in1touch – Keys to a Successful Implementation

July 25th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags:
My last blog focused on having realistic expectations when implementing a new Association Management Software system.  Expectations at the start can be over inflated and as the process starts attitudes can wane.  Setting clear goals, open communication, and patience are key to implementing a new system. Here are  a few other things to keep in mind to help you and your organization manage the change.
1. Celebrate Small Victories. Implementing a new system can last from 90 days to over a year. To keep motivation high celebrate small victories you achieve along the way.  Wes Trochlil, President of Effective Database Management recently commented in blog:
” One of the simplest early victories during a typical AMS implementation project is identifying all of the data that will be brought into the new system. For example, one of my clients currently has five different systems managing their data. With the implementation of their new AMS, they will be bringing all of that data into one system, eliminating redundant data management and improving staff efficiencies. The simple act of identifying all of those disparate data sources is a victory that should be celebrated.”

2. Share Your Progress. Not all of your staff are on the front lines of the implementation process. Some will continue to work with the old system while others are diligently converting the data. If the “right” is unaware of all of the effort the “left” is doing, tensions can rise.  While working with one client Wes commented a weekly email would be sent out updating the progress made to date and the plan for the week to come.  Wes adds, ” Once we’ve accomplished these small victories, it’s important to publicize them, to let staff know that we’re making positive progress.”
3. Make a Decision. From start to finish you will have to make a hundred decisions during the implementation process. Some small and some large. Regardless of the size, they will need to be made.   Gather your information, weigh your options, decide and then act. Getting stalled in a decision will be hurt the overall progress of the implementation beyond missing deadlines – staff and other stakeholders will lose focus and interest. Don’t act with haste, but don’t get stuck either.

4. Create a Sense Of Community. Remind staff they are all working together towards a common goal. Some may feel over burdened one day while others may feel unheard. Leadership needs to remind staff of the role they each individually and collectively play during the implementation process.
5. Eliminate Silos  Silos of data will exists in almost every size of organization. According to Wes data silos are defined as data held by one staff person or department that would be useful to other staff or departments in the organization.
“Every organization has this problem. The most common offenders are those managing volunteers, such as committee members, speakers, writers, or other individuals providing service to the association pro bono. The implementation phase is the opportune time to identify where these data silos are located, who is managing them, and how they will be managed in the new database.”

Above all else, positive and flexible leadership is required to help navigate the staff and organization through the implementation process.
in1touch is an online membership management software application that provides many benefits to associations, regulatory and certifying boards, including; event registration, online payments and invoices, self-service member interface, e-mail marketing, and many others. in1touch is a very configurable program, assists with growing revenues, membership numbers, and overall satisfaction from members. Whether planning an event, collecting online payments, or simply tracking member information, in1touch can be customized to fit unique requirements.
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