Monthly Archives: September 2014

Joanna Pineda

Joanna Pineda
CEO & Chief Troublemaker

Managing Your AMS Implementation: Tip #9 You’re Not Done at Launch

Planning for an AMS implementation can be a huge undertaking and involve a great many staffers in your organization. Here’s a quick tip that can help you plan ahead.

man looking at web pagesTip #9: You’re Not Done at Launch

Yay, you’ve launched your new AMS! Time to sit back and party, right? Not so much. Though a lot of the work is done before launch, there’s always more to be done afterwards, especially since many of the functions in your association don’t happen but once a year (trade show, annual meetings, dues renewal, etc.).

  • Most associations require one year after launch to know they got everything right
    • Remember those reports and roster samples from Tip#4 ? [LINK THIS] – you’ll need the upcoming year to ensure that they’re all right in the new system. You need to go through a full cycle of all your duties and functions to validate and verify.
  • Staff need to use the system in order to embrace change.
    • Change is hard, and changing a system that many people use on a daily basis is harder. The year following a new AMS launch is the vetting period. Your staff need this time to learn it. At first, you may hear grumbles, but by the time the year is up, most staffers will be comfortable with the new system.

 

Tip #10: Be Committed

Joanna Pineda

Joanna Pineda
CEO & Chief Troublemaker

Managing Your AMS Implementation: Tip #8 Data Entry Standards

Planning for an AMS implementation can be a huge undertaking and involve a great many staffers in your organization. Here’s a quick tip that can help you plan ahead.

black keyboardTip #8 Data Entry Standards

Cleaning up your data is the beginning, but once the data has been imported to the new AMS, moving forward, it’s absolutely imperative that the data remains clean. What this means for your association is that you must have data entry standards.

    • Essential: Good, documented data-entry standards prior to implementation
    • As you’re cleaning up data (Tip #XXX), keep track of how the data’s been entered and how you’d like it to be done in the future. Do you spell out Street or abbreviate it St.? Do you use the post office standard abbreviations for states and countries? How do you handle job titles, company names?
  • The standards should be rigorously followed
    • Once you’ve got a list of your standards, make sure every single person that is tasked with data entry or any updates knows and follows them. Everyone’s got to be on the same page with this, or the data will soon become dirty again.
  • You need a data czar to enforce standards and be the go-to person for your AMS, data and process
    • Who’s in charge of being the go-to person? Who’s going to be the cop, librarian and overall question guru for your data? Make sure that all staff know who this is.

 

 Tip #9: You’re Not Done at Launch

Joanna Pineda

Joanna Pineda
CEO & Chief Troublemaker

Managing Your AMS Implementation: Tip #7 Think BIG. Think Change.

Planning for an AMS implementation can be a huge undertaking and involve a great many staffers in your organization. Here’s a quick tip that can help you plan ahead.

changeTip #7: Think BIG. Think Change.

There’s no point in implementing a new system that does the same things as the one you currently have. Now’s the time to think about everything you could wish for in your AMS. Need different reports? Need more flexible reports? What don’t you have now that you wish you did?

  • Think BIG even if you can’t do it now
    • Make that blue sky list, even if your budget is modest. If you don’t talk about it, it will never happen.
  • Forecast what might change in your association & share with vendor
    • Think ahead. What’s coming up that might affect your AMS? Talk to your vendor, communicate.
  • Don’t try to replicate your current process
    • You know what you’ve been doing. Don’t stop there! Think about your goal and discuss with your vendor on how to get there more efficiently, more easily. Don’t just do it the same way.
  • The less you customize, the less expensive
    • Think before you ask for customization. Perhaps the new system has a different way of achieving your results that doesn’t require customizing it. Think smart and save budge money.
  • Change is hard!
    • Making the transition to a new system will always be difficult. It’s new, it may be better than what you have (which is why you’re changing), but the actual change tends to hit you harder than you think. Embrace this ahead of time and acknowledge it.

Tip #8 Data Entry Standards

Joanna Pineda

Joanna Pineda
CEO & Chief Troublemaker

Managing Your AMS Implementation: Tip #6 Managing the Project

Planning for an AMS implementation can be a huge undertaking and involve a great many staffers in your organization. Here’s a quick tip that can help you plan ahead.

Businessman pressing virtual iconsTip #6 Managing the Project

One of the more difficult aspects to an implementation is time management. You need to know where you’re going and how and when you’re going to get there. Not only that, but your senior management also wants to know these answers. To help you manage, here are some tips:

  • Get a complete timeline for everything
    • Talk to your vendor and work with them and your staff to get a timeline. Make sure you know what tasks are dependent on other tasks and what challenges can stop or delay the project.
  • Weekly check-in
    • Have a weekly check-in call with your vendor. Discuss progress, any challenges, any questions. Make sure to ask ALL the questions. Don’t assume that the vendor knows to do something.
  • In person meetings every 2 months
    • Meeting with your vendor in person can help solve issues that phone calls can’t. Bring in department staff & have them join in the discussion. Walk through specific questions and issues.
  • Simultaneous feedback from staff (no trickling in)
    • Collect staff feedback and send it to your vendor in one message. Make sure you’ve reviewed the feedback and have a consensus or, if the feedback needs illustration (screenshots) or documentation support, make sure it’s got that, as well.
  • Take great notes and document DECISIONS by the team
    • As with the bullet point above, document your internal implementation team meetings and decisions so that your vendor and senior staff have one voice to listen to.
  • Periodic updates for senior staff
    • Keep your senior staff updated about progress, any challenges, timeline changes, etc. Tell them before they come to ask you.

 

Tip #7: Think BIG. Think Change.

 

 

Joanna Pineda

Joanna Pineda
CEO & Chief Troublemaker

Managing Your AMS Implementation: Tip #5 Gather Samples

Planning for an AMS implementation can be a huge undertaking and involve a great many staffers in your organization. Here’s a quick tip that can help you plan ahead.

Notebooks from Morguefile for MaxxBlogTip #5 Gather Samples

Once you’ve cleaned up your data, the prep work’s not done. Next, you need to make sure you’ve got copies of all reports, rosters and other sample information that you need throughout the entire year.

  • Include all meeting rosters and specific reports
  • Quarterly/Year end reports
  • What other reports does your organization use on a regular basis? Quarterly? Annually?
  • Check with each department and make sure you’ve got a sample of what they use, even if it’s just once a year, or every other year.

Think you’ve got too many samples? Probably not. If it’s used, you’ll need to make sure you have a sample so that your new vendors can account for this in the implementation.

Tip #6 Managing the Project