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?”