Selection and implementation of a new association management system is an incredibly trying process. If done well, at the end of it all, you’ll have a new system that will address your organization’s business needs. There is a natural tendency to think “we’re finished” once the new system is up and running.

But alas, our work has just begun. Data management is a process, not an event, and as such, requires us to continually review how things are going. I typically recommend to my clients that six months and one year after going live with a new system, they take a few days to do a complete system review (i.e., audit). The purpose of the audit is two-fold: To do a sanity check to ensure that we’re accomplishing the things we set out to accomplish when we first began the project; and to determine if there are new needs that have arisen since the project began that we’re not yet addressing.

In my experience, organizations typically find both; that they have not accomplished everything they set out to do, and that new issues have come up. But that’s okay. This is a process. Like adjusting your course on a sailboat, continually reviewing where you are an making adjustments as needed will ensure that you get to the right destination.