Since its inception, PetSmart Charities, Inc. (PCI) has helped over 5 million animals get adopted into lifelong and loving homes, has raised awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and fostered spay and neuter programs to prevent pet overpopulation. The success of these programs grew beyond PCI’s current ability to support them, so they knew they needed to invest in new IT solutions to sustain their growth. To keep overhead low so that the majority of dollars raised continue to go to their cause, PCI took a savvy approach to its challenge by creating a technology roadmap, enabling the organization to have a clear picture of how it should invest in IT and how it should prioritize its long list of IT projects and initiatives. As part of this roadmap, PetSmart Charities needed a new website – one that was easy to use, clearly stated its vision, and one that uniquely accommodates the needs of a non-profit organization.

Creating a strong foundation

Its rapid success presented challenges for its nascent IT organization. Which IT projects take priority? What type of IT organizational structure best supports the needs of the organization? Which IT projects don’t align with its overall vision? All of these questions are answered with a technology roadmap, which PCI engaged Point B to create. Working with team members, Point B designed a two-year technology roadmap to help PCI efficiently confront its future. PCI focused its efforts on raising money and pouring it back into the community; building a strong IT infrastructure often took backseat to their vision of helping animals. This put them at a disadvantage, reacting instead of proactively driving their success. Although as a non-profit they were accustomed to doing more with less, they still needed to bring rigorous project management methodologies into the organization to help them manage projects and scarce resources. Identifying these organizational issues upfront was key in developing the technology roadmap and helping PCI carry out the objectives within the roadmap. By recommending a new IT organizational structure, putting strong project management methodologies in place, and helping them hire additional resources adept at working with people, technology, and vendors, Point B helped them more proactively control their IT destiny.

Building up and out

One of the projects indicated in the roadmap was a newly designed website. We helped PCI conduct a thorough vendor evaluation and find a vendor uniquely equipped to design and develop websites for the non-profit sector. The website increases their reach in the community and includes new functionality to spread the word when there is a new event or initiative.

In addition to the website, PCI leaders are actively using the roadmap to prioritize projects and use resources more efficiently because it enables them to see the entire picture. The new IT organizational structure and project management methodologies in place also help PCI better manage their resources and track their progress against the roadmap. Paws up!