There are four things that I believe are the root of many of the frustrations people have about church software. Even among our own users, the interactions we have with leaders who are wrestling to overcome the perceived deficiencies of the software often lead to sources that have nothing to do with the code or programming.
Here is a list of the four most common causes of church software disappointment that have nothing to do with software:
- I can’t get the information I need. If you don’t enter and track the data needed to produce a particular report or perform a specific function, you won’t be able to do it in any system. A database is only as good as the information in it.
- Your software is difficult and complex to use. This almost always comes from people who choose not to complete the suggested training. I know you’re busy, but I promise the time it takes to sit through a customized training session - even if it’s in a virtual environment - will make you more efficient in using the software.
- Your software can’t do what I need it to do. Automating tasks often requires rethinking an existing process. Unless you pay someone to uncover all your existing processes, no software is going to perform a function just like you are doing manually. New software implementation is a great time to rethink processes to determine if there is a better, more effective way to accomplish a specific task.
- Few people actively use the software. The more users encouraged to actively engage with the software, the more valuable it will become. Look for ways to incorporate the software into how you do church. More lay users will plug in and get familiar with it.
Expectations and assumptions are powerful tools in shaping how we interpret people, products, and experiences. When we do find ourselves frustrated or even disappointed, we need to pause and uncover the root cause. Very often it stems from a lack of training and experience. Both can be solved relatively quickly and inexpensively.
Have you ever been frustrated with your church software and discovered it had nothing to do with the software itself?