Thursday, May 26, 2011

Changing ChMS's

A church staff person emailed me this week asking about changing their ChMS (Church Management Software solution).  Their team has some dissatisfaction with their current solution-- even though it is one of the top solutions available.  Following is an excerpt from my response that may be helpful.
Changing ChMS's is a big undertaking, and you're currently using one of the top contenders.  My goal is not to talk you into staying with your current solution, but to add to the discussion.

It's always good for ministry teams to understand that there is no 'perfect' solution.  That means that no matter what ChMS you change to, there will at best be an 80-85% fit.  The questions to answer as you consider your current dissatisfaction revolve around trying to identify:
  • The needs your current solution meets and doesn't meet, and
  • The extent-- preferably expressed in a percentage-- your current solution is meeting/ not meeting your needs.
You may find by going through that exercise that the percentage is such that the change will likely not improve things-- especially if you're already at 80% satisfaction or above.  The cost of changing is not only the cost of the software, but also the cost of lost productivity during the transition.


Raffi said...

How would you go about looking for a system if you don't have one already? I was asked by my church to look into one for them. they currently use a combination of Microsoft Works and Quicken.

Nick Nicholaou said...

Hi Raffi!

Sorry it's taken so long to respond to your question...

I wrote an article a few years ago that might be helpful. Here's a link to download it:

Also, I write an annual review of the ChMS solutions; here's a link to download the most recent one:

Feel free to email me directly and let me know if that helps,

Nick Nicholaou