Subscribe to my newsletter EDM News
Learning New Systems Take Time
6 March 2008, by , in Data Management, 3 comments

Just a few weeks ago, after more than 20 years as a PC user, I switched to Mac. I'd like to say the transition has been smooth and painless, but that would be, well, a big fat lie. I've got a lot of PC-ingrained habits (like Alt-Tab to switch windows) that simply don't work on a Mac. Oh sure, Cmd-Tab works just like Alt-Tab. But now I've got to learn the new habits while I unlearn the old ones. As a result, for the last couple weeks I've been less productive than usual.

The same is true when we move to a new association management system (or even go through a major upgrade to the existing system). The simple fact is that our users all have ingrained habits. And learning new habits while unlearning old ones takes time.

I always tell my clients that they can expect a decrease in productivity when they switch to a new system. That's right, a decrease. The learning curve is going to cause users to work more slowly than they have in the past. But eventually, if the system is set up correctly and the business processes have been well-defined, productivity will increase. I suggest that users wait at least three months before really trying to measure if things are more productive than before.

So before you decide that the new system was a tremendous waste of money, wait a bit. These things take time.

About author:
  • In December you laughed about my switch from PC to Mac.

    http://caeexam.blogspot.com/2007/12/year-social-media-changed-my-life.html#c8299510819887916563

    Now you get it, eh? 😉

  • Wes Trochlil

    Ben, I didn’t laugh about the switch, I laughed that you felt the switch was worthy of mentioning as “life-changing.” (Or something to that effect.) 😉

  • Wes,

    A related topic to constantly reinforce is to be disciplined about having enough training time(and budget) built into both the initial project plan for a first phase, and for post go-live activity. When implementing Aptify, we always push for follow-up training to occur frequently for several quarters after go-live, and to keep a strong program alive internally for future hires as well.

    PS. Good luck with your Mac!

Archives

Sign-up for EDM News

 

 

Testimonials

“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

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

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
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
%d bloggers like this: