One of the most common mistakes made by community groups and tech professionals is to forget about the big picture. It’s easy to get excited about a new app, a new printer, or a new website and loose track of broader needs, goals, and plans. Staying focused on the big picture helps community groups save time and money while maximizing the impact of their work. Here are some basic steps to help community groups and tech professionals stay focused on the big picture:

1. Identify – the Needs, Goals, and Tech Capacities of your community group. Identifying this information usually requires a few group meetings, and takes a little time, but the payoff is worth it!

2. Plan – your group’s communications and technology strategies and keep it simple and practical. Don’t be intimidated by the words Strategic Communications Plan or Strategic Technology Plan. These are just two planning resources to help your technology and communications stay lined up with your needs and goals.  The Commun-IT Knowledge Base has a section dedicated to ICT planning.

3. Build – your group’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems. Take your time evaluating your options and make sure that the technology that you choose lines up with your plans. The Commun-IT Knowledge Base can help you find Best Practice Building Blocks for the ICT needs of your group.

4. Learn – how to use your group’s ICT systems as effectively as possible. Participate in training and events that will increase the tech capacity of you and your group. Commun-IT lists a broad range of Events and Training related to many different ICT systems and solutions.