Choosing Who Should be in Charge of Your AMS Implementation
Just like the New Orleans Saints winning a game, selecting the right AMS software is undoubtedly a team effort. There is a lot of work involved in examining internal processes, speaking with managers and team leaders, evaluating vendors, getting the product implemented and running smoothly, and finally, training the staff and fostering long-term use of the software. However, everybody needs a head, and the team needs a leader who will be the "final say" when the team can't come to 100 percent agreement on issues.
Should this leader be someone from tech, familiar with software implementation? Or maybe she should be somebody from operations, who knows the ins and outs of the association. He could be an administrator with all of the authority that the title implies. All of these candidates have the potential to be the right pick, provided that they meet certain other criteria. Here's how to decide.
Someone Who Is Familiar With Processes Across the Organization
The right membership software will be used across the organization, not just by operations, but also by accounting, administration, and member services. In order to choose a solution that meets all of these varying needs, it's important that they have at least some understanding of the processes, procedures, challenges, and best practices of all of the departments who will be using the software. After all, everyone in the back office of an NFL team knows the needs and procedures when heading into the Draft.
Someone Who Has the Authority to Make Decisions and Achieve Buy-In
Even if they have the know-how, people won't think they have the final say unless they have a position of authority. This might mean assigning a more suitable title to a great mid-level manager, or even turning to one of the executive-level managers. Just choose someone who others will listen to and follow.
Someone With Knowledge of the Technology, the Business, and the People
Though the considerations of each department's needs are paramount, it's important that your AMS software selection committee leader understand three vital elements of choosing the best solution: they must understand the technology behind the software, they must understand the association's business processes, and they need to understand their people.
For example, what software solution best fits within the existing IT architecture (cloud based versus on premises, etc.)? What features and functionality are necessary to track the metrics the business side needs and power their goals into the future? Finally, what is the technical expertise of your staff? They will need to choose a solution that is easy and intuitive if your staff are tech laypeople, for instance, or to select one with advanced features if they're dealing with a group who has strong tech skills and wants more out of the software.
Someone Who Is Dedicated to the Cause
Finally, the process for choosing and implementing AMS software is lengthy. You need someone to head it up who has a passion and dedication for the issue, so that they won't give in to fatigue or boredom, or simply toss up their hands when the going gets tough.
The team leader needs to understand how the software will be used across the association and what the users want and need from the software. With the right team leader, you'll set up your implementation team to win big this year and for several seasons ahead.
You can find out more about the process and how to get it done right when you download this guide: Implementing Your AMS: What to Expect Along the Way.
About Eric McDonald
As an Engagement Manager with Aptify, Eric helps clients determine whether Aptify is a good fit for their organization as they look for a new AMS. As part of the process, Eric works with clients to consider implementing new systems and new business processes to boost efficiencies and drive greater change throughout the organization. Eric is based out of the New Orleans office, calling the “Big Easy” home since 2010 when he moved there to earn his MBA from Tulane University. Outside of work, Eric loves to CrossFit, spend time with his spouse, cuddle with his Corgi, Bentley, and watch every Saints game—Who Dat!