Data Validation is a set of capabilities that leverages your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) integration. A “data validation sprint,” from an agile methodology standpoint, is a set period of doing specific work that must be completed and reviewed at the end. A data validation sprint aims to build a series of experiments that will confirm or reject the assumptions made about your CRM.
There are plenty of reasons for running a data validation sprint, but here are just a few of the most important ones:
- data-driven validation on your early-stage CRM project;
- identify and list your most critical assumptions;
- validate or invalidate these assumptions;
- gather useful information about your potential donors; and
- finalize in a way that is fast, lean, and efficient.
As you plan and prepare for your CRM data validation sprint, here are three tips to maximize and optimize the process.
Communicate early and often.
Regarding your CRM implementation, communication is always vital—your data validation sprint is no exception. Communicate with those completing the validation, and your subject matter experts (SMEs) assigned the task of data validation early and often. The earlier you communicate and the frequency, the better the outcome.
Focus on simple things like notification of orientation dates. Let users know what’s coming—give notice ahead of dates and communicate the time commitment. Clearly articulating the time required helps users properly allocate time to complete the validation.
Allowing your team to prepare appropriately, impacts the results of your data validation—most often positively. Additionally, preparation prevents the “last-minute scramble,” decreasing the likeliness of overwhelming feelings of your CRM team.
Offer support and resources.
Support SMEs and provide appropriate resources to achieve and optimize results. Whether it’s simple system navigation or offering clarity about CRM project expectations, make a support person available to help.
For example, at Precision Partners, we offer planned times throughout the data validation sprint to provide clarity, direction, and IT troubleshooting support, alleviating the need for users to visit their IT departments.
One fairly easy way to support SMEs is to hold office hours. The project team should make themselves readily available during this sprint. Office hours allow SMEs to ask questions or troubleshoot an issue or problem with their assigned data validation.
Develop and maintain a resource repository.
For each data validation sprint, maintain a resource repository specific to the subject matter at hand. A repository or center of excellence is where users can go for support.
As you build the resource repository, create decision logs specific to the subject matter. The decision log should include any tool or resource that provides clarification or information that could be helpful. Keep your decision log up to date, relevant to the subject matter at hand for the sprint, and easily accessible.
For example, SMEs are tasked with data validation, and the repository equips them with the resources to identify and support them with how to do it. The repository would provide the following:
- where to find information;
- what tools are available;
- what tools are appropriate for what purpose; and
- videos about how to use them.
Consolidate where you access the repository information, making it easy and efficient. Create something users can bookmark whether through their email or in an internet browser. This prevents the hassle of sifting through various links or resources, instead offering all the tools they may need to complete the data validation sprint or work requirements.