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Look for small wins

One of the toughest things about system implementation is simply how long it takes to complete one. And so keeping momentum and staff interest in the project is paramount. By month six of implementation, staff can be pretty burned out.

I always recommend to my clients that throughout implementation they look for and celebrate “small wins.” Here are a couple of actual examples from previous clients:

  • Entering all of the committee assignments (which used to be on spreadsheets) into the new AMS.
  • Cleaning up duplicate and old records from the legacy system before importing into the new AMS.
  • Creating queries, reports, and dashboards that show membership counts, event registration counts, etc.
  • Completing training for all staff and providing them with logins to the new AMS.

None of these are earth-shattering events. But all of them are small wins, and when added together, their overall impact becomes significant. These milestones happen throughout implementation, so acknowledging and celebrating them can keep the momentum you need to get the project done successfully

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Testimonials

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“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.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
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

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
Wes Trochlil

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