Installing a new AMS, documenting internal systems and cleaning the database are top priorities for many associations. Projects like these are “administrative”. They are internally focused and generally are more about staff efficiency than the member experience. Is there a giant internal administrative project your association is working on? Or a list of a bunch of little administrative projects?
The trouble with administrative projects is they lull us into feeling like we are making great progress because they create lots of busy work. While some of these projects are great in theory or promise; we need to be very aware of how much administrative work verses strategic work we are engaging in.
“Strategic” work is work that benefits members. These are projects designed to improve member experience, create more member benefits, add more member value and enhance current products and events. Strategic projects are the work that will eventually make an association far more relevant to the membership.
It’s not that we can’t do any administrative projects. Some of these projects are important to the organization. The question, rather, is what is the ratio of administrative projects to strategic projects? If the balance is tipped toward administrative work it is time to reevaluate the strategic plan. If 90% of your focus is on creating member value your association can’t help but, be relevant in the future.