Want to be successful? Do the work!

I’m often asked what the major success factors are for an AMS (or any system) implementation. There are many, of course, but based on my 18 years of consulting, the primary success factor is how much effort the association puts into the project.

I’ve worked on over 200 AMS implementations, and I can say unequivocally the most successful have been those where the association has been fully engaged, from start to finish, and has committed the time and resources necessary to get the job done.

For example, I’m working with an association currently who has one of the most complex set of of membership rules I’ve ever encountered. On paper this is the kind of implementation that should be fraught with potholes, danger signs, and delays. And yet the project has gone incredibly smoothly. Yes, they’re working with a good vendor and a good product, but the primary reason the project has gone so well is because the staff has been so committed to doing the work.

When the vendor provides prototypes to test, the association staff tests it, quickly and thoroughly. When decisions have to be made, the association reviews their options and makes a decision, quickly. When the vendor presents alternatives that don’t match the exact needs of the association, rather than complaining and fighting, the association finds ways to work with the vendor (thus keeping costs down and keeping the project on track).

No project will be perfect. But this is how success is achieved. By doing the work.

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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