Expert tips: how to live happily ever after with your new AMS

Gretchen Steenstra | 10.13.14
Topics: Project Management, AMS - Data - Membership

If you’ve stuck around since the first in this series of posts inspired by the ASAE Membership Section virtual brown bag, Think like the Experts: Experienced Tips for a Hassle Free AMS, then you’ve already read my advice on:

  • Knowing why you want a new AMS
  • Knowing what you want in a new AMS
  • Understanding requirements
  • Making sure you and your team survive the project
  • Getting your money’s worth
  • Finding the best AMS vendor for your needs

I have two final thoughts.

1. You thought you were finished – but the best part of the project is just beginning.

To ensure a positive outcome for your AMS implementation, think of its launch as the first day of a new phase of the project. What I mean is: your project doesn’t end at launch; it transitions into another phase after you get to know your new AMS. I know you thought it was over, but this is when it gets really interesting.


Try to launch with as much baseline functionality and process as possible, that is, with the least amount of additional configuration and customization on top of the baseline system. Save 20-30% of your budget to further refine and configure the system after you have used it for 3-6 months.

2. Your AMS vendor is your partner – treat them like one.

Think of your AMS vendor as a partner. They have a stake in your success too. Consider them an extension of your staff. Beyond having a deep knowledge of their product and its capabilities, they’ve helped all kinds of associations use their AMS for all types of business processes.

Their AMS has been implemented to solve a wide range of business problems, integrate with a number of different systems, and produce all kinds of reports. Seek their advice. They may have new approaches to solving some of your association’s old problems.

Now you’re ready to roll.

So is your new AMS. You’ve planned thoroughly for launch, your staff are trained up (and management has an ongoing training plan), and your AMS vendor has your back. Good luck, and keep moving forward – that’s progress!

In case you missed something in this series…

Here are all of my “expert tips” posts, in chronological order: 

  1. What you need to know before selecting an AMS (10/3/14)
  2. The why and what of AMS selection (10/6/14)
  3. How to get your staff ready for a new AMS (10/7/14)
  4. Project team survival begins with change management (10/8/14)
  5. How to get your money’s worth from your AMS investment (10/9/14)
  6. How to find the best AMS vendor for your needs (10/10/14)
  7. How to live happily ever after with your new AMS (10/13/14)


Flickr photo by Leah Jones

About Gretchen Steenstra

A PMP and Professional Facilitator, Gretchen has more tricks up her sleeve than she has, well, sleeves! Extremely active in the association community, you'll find her just about everywhere—from ASAE to AMS Fest. Lucky for us, you can also find her here on The DelCor Connection.

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