You may recall an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry is having his kitchen re-done. Whenever Jerry asks his carpenter what he should do, the carpenter offers all kinds of options and then says "I can do whatever you want me to." Jerry gets so exasparated that he tells the carpenter to do whatever he wants. In the end, Jerry winds up with the exact same kitchen he had.
I see this happen too often with technology consultants. I was working with a financial software consultant, in conjunction with a client engagement, and whenever the client would ask the consultant a question, his response was "I can do whatever you want me to do."
That kind of response is useless to the client. The client wants to know what she should do, not that the consultant can do whatever she wants. If she just needs someone to implement her ideas, she can hire a mechanic, not a consultant. A consultant's job is to provide you with answers, not just "Tell me what to do and I'll do it."
Are your consultants providing you with guidance and answers? Is your AMS provider?
“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