Start with the end in mind

Start with the end in mind

Like so many, I probably first heard the phrase "Begin with the end in mind" in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

It's incredibly powerful advice, especially when an organization is converting from one AMS to another, or is adding a new process to an existing system.

During new system implementations, what I often experience is discussions about how a process is done (e.g., steps to process a new member) rather than focusing on the expected outcome of that process (e.g., an individual now has member rights including access to members-only online content).

The problem with focusing on "the how" rather than "the what" is twofold: 1) you may simply replicate the old system and 2) the new system may not be able to support the same steps. By focusing on the outcome rather than the inputs, you are more likely to develop a process that takes advantage of the functionality of the system and ensures a better experience for everyone (staff and customers).

This advice also applies to new processes in existing systems. Rather than working from the perspective of "how will we do this," start with "what are we trying to accomplish" and work backwards from there. In my experience, starting with "what" rather than "how" delivers much simpler processes. Again, a win-win for everyone!

So remember: when it's time for a new process, program, or system, begin with the end in mind.

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