Because I’m a tremendous geek and love software, I’m always open to exploring new software programs that may somehow make my life easier. Over the course of nearly 25 years, I’ve probably tested more than four dozen different “task managers.” You know what I’m talking about: these simple programs that allow you to track your “to-do” list and check things off as you do them.
In theory, these programs sound great to me. I’m at my keyboard all the time, so why not have a little program that allows me to quickly jot down to-dos as I think of them. And then I have my to-do list, which I can work off of, and check-off as I complete them. Makes sense, right?
Yet for some reason, I’ve never been able to get these programs to really work for me. No matter how I try, I always wind up back at paper. And in the end, there’s nothing wrong with that. If paper works better, so be it.
As much as I LOVE technology, sometimes technology solutions are NOT better than the manual processes we’re using. And this is true for all of our processes, especially as they relate to data management. Sure, automate things that will really scale up and save lots of staff time. But if you’ve got a process that is automated for 2,000 transactions, and 20 of those transactions won’t work in the automated process, then manage those 20 manually. Don’t pull your hair out trying to automate it all.
“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