Testing and Clear Objectives are Critical

I’m always fascinated by stories like this. In a nutshell, the state of Minnesota spent nearly $100 million for a new vehicle licensing and registration database, and may have to spend another $50 million to actually get it completed. And the project started over 10 years ago!

The state audited the program to see what went wrong. They discovered that money was not the issue. So what were the findings? Here are two:

  • “There was too little transparency about which functions would — and would not — be included in MNLARS.”
  • “There was insufficient testing of MNLARS prior to its release.”

The problem wasn’t money; the problem was unclear objectives and poor testing.

Most associations aren’t dealing with this scale, in terms of dollars. But the lessons are the same for all of us. Being clear about what we expect, and then testing to make sure what we expected is actually delivered, are keys to success.

We can all learn from their very expensive mistakes.

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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