Category Archives: ChMS

The Perfect ChMS Add-On

 

I’ve been looking to help a few churches with the “perfect” Church Management tool add-on.

Over and over, churches need a better, or easier, or friendlier, or find your own phrase that fits, solution for queries and selections.

Most churches, occasionally, need to do some wild and crazy query of their database. Something like “find all men, over age 30, who have kids, who have attended the missions class, who have not been on a mission trip, and are not part of the special services events team.” When we use words, that sort of makes sense. But in most of the ChMS products, it’s not so easy. Some products let you get under the covers and use SQL statements, so then you have joins and includes and Boolean stuff, but how many regular church staff can work through that?!

The software developers don’t have a chance of pre-developing this type of query because it is, totally ad-hoc. And once you get those results, undoubtedly you’ll discover another condition you want to add.

Maybe there’s another answer. What if we used a person, instead of software? What if we had people at these churches, or even in consulting roles, who would do these queries for you. You explain in everyday language, and these people do the special work to accomplish the task. Somebody who does this every day is a lot more likely to get it right than the typical staff member who only attempts this once or twice a year.

Instead of fixing the software, let’s try using a people resource. Too easy?

Do you know any people like this?

 

Flashback Friday: Trusted, Friendly, Used

FlashbackFriday150Flashback Friday. This post first appeared July 23, 2007. Thinking about how much this coincides with A Powerful User Experience.

Revisiting the “Software Acceptance Triangle”

Back in Nov 2005, I posted about key needs of a ChMS.  At that time, I used the terms Trusted, Used, and Easy.

Well, “Easy” wasn’t the right word.  A lot of products miss the “easy” description, but are still very usable.  Products need to be appropriate to what’s expected.  What’s a better word?  After tinkering with intuitive, simple, understandable, discoverable, natural, and probably other words, Stephen Wareham through out the word “familiar” on ChMS discuss.  I’m still not sure that’s a perfect word, but I like it.  However, I’m going to use “friendly” until something else comes along.  If you like “familiar” better, I’m find with that!

Triangle So, now the three terms are 1) Friendly, 2) Trusted, and 3) Used.  I don’t know how many times I’ve drawn a triangle on a white-board explaining the relationship of these three, and started calling it the “Iron Triangle.”  Well… other people have used that term, so once again, I needed something else.  For now, I’m going with the “software acceptance triangle.”  Yeah…probably not going to win any marketing awards for that name!  (I’m open for suggestions)

The concept of this triangle remains the same: if you don’t have all three sides, you will probably have an acceptance problem (at best), or possibly a complete failure of adoption.

Now, the question: does one side need to come first?  And, more to think about, is software acceptance a triangle, or are there more than three parts?

Flashback Friday: The 3D Ministry Grid

My how things have changed. This post first appeared February 2007, based on a conversation from a month earlier.

You Saw It Here, First

You know how the best ideas usually start on the back of a napkin?  Someday you’ll see something that looks like this and you’ll think “that’s so brilliant.”  Well…here it is.  Not my idea, just a napkin that  I now possess.  So…remember…you saw it here first.
3dgridnapkin