Meet Doug Maley of Lifesteps, Inc.!
TNotes: What is your job title?
DM: Supervisor, Information Technology
TNotes: How did you get into working in nonprofit technology?
DM: I have always had an interest in technology for as long as I can remember, so it was an easy choice for me when deciding what I wanted to do as a career. I started out at Lifesteps as an intern in our Support Department. Shortly after my internship ended, I was hired on full-time as a Support System Technician, handling day-to-day issues and technical maintenance. In 2007, Lifesteps created an Information Technology department, and I was promoted to Coordinator, Information Technology, handling the technology equipment for the agency. On January 1, 2010, I was promoted to my current position of Supervisor, Information Technology. This position oversees all the technology for the Agency, supervises IT staff members, and is involved in future technology planning for the organization.
TNotes: What do you like best about dealing with your organization’s technology?
DM: Working in IT for a non-profit organization, where often resources are limited, allows for a variety of responsibilities, from computers, servers, printers, copiers to phone systems, cell phones, etc. A lot of IT jobs only relate to a small portion of what we get to touch at Lifesteps. I also enjoy seeing growth within the Agency and the technology being put in place to support that growth.
TNotes: What do you least like about dealing with your organization’s technology?
DM: As with most non-profits, we face the issue of older technology and trying to support that technology with limited resources. This can be a daunting task. However we are currently in the process of developing a 3-year technology plan that will provide our Agency with a strategic road map for Information Technology maintenance and growth.
TNotes: What is your big dream for technology in your organization?
DM: To provide the best service and resources possible to our staff members; and to make them more productive and efficient in their jobs. By doing this, it helps staff focus on more important things, such as taking care of our individuals and families we serve.
TNotes: How do you manage your technology role within your organization?
DM: Our Helpdesk system, up until a month or so ago, consisted of a plethora of Post-It notes and the Outlook Calendar/Tasks. Recently, however, we implemented a Help Desk Ticketing system that allows us to track and manage technology related issues, track status of projects, and provides monitoring for our critical devices. This has greatly improved our overall ability to manage the technical needs of the Agency. To stay on top of technology, which is always changing, I attend trainings/seminars, utilize online resources as well as have conversations with other “techies” in the field. These methods, along with closely working with our Corporate Management Team, provide me with the resources needed to successfully plan for future technology, increase security, and assure the Agency is moving in the right direction.
TNotes: Any words of advice or encouragement for other nonprofit techies out there?
- DM: Stay ahead of the curve – IT changes and advances everyday – you need to stay on top of new technology. Online resources can provide a wealth of knowledge as can other “techies” in the field.
- Utilize all your resources; there is no need to re-invent the wheel.
- Be a futuristic thinker and dreamer for your organization – how do you constantly help your organization advance from a technology standpoint to make staff as efficient as possible?
- Make a list of your technology dreams. Once completed, think of how you can make those dreams a reality. Take small steps weekly toward those dreams. It may take time, but if you work a little every week, eventually those dreams become reality.
- Amass the right IT staff for your organization and don’t be afraid to use outside help where needed.
- It’s ok to admit you don’t know everything. Management/Users will respect this and appreciate the fact that you may not know all the answers right away, but that you will do some research and find a solution.
- Plan, plan and then plan some more…..it will help you to be proactive so that fire-fighting doesn’t become the norm.
- When a situation arises, at all costs, remain calm….once the situation has been resolved, you can vent any frustrations.