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Action Vs. Reaction: How Your Association Can Improve Troubleshooting

Membership Audra Hopkins

Struggles: We all go through them. But is your association taking the right type of action on its own challenges when they arise?

No matter what your association is struggling with, identifying problems is the first step to getting back on track. You need to know where the problem is stemming from, what you can do to fix it, and how to quickly get back on track after a problem arises.

The best way to do this is to rethink your troubleshooting approach. If you’re typically one to react to a problem instead of taking action, you could be causing more harm than good. Instead, you’ll want to learn how to properly manage problems when they come your way. And for that, we’d love to help.

Troubleshooting and problem management shouldn’t come down to a crisis. There are many ways you can prepare to take action when needed, and save your staff a lot of time and stress in the process.

If you need a new perspective shift for risk management and troubleshooting, we’ve got you covered. Let’s talk about how your association can use brand new, innovative techniques to act accordingly to problems instead of react when they occur.

Develop a strategy

Want an easy way to troubleshoot? Stick to a specific strategy.

Developing a troubleshooting strategy is a great way to keep all members of your association’s team on track when problems occur. It gives you a script to stick to in a sense, with everyone having their own part in getting things in the right place. Think of it as your “fire drill” in terms of association management.

Wicket refers to this as developing a “prototype” of sorts. Basically, prototyping allows you to take problem identification and reflection and turn it into a proactive process instead of one that is reactive.

A problem prototype allows your association to identify challenges, be them large and overarching or small and detail oriented, and funnel those problems into an active solution that is both organized and manageable. It’s a way to map out your problem and direct staff towards a solution that works best for everyone.

Whether you look at troubleshooting as a strategy-based event, or you choose to go with developing a prototype, you should always have some sort of plan of action in place to mitigate frustrations.

Honor your feelings

While you may think feelings and emotions have no place in the office, you can actually use these feelings to pinpoint where problems are occurring.

How does this work? Well, if you can pinpoint what about your association is upsetting or frustrating you, you may be able to get to the root of the problem. Emotions can be a telltale sign that something is wrong as well as a guiding star to where the problem lies.

For example, if you’re someone that finds frustration when trying to get ahold of members, it could be due to your member communication strategy. Or, if event registration gives staff a headache, you could want to focus on troubleshooting registration to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Honoring how you feel about specific tasks and projects can show you where you need to focus your troubleshooting efforts in order to get a better grip on association management and organization.

Rank your possible solutions

There’s always more than one way to solve a problem for your association. So, how do you select the optimal solution in a sea of choices?

Consider ranking all of your options based on your association’s values, preferences, and bandwidth. You can do this by weighing the effects, pros, cons, and the result of each option you come up with in order to categorize where these options rank. There are a few questions you can also ask to get the proper ranking on a solution.

The first question you should always ask is: Will this solve the problem i’m troubleshooting? If the answer is no, you obviously want to rank this option at the bottom of your list. If the option manages the problem, but doesn’t exactly solve the problem, it should also be ranked lower on the list.

Once you know what options will solve the issue, you’ll want to ask questions to narrow down which one works best. Does the option fit into your association’s budget? Do you have the bandwidth to support the option? Will it also make things easier for your association in the long run?

Asking and answering a myriad of questions to get down to the preferred solution will ensure you’re making the best choice when troubleshooting.

Improving troubleshooting is more about taking positive action rather than letting the problem control how your association reacts. Use our tips to guide your association to better management skills.

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