Written By: Bill Boothe & Jeremy Hoch
We continue to be amazed at the number of private clubs that dump their older club management software for something new without a thought of how they might retain and improve what they already have. Helping clubs choose a replacement system has been the mainstay of our consulting practice for almost 30 years. If there is one thing we have learned through more than 350 replacement projects, it is that replacement is never pretty. Virtually every club department is affected, through data conversion, forms design, features configuration, user training, report generation and the break-in period of 12 months or so as staff (and members) become comfortable with the new software. Not to mention a significant financial investment to get from System A to System B. In the end, is it really worth the effort, disruption and cost? For many clubs the answer is a definitive “yes.” But for many others, the answer is a murky “I think so” or “I am not really sure.” So how do you decide?
The good news is that there is an easy and inexpensive way to determine the merits of replacement vs. retention. It is called a replacement vs. reengineering assessment. This assessment begins with a thorough analysis of the club’s software requirements, which produces a functionality gap list documenting each and every shortcoming and wish-list item gathered from all club departments and management. The gap list is then reviewed by experts from the legacy software company to learn what can be done to address each item on the list. If 80 percent or more of the listed items can be successfully addressed by the legacy software, then reengineering becomes a strong contender versus replacement – especially if the remaining 20 percent or so are not mission critical to the club’s operations.