By The Protech Team
Your association management system (AMS) isn’t like other software. It’s not just a customer relationship management (CRM) system, nor is it solely a membership retention tool or e-commerce solution. In the best cases, it’s all three — and more. The rich functionality of this level of enterprise software means it’s hard to pick the right one for your organization, and it can be even harder to prepare for the implementation project.
We’ve covered AMS selection in great detail (via blogs and e-books), but you must not overlook implementation. Specifically, how will you actually use the AMS?
A successful enterprise software implementation requires internal evaluation. That means establishing goals and acquiring buy-in from the entire staff. To help member-based organizations continue on the right path toward a successful implementation project, here are two key questions you need to consider.
What’s Your Member Engagement Strategy?
Your overarching member engagement plan likely focuses on outcomes and member benefits. To a lesser extent, you may think about the technology needed to meet those outcomes and achieve those goals. For the purposes of implementation, however, try thinking differently about your member experience strategy.
Instead of fixating on the end result — the overall member experience — focus more heavily on how you can create that experience. That can be done by asking yourself these questions:
- What processes can be simplified or automated to help my staff serve members more effectively?
- How can I make professional development and other resources easily accessible to members on the website?
- How will I train staff to use the new software so there is no downtime in serving our members?
- What are the “must-have” features I need fully functional for testing to ensure our members have a seamless experience at go live?
By understanding and establishing the member engagement strategy, you’ll know all of the necessary objectives and requirements needed to successfully implement an AMS.
How Will You Define Success for the AMS Implementation Project?
Now that you know the requirements of your new system, as defined by your member experience strategy, you’re ready to set goals for your implementation.
Establishing goals before beginning the project enables you to build an implementation and deployment plan around your parameters for success, providing a concrete blueprint for the implementation team to refer back to.
For those goals to be valuable, they need to be outlined in a way that’s measurable and quantifiable. For example, you could aim to increase event registrations by 15 percent over the next year, create an online store where members can shop or give members the ability to update personal information.
Work with your internal AMS team to make sure those goals are aligned with the association’s needs, because as you certainly know, each organization has unique standards of success.
Now that you have established you member experience strategy and goals for success, you are ready to begin your AMS implementation project. To help with a smooth transition, watch our webinar, “Onboarding Excellence: How to Help Your Staff Adopt New Software.”