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.
“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.”
“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.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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