Thoughts on technology and innovation
Beth Farrar, Marketing Manager
Your association is about to begin the search for a new Association Management System (AMS). You’ve identified the critical features and compiled department wish lists. Perhaps you are working with an outside consultant to help you through the process. Your consultant may even have a score card of some kind to allow you to measure one system against another. After all, if you run through each element on the spreadsheet and total the points your answer should be clear right? Wrong.
Step Away from the Spreadsheet
What many associations and even industry consultants sometimes fail to consider is the softer side of this very important search. When you step away from the spreadsheet, have you really considered who you are about to enter into a longterm partnership with? Who is the company behind that checkbox? Will your organizations work well together?
More often than not, cultural alignment is missing from the RFP and yet it is one of the most important success factors in any major technology initiative.
Cultural alignment is the shared beliefs (either explicit or implicit) that exist between and association and its partner.
So, how do you assess culture? Here are some helpful tips:
“I think this is important to note and is significant when determining the ongoing relationship between the AMS vendor and the client. I often say that finding the perfect AMS is like finding the perfect husband or wife. They just don’t exist. And folks, this isn’t a joke. There will be disagreements, missed deadlines and misunderstandings, but being aligned with a company you can trust will allow you to move past those hurdles much quicker.”
-Teri Carden, Founder, ReviewMyAMS.com
Food for Thought
In summary, culture plays a major role in a successful partnership between two organizations working together. Without a good cultural match the relationship may be doomed from the start. Make sure cultural alignment is evaluated on your next AMS RFP.
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