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Either you’ll test it, or your customers will
6 February 2013, by , in Data Management, 1 comment

During the implementation phase of a new association management system, one of the most critical phases is the testing phase. In this phase, the association develops testing scenarios that staff can run through the AMS, to see if processes make sense, and if we’re getting the results we expect. This is especially critical for any “customer-facing” (i.e., website) functionality.

For example, when an individual joins via the website, what does that process look like? What is the customer experience? Does the workflow make sense and is it easy to follow? Does the data go into the database appropriately? Does the customer receive an automatic email confirmation?

These are just an example of the kinds of issues that have to be reviewed and tested prior to launch. You have to look at every functional area within your organization (e.g., membership, events, exhibits, product sales, etc.) and identify all the processes that touch the AMS, and test those.

As I always say to my clients, “Either you’ll test the functionality of the AMS prior to launch, or your customers will test it after go-live. Which would you rather have happen?”

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1 Comment on "Either you’ll test it, or your customers will"

David Janes - 6 February 2013 Reply

I blame Google, which has successfully used the "let the customers test it by calling it "Beta" for 7 years" business model nearly since their founding.

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National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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