When consulting with clients on their AMS projects, I typically advise them to budget an additional 10-25% over what the initial estimate is for system implementation. Why? Because in my experience, most AMS implementations (not all!) will wind up taking longer and costing at least a bit more than originally estimated. Why is that? Here are four of the most common reasons:
So what is the remedy? The first step is acknowledging that AMS implementations are hard. They are typically complex, involving many staff, many decisions, and lots and lots of time commitment. Yes, on rare occasion, an implementation can be done in 90 days. But that’s rare.
The second thing associations can do is to make sure you’ve provided staff with enough time and resources to do the work they have to do during the implementation. The most important thing is to acknowledge that some other work/projects will have to be delayed or pushed to the bottom of the priority list in order to tend to the implementation. If we just add the AMS implementation to an already full plate, it is guaranteed to run over time and over budget.
But even with this, the reality is your project will likely take more time and cost more money than you originally planned. Be prepared for that.