Not everything needs to be automated

One of my favorite activities with clients is to work on redesigning their business processes and workflows to make them more efficient and effective. This is especially fun to do when implementing a new AMS (or other new technology). Today’s systems offer so much more power in terms of automated workflows that the efficiency gains can be dramatic.

But it’s important to keep in mind that even if something can be automated, it doesn’t mean it should be. For example, often during business process discussions my client will say something like “I’d like the system to notify me when a certain change is made in the database.”

That’s a reasonable request. But depending on the need for that information, a simple query or report might suffice, especially if the information is not needed immediately. A scheduled report or even a simple query that is executed every morning may work just fine. This requires far less overhead of the database itself, and is probably easier to do than programming a workflow.

So keep in mind, just because you can automate something doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes simpler, manual processes will work just fine.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, 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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