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Ensuring User Investment and Adoption Why do some museums love their cataloging database while others do not? What can we do to influence how the collections.

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Presentation on theme: "Ensuring User Investment and Adoption Why do some museums love their cataloging database while others do not? What can we do to influence how the collections."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ensuring User Investment and Adoption Why do some museums love their cataloging database while others do not? What can we do to influence how the collections management system is regarded by our institution? When I am singing about EMu, what notes work best? The surprising answers to these and many more questions coming up next!

2 1. A broad range of factors influence how a collections database is regarded within an institution, not just the quality of the product and support. 2. The reputation of the system has a significant impact on user adoption and investment. 3. Those of us working most closely with the system influence that reputation; and there are some things we can do (and avoid doing) that may help. 4. Happy users are more likely to invest; and theyre much easier to support. Today: a list of tips, points, and suggestions, based on practical experience, that may be helpful in removing some of the roadblocks to institutional satisfaction E!Mu! vs. eeemooo

3 Who is this guy and why is he talking to me? Will Scott Museum & Database Consultant Former trainer and consultant for Questor Systems, makers of ARGUS Worked as a registrar, collections manager, and database administrator on the museum side Providing consulting and contract services to a variety of museums since 2002 University of Pennsylvania Museum since 2004 assisting with ARGUS support, product selection, and EMu migration Rebelled in his late teens by cutting his hair and going to work as an intern for Field Museum. He had so much potential.

4 The Small Print This presentation is not specifically about Penn Museums migration from ARGUS to EMu. Examples are taken from a number of institutions. My comments are my own and do not represent Penn Museum. Examples provided are drawn from institutions with whom I have worked and from conversations with staff members at other museums. Mention of CIMS vendors do not necessarily refer to KE Software, Questor Systems, or to any other specific software vendor. Where points DO refer to those projects, institutions, and businesses, they are clearly noted as such.

5 The Role of The Vendor The software and vendor must do their part It has to work and to be well-designed The vendor needs to deliver on sales promises and commitments It needs to offer adequate support and training It needs to provide complete and useful documentation And more… (my lawyer recommended I add this) Just because the software works well, and the vendor provides good service, does not necessarily mean people will like it.

6 Smile, Darn Ya, Smile ! ~or~ Always Look on The Bright Side of Life Think about how you talk about the system Be positive… Avoid and address undue negativity It is easy to ignore everything that a CMS does and focus on the things that it doesnt do Share positive reactions from users with the other users. Positivity spreads slowly and can use the help. Negativity spreads quickly, especially to less technical users

7 Overselling can cause as many problems as exaggerated negativity. No software is magic. Address unreasonable expectations with user and administration (they control the gold) New software and database migrations always bring new challenges and problems. Prepare users for that. At the same time, try to keep them excited about the new offerings that will come as a result of the change. Sell It, But Manage Expectations

8 Documentation is important, of course, but how does it make you feel? Provide detailed documentation that looks inviting Centralize documentation in one location and make it searchable. Steal from KE and make their documents searchable alongside your own. Inform and remind users of time-saving features and useful procedures. Dont underestimate user ability and desire to use tools that are not covered at basic training sessions. Theres joy in repetition – (the artist occasionally known as Prince). Documentation and Continued Training

9 Involve users at every step User Investment Understanding of why decisions were made Broad knowledge of configuration and system options is critical! Do not underestimate the significance of this! Learn all you can Research not just what you need it to do, but what it is capable of doing Attend EMu User Group Meetings Take full advantage of EMus customizability… budget for ongoing development of your EMu client. How wonderful to have that option! Configuration and EMu Administration

10 The success of a CMS hinges on institutional satisfaction and user adoption. A positive opinion of the product (or, at least not an unnecessarily-negative opinion) benefits users, admins, and the institution. The vendor must deliver the goods, but the efforts and actions of those most knowledgeable about the system also influence how a system is regarded. Summary


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