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Is there any information here?
29 August 2007, by , in Rants and Kudos, No comments

Recently while driving along the GW Parkway (just outside DC) I came upon an electronic road sign (you know, the kind that tells you about upcoming events or road construction).  The sign read (and I quote): "On or about August 19th, roadwork begins."

That's it.

Ntohing about what kinds of roadwork. Nothing about how it would affect the drive. Nothing about whether or not I should plan to take alternative routes. Just "roadwork begins."

It struck me that this is often how we communicate during projects. For example, we tell staff "We'll be replacing our old database with a new one" and that's the extent of the information we provide. No information on how. Nothing on how this will affect my job, or whether or not I should change how I do things.

When launching a new project that will affect staff (whether it's a new database, a new HR policy, or a new event), we need to provide as much information as possible, and we need to help staff understand how the change will affect them (if at all). This means not only a "kickoff" meeting but also "check in" meetings throughout the life of the project.

So ask yourself: Are you telling your staff "roadwork begins" without giving them any details?

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“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.”

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Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
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
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Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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