The hard part is over… or so you thought.
After wading through the seemingly endless selection of association management software vendors, you’ve found your ideal system. Unfortunately, that’s only half the battle.
No one ever wants to put their association through a software implementation project. That much is certain. But the trick is, it’s often easier than sticking with an AMS so heavily customized that it’s starting to look like Frankenstein’s Monster.
While it’s simpler to leave your legacy system behind than you’d think, there are going to be a few challenges as you implement a new system. Mainly: staff adoption.
Your Greatest Software Implementation Challenge
Your members aren’t going to slow down just because your staff is learning a new AMS. It’s going to feel like they expect you to ride a bicycle uphill while simultaneously changing its tires. Or, more bluntly, members expect you to make this change without missing a beat.
The 3 Steps to A Seamless Software Implementation
1. Engage Your Staff
This one is critical, and it’s not going to be easy. We covered this topic to some extent when the Association Answers blog unveiled its tips to helping the curmudgeons among your staff embrace technology.
Another strong software adoption tool? Dynamic learning.
Alliance by Protech offers a library of educational resources, including guided learning powered by WalkMe. WalkMe is fully integrated into Protech’s AMS to offer you step-by-step directions within the system to explain commonly-used functions. Here’s how WalkMe explains the value of staff adoption.
“One of the most significant software implementation challenges is making sure that your users actually adopt it. It seems like a silly thing to overlook, but engaging staff and ensuring that the software serves their needs is critical. If employees do not see value in the product, they will not be motivated to use it.”
2. Have Some Fun
The Alliance by Protech power users at the most recent Fusion Customer Conference understand this step perfectly.
Kim Klotz, Member Services Representative Manager & Convention Registration at the National Funeral Directors Association, recently shared some of the discussion from Fusion on the Protech Users Group.
Klotz, a member of the PUG Leadership Committee, shared the following tips:
- Watch webinars and utilize screen captures
- Put staff in the members’ shoes to see what they see
- Acquire buy-in from the top down
- Use custom dashboards with different departments to show what’s important to them
- Start a “Cool Things” area for staff to share insights and tips about the system
She’s also a strong advocate of the PUG itself, not just for association management software implementation tips.
“By reading discussions and networking with others in the PUG, we have gained ideas that we could adapt into our organization. This is really helpful when sharing a new concept with staff members,” Klotz said.
3. Take it Easy
This is totally contradictory to the first few paragraphs of the blog post. That said, the technological gymnastics your staff nails on the fly mean nothing if you don’t stick the landing.
So, make sure your staff isn’t rushed, as that could cause long-term disdain for the system — setting you on a path for your next association management software implementation before your current project is even finished.
A smooth transition will instead set your staff up to provide more value to members.
Whether your upcoming AMS implementation is next week or next year, keep these tips in mind to ensure a problem-free process.
Want to learn more about Alliance by Protech? Request a demo to find out how Protech Associates can help power your association.