Smooth AMS Implementation: Tips for Success

By Nate Brown • November 29, 2023

Associations frequently express dissatisfaction with their current Association Management Software (AMS) but hesitate to switch due to fears related to the implementation process. With years of experience overseeing numerous implementations, the Naylor Association Solutions team offers valuable insights to guide you through your first AMS launch or transition to a new provider, aligning your association with long-term growth objectives. 

Approach AMS Implementation with an Open Mind: 

Begin by dispelling preconceived notions that a new AMS implementation will replicate past technology failures. Embrace a fresh perspective, allowing your team to plan effectively and draw from prior experiences to mitigate risks successfully. 

Assign an Expert Project Manager: 

A vital component of AMS implementation is having a dedicated project manager. This individual, well-versed in Project Management principles, should devise multiple contingency plans to minimize risks and ensure timely completion. The project manager will coordinate AMS requirements across your organization, identifying potential challenges and strategizing solutions. Proactive planning for potential obstacles during the early stages prevents implementation setbacks. 

Distinguish Between Essential Needs and Desirable Features: 

Critical to a successful implementation is the clear distinction between necessary AMS features and optional enhancements. Engage team members from various departments to garner support from the outset. Consider the needs of everyday users, including IT, membership, education, marketing, events, and management. Secure executive backing and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of staff and member perspectives. This insight-driven approach guides your priorities, streamlining AMS demonstrations and enabling focused discussions with vendors. 

Establish a Realistic Implementation Timeline: 

While a well-structured plan is essential, flexibility is equally vital. Break down the AMS implementation into manageable milestones or smaller projects. Build upon each section incrementally until your entire association adeptly adopts the new AMS. Tailor your approach to suit your association’s needs, whether starting from the goal launch date and working backward or progressing from the initial stage to completion. Transparency is key—share your project timeline with the chosen AMS vendor to validate the feasibility of your time projections. Open communication fosters trust, paving the way for a successful AMS implementation and a strong partnership between your association and the vendor. 

About The Author

Nate Brown is a software sales engineer who specializes in association-specific software at Naylor Association Solutions. Reach him at [email protected].