Establishing Priorities

When converting to a new data management system, you are faced with many decisions regarding priorities. There is so much going on at once that you'll have to decide where you'll focus your time first and what can be held for later. (I call these issues "phase two  issues" because they can wait for phase two, which is simply defined as that which is not phase one.)

So here is a short checklist to help you determine what should be high priority vs. what can be held until phase two.

  1. Does the process or data involve money, particularly money coming in (e.g., membership dues, events registration)? If yes, this is a high priority issue.
  2. Does the process or data involve data that directly affects our membership and their livelihood (e.g., certification information)? If yes, this is a high priority issue.
  3. If the process in not in place at go-live, can we develop a workaround that will address the need temporarily? If yes, then this is not a high priority issue.
  4. Is this process a new process we've never done before? If so, and it doesn't involve money or members' livelihood (#1 and #2) then this is not a high priority issue.

Keep in mind that you can probably achieve more than you think you can in the first phase. But also be aware that if you try to do too much at once, you may wind up executing poorly on all priorities.

What else would you add to the checklist above?

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

Scroll to Top