Association Management: Selecting an AMS Is Only the Beginning
Once you have chosen the AMS software you will implement, the hard part is over, right? Actually, that's when the real work begins. There is a lot to do to assure that implementation goes smoothly, that staff is well trained on the system, and that adoption and utilization is optimal. Here's how the process goes after your decision on your new association management system is final.
Project Management & Change Management
Implementation is a substantial project, and can be managed effectively through project management techniques. Additionally, implementing association management software involves a tremendous amount of organizational change, as workflows, processes, procedures, etc., will be changing. So, it's important to undertake the techniques of change management, as well.
When it comes to project management, your AMS vendor should be able to walk you through the process to keep your team within the deadline and inside the budget. Like all project management, it requires effective communication, focus, and adequate control measures. In regards to change management, there are several steps involved:
- Acknowledge the need for the change.
- Communicate the need for change with others.
- Develop and implement plans to make the necessary changes.
- Evaluate the progress made.
- Celebrate successes along the way.
Training Users on the AMS Software
No system is any better than the training provided to the users. The key is over-training. Employees are going to forget a certain amount of what they're taught; it's just human nature. The key is to teach them more than they need to know, so that even after they've forgotten some of what they learned, they still retain enough to do their jobs well. Investments in training are more than just investments in your new software. Training investments are investments in employee retention, worker morale, and the success of the association.
Boosting the Usefulness of AMS With Data Integration
Data integration tools can be used to integrate systems like your AMS, email,
collaboration, finance, content management, and other systems. This
means that the data available in one is automatically made available in
the others for a more complete view of your back-end systems.
While AMS software is incredibly powerful, most associations also utilize other back-end systems, such as financial software, collaboration tools, email systems, content management systems, etc. Data integration can be used to link these software applications to one another, so that they share data and operate as integrated, cohesive solutions. The implementation process is an ideal time to integrate systems so that users can learn it all at the same time.
Assuring Organization-Wide Adoption
Don't assume that buy-in will be immediate and complete. It will take time for workers to get used to the new system, and for the new system to become truly productive. This is where effective change management is extraordinarily helpful. Use these processes to help users adopt the system, to get them the help and support they need during training, and to evaluate progress as it is made and celebrate the successes, while addressing the issues that might stand in the way. Remember, change management is an ongoing process, not something you conquer once and for all.
Do you have more questions about implementing an AMS, how to assure it will be successful, and what you can do to make sure it goes smoothly? Download Implementing Your AMS: What to Expect Along the Way to get these answers and more.
About Jennifer Barrell
As the Director of Content, Branding & Buzz at Aptify, Jen oversees the strategy and execution of brand management and content production across the organization’s global offices. She thrives on bringing compelling content and useful information to associations to help them grow and engage their membership. She's also an avid fan of mid-century modern design and all things science fiction.