Step 4: Define and Prioritize Your Requirements
Now that you’ve created an inclusive list of your needs, you’ll need to rank or prioritize these so you can determine which are absolutely essential or “Required” and which are simply "Nice-to have". By clearly identifying and ranking your needs and by taking a team approach, you should avoid one of the pitfalls that often occurs - making a quick selection based solely on one individual's personal preference or vendor pitches rather than on your organization's specific needs.
Membership Database Requirements Workbook
We’ve created a Membership Database Selection Workbook that includes a Requirements Worksheet that you can use to capture your requirements and prioritize these. If you’d like to use this tool, click on the “Requirements Worksheet” tab on the Workbook. The Sample Requirements worksheet (Excel spreadsheet) was created based on the items from our list above (in Step 2). Simply revise and/or add in your organization’s requirements to this worksheet and have the Selection Team rank each to identify your key needs.
Rest assured, the time you spend identifying your needs will be well worthwhile. This pre-planning will directly impact the usefulness and functionality of your membership database. And remember, “a good database helps you work smarter, faster, and more effectively.”