fits into your user story, rather than listing out a vague complaints. Furthermore, try to rank your wishes so that when it comes down to deciding between different functions, you know which one to prioritize.
4. Which tools made the shortlist? (03:33)
In other words, which restaurants made the cut? Here is a list of things to keep in mind before making your decision:
- With your narrowed down list, be sure to demo it before adapting it into your work.
- When you are talking to a sales representative during the demo, make sure to have a list of questions that you want answered about the product. Otherwise, your time will have a very lengthy conversation that may not hit the specific points that you want to address.
- Do not forget to ask your friends for insight and advice that they may have learned in their own experience of using their tool.
5. Which tool do I use? (04:30)
And for the final (and best) part, so where do I go to eat tonight? Before you get to this point, make sure that you have explored all of the options available to you and attained all the information that you possibly can on your potential tools. Keep in mind the following points and you should be good to go!
- When making your decision, keep in mind that choosing a tool is a matter of balance between what you want, what you need, and what you can afford.
- Ask for non profit discounts because a lot of tools offer better pricing for organizations like yours that are doing great work!
- Finally, take note of if you need help from outside vendors. This is crucial to know for budgeting because you may have to pay extra on top of the tool fee to have an outside vendor help set up the tool.
- Be aware of the level of support that the vendor provides you. Having support from the tech team is extremely valuable because you want to know that if you ever run into any problems, or have any questions, they will be there for you.
Once again, using the right tech tool is extremely important because no matter how good your organization is, if you are not using the right tool, your work could be greatly hindered. Using the right tool helps you to complete the people-process-product trifecta that will ultimately lend itself to leverage your impact. Happy tool searching!