“Is this normal?”

"Is this normal?"

ne of the greatest parts about my job is that I get to work with so many different associations, which means I see all kinds of things that most of my clients never see. It also means I have a very deep perspective on how often something does or does not happen with associations and data management.

One of the most common questions I hear from my clients is: "Is what we're experiencing typical?" And very often, the answer is "Yes, what you're experiencing is very typical of what many or even most associations experience." Here are several examples off the top of my head:

  • Duplicate records. Every single association struggles with this for many reasons, not the least of which is that members and customers themselves will often create duplicate records!
  • Bad data/old data/accumulation of data. The older your system (or data) is, the more likely you'll have bad data or data you're no longer using.
  • Poor or no documentation. Business rules change over time. Software interfaces change. Product lines come and go. All of which means documentation has to be updated.
  • Exceptions are everywhere. No matter how hard you try, you can't avoid them entirely.
  • Software vendors are having resourcing issues. It's a simple fact; most vendors have too much demand (too many customers with too many needs) and not enough supply (employees) to cover it.

And these are just a few off the top of my head.

My point is this: If you think you are experiencing something unique, test your belief by asking several of your colleagues or a consultant. You might find out that what you're experiencing is, in fact, very typical.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Patience and grace

August 17, 2022

Patience and grace A past client of mine recently told me: “You inspire confidence and …

Patience and grace Read More »

Sometimes you just have to try it and see what happens

August 10, 2022

Sometimes you just have to try it and see what happens The single greatest key …

Sometimes you just have to try it and see what happens Read More »

Training and testing

August 3, 2022

Training and testing I’ve written before that the best form of training follows this process: …

Training and testing Read More »

How to save a “failing” project

July 27, 2022

How to save a “failing” project It is not unusual for me to receive a …

How to save a “failing” project Read More »

How to avoid the “IT black hole”

July 20, 2022

How to avoid the “IT black hole” Going all the way back to my days …

How to avoid the “IT black hole” Read More »

The “People” are important!

July 13, 2022

The “People” are important! I’ve written a lot about people, process, and technology over the …

The “People” are important! Read More »

Always look for the MVP

July 6, 2022

Always look for the MVP I first wrote about minimum viable product (MVP) just three …

Always look for the MVP Read More »

The longer you take, the longer it will take

June 29, 2022

The longer you take, the longer it will take It may sound like a tautology, …

The longer you take, the longer it will take Read More »

Data is for action

June 22, 2022

Data is for action When deciding whether or not to collect a piece of data, …

Data is for action Read More »

Have you shopped yourself?

June 15, 2022

Have you shopped yourself? I’ve always been fascinated by the “secret shopper” concept. (Maybe it’s …

Have you shopped yourself? Read More »

Scroll to Top