Either you test, or your members will
If I was forced to choose the single most important activity during a system implementation, I would choose testing. The point of testing is to ensure the system does what you expect it to do in normal, day-to-day use. Can you process and renew members? Can members and customers register for an event? Can you manage committee membership? And so on.
As I always tell my clients, either you (the staff) will do testing before go-live, or your members and customers will do it after go-live (i.e., as soon as they start trying to interact with you either via your website or directly via phone or mail).
Most off-the-shelf systems already "work," in that they do the things they promise (e.g., dues renewal, event registration, etc.). But they need to be configured to your association's business rules, and that's where the testing becomes critical.
And of course, even after go-live, if you add new functionality, that needs to be tested.
So ask yourself: Who's doing the testing in your organization? The staff, or your members?
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