It’s easy to blame the technology, isn’t it? Execs often scratch their heads as to how a system was supposed to be the answer to their prayers five years ago is today blamed for everything from lost revenue to bad coffee. Are the tools you have truly working for you and your members, or are they working against you? Drawing back to look at the full picture can be the key to moving forward wisely and well.
Associations often think of themselves as conservative, slow adopters but worry that they will be behind the curve when big, risky changes come down the pike. What is the right system mix for you? Maybe those systems you worked so hard to put in place are fighting against each other. Maybe they are more than your team can wrangle.
Association management (AMS), customer relationships (CRM), web content (CMS), learning management (LMS), financial management (FMS), communications management (Email Marketing)…How can one association keep track of so many moving parts?
In particular, associations worry about integrating all these systems, and having data exchanged accurately between them. For some associations, a single database of record, performing many functions or fully integrated with all systems, gives them the business data they need. For other associations, having best-of-breed systems to support each operational area, and pulling comprehensive and actionable data from each as it is needed to make business decisions balances operational and management needs.
Understanding your staff and members’ pain-points, goals, and vision can transform your approach to technology. Pain-points are a burden in day-to-day operations but a window of opportunity in longer range planning. Having a process where staff feel heard and see real results can bring them on board with change management efforts. Hearing the goals of staff from all levels of the organization, and having them hear and understand each other’s work and goals, can bring groups together to achieve those goals. Having organizational leadership clarify the vision for technology for the organization, can give staff and members a sense of momentum and being part of something worthwhile. A technology assessment process can help move the organization forward on many fronts.
Ellipsis Partners technology assessment drills down on systems, staffing, skills and decisions to create a realistic plan for success.