Learning New Systems Take Time

Just a few weeks ago, after more than 20 years as a PC user, I switched to Mac. I'd like to say the transition has been smooth and painless, but that would be, well, a big fat lie. I've got a lot of PC-ingrained habits (like Alt-Tab to switch windows) that simply don't work on a Mac. Oh sure, Cmd-Tab works just like Alt-Tab. But now I've got to learn the new habits while I unlearn the old ones. As a result, for the last couple weeks I've been less productive than usual.

The same is true when we move to a new association management system (or even go through a major upgrade to the existing system). The simple fact is that our users all have ingrained habits. And learning new habits while unlearning old ones takes time.

I always tell my clients that they can expect a decrease in productivity when they switch to a new system. That's right, a decrease. The learning curve is going to cause users to work more slowly than they have in the past. But eventually, if the system is set up correctly and the business processes have been well-defined, productivity will increase. I suggest that users wait at least three months before really trying to measure if things are more productive than before.

So before you decide that the new system was a tremendous waste of money, wait a bit. These things take time.

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.

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