My advice? Stop doing that

My advice? Stop doing that!

There is a classic TV sketch featuring Bob Newhart as a therapist. He helps his patients overcome their issues by using two magic words: "Stop it." (You can see the clip here: https://youtu.be/4BjKS1-vjPs) The sketch is funny because his advice is incredibly simple but obviously very difficult to apply.

Remarkably, this is the advice I often give my clients when they're struggling with a particular data management issue. Because very often, the troubles are self-inflicted. The association has created incredibly arcane and complex business rules that just serve to make life more difficult, not easier. I've probably seen hundreds of examples of this. Here are just a few examples of business rules that are making data management more difficult, not easier:

  • Membership rules are different for members from one state (i.e., all states have the same member rules EXCEPT one state).
  • Requiring staff to review membership applications prior to accepting payment (so payment has to be collected later, not during the application process), even though 99.5% of applicants are accepted.
  • Asking a dozen questions on an event registration form that are unrelated to the event itself.

What all of these examples have in common is that they make data management more difficult and every one of them is self-inflicted. The associations chose to put these rules in place.

So when a client asks me "How can we improve this process?" my answer often is "Stop it. Stop doing what you're doing, because it's actually making things worse, not better."

Take a look at the processes in your organization. What can you stop doing, right now, that will improve data management?

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Action isn’t the same as progress

January 25, 2023

Action isn’t the same as progress I’ve written before that not taking action is an …

Action isn’t the same as progress Read More »

Start with the end in mind

January 18, 2023

Start with the end in mind Like so many, I probably first heard the phrase …

Start with the end in mind Read More »

It’s quiet in here…maybe TOO quiet…

January 11, 2023

It’s quiet in here…maybe TOO quiet… One of the truisms of data management is that …

It’s quiet in here…maybe TOO quiet… Read More »

It’s ALWAYS about expectations

January 4, 2023

It’s ALWAYS about expectations The headline reads: “Tesla sets record for vehicle deliveries, an increase …

It’s ALWAYS about expectations Read More »

It’s hard to get UNangry

December 14, 2022

It’s hard to get UNangry I often emphasize to my clients the importance of testing …

It’s hard to get UNangry Read More »

Some history IS important!

December 7, 2022

Some history IS important! When I’m advising clients on data conversion (moving data from one …

Some history IS important! Read More »

“Many mickles make a muckle.”

November 30, 2022

“Many mickles make a muckle.” “Many mickles make a muckle.” – George Washington Apparently, this …

“Many mickles make a muckle.” Read More »

It’s easy to collect; it’s harder to manage

November 16, 2022

It’s easy to collect; it’s harder to manage The beauty of today’s highly configurable AMS …

It’s easy to collect; it’s harder to manage Read More »

Tell them why you want the data

November 9, 2022

Tell them why you want the data Because data is so easy to collect these …

Tell them why you want the data Read More »

Don’t get hung up on something minor

November 2, 2022

Don’t get hung up on something minor I’m a problem solver. I love to solve …

Don’t get hung up on something minor Read More »

Scroll to Top