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New Technology Requires Additional Attention
28 August 2007, by , in Data Management, No comments

One of the more common mistakes I see is organizations assuming that they can add new technology without considering what changes in workload the new technology will require.

For example, one of my clients was considering developing a lockbox process for their AMS. Through this process, their bank would accept all of their incoming payments and develop an electronic file that could be uploaded into the AMS, thus minimizing the need for manual data entry on the part of staff. This is a great idea, and many associations have executed it successfully. But what my client hadn’t considered was how the lockbox process would change how they do things.

From my client’s point of view, this new process would save staff time. But what they hadn’t discussed was who would manage the new process, what skills that would require, and what additional work that would add to some staff person’s plate.

As I note here, data management is a process, not an event. And even when we add new technology to make our lives easier, we have to consider the “unintended consequences” that any new technology brings. There will be changes in process. There may be changes in workload. And new technology may require new skill sets that we don’t have on staff. All of this needs to be considered and discussed when new technologies are introduced.

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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
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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