Things I heard at ASAE Tech Conference – Why should I use a consultant?

Over the course of the next couple of posts, I’m going to write about several things I heard at ASAE’s Tech Conference last month. These will be in no particular order, but all of them arose from discussions I had with attendees at the conference.

First item on the list is how and why to choose a consultant. During a session on general AMS issues, an attendee asked what’s the best way to choose and consultant, and why would I want to? I’ve written about how to choose a consultant here, so I won’t cover that ground again.

But one of the leaders of the session, Mike Guerrieri, of ASHA, made a very important point about why you would want to hire a consultant to help with selection and implementation of a new AMS. Of course, there are all the usual reasons (e.g., expertise your staff doesn’t have), but Mike pointed out that a good third party consultant is focused on the success of the project, not the politics of your organization. That means that a consultant can be blunt and honest about what is working and what is not. There is no tip-toeing around sacred cows, because the consultant doesn’t (shouldn’t!) have any turf to protect.

This is a very important point, and one often overlooked when associations are trying to determine whether or not to use a consultant. A “neutral” third party may be able to address issues that internal staff cannot (or won’t).

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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