by Sarah Bradham, Mazamas Marketing & Communications Director
In 2014 the Mazamas received a major gift from the Weinstein estate, which gave us the resources we needed to tackle one of the longest-awaited projects at the Mazamas—overhauling our information technology (IT) systems. Our existing systems are clearly not meeting the needs or expectations of our members, students or administration, and need to be modernized. The goal is to create a centralized, online database that directly integrates with our website to manage everything the Mazamas do—from membership renewals to class administration, to volunteer management and donor relations, it’ll all run through this new system.
In 2015 we went to work identifying the needs of the Mazamas. We hired a web development firm, OMBU Web, to complete the Discovery Phase of the project. This involved meetings with staff, key volunteers, and committee members to fully understand what we needed in a new system. The outcome of the Discovery Phase was a comprehensive Features & Requirements list, a Data Model, and Workflows. We then sent out a Request for Proposal for the Build Phase of the project based on these documents. We received five proposals, which were narrowed down to two serious contenders.
Then, in 2016 and after numerous meetings with each company, we decided to proceed with OMBU for the Build Phase of the project. The Project Kickoff was in May and we are finalizing the Features & Requirements of the new system now. In March, we also hired Peter Tung, an Encore Fellow from Social Venture Partners, to act as our IT Project Manager. This will ensure this important project gets the full support it needs to meet all benchmarks of timeline and quality. Peter comes to us with experience gleaned from 25-years at Intel as an IT Engineering Director.
We will keep you informed throughout this project in several ways: quarterly project update meetings that are open to the public, and a website, mazamasitproject.org, that will be updated weekly. We look forward to sharing the exciting details of this project as they continue to unfold. Until then, make sure to keep up with us on our website.