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Last Updated: 10/2/14

Creating a Success Plan

Welcome to the Elexio.  Your success will depend on the following elements.  Please review each item and take advantage of all suggested resources. To be successful you should use the Elexio Success Planning Tool described in item 4. 

  1. Your Team
  2. Your Equipment
  3. Your Data
  4. Your Priorities and Plan

 

1. Your Team

Software can't administrate your ministry. The most important factor in your ongoing success is having the right people working together to make it happen. This should include:

  1. A "Data Champion" who has a passion for your ministry, administrative gifts, basic software aptitude, and time to invest in the process.

  2. Your data team should also include
    • Leadership to get your staff moving together related to your data.
    • Technical skills for digging into items like advanced reporting
    • IT support for your computers, network, and peripherals
    • Leaders/admins for specific ministries

The specifics will depend on your ministry. Write it down, maybe on a simple chart...

 Role  Name
 Data Champion  
 Executive (Pastor level) Leader  
 Technical Support  
 Children's Ministry  
 Youth Ministry  
 Small Groups  
 Assimilation  
 Multi-site Campus Pastor  

Also consider...

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your key personnel? What particular training needs may be in those areas?
  • Where will time challenges be most severe and how can that be addressed?
  • Who will be most resistant to change or most inclined to "doing it my way"?

2. Your Equipment 

The computer hardware you use can make a big difference in your team's experience with your data. Here are the basic items you will need...

  1. Computers
    • Your workstations don't have to be the latest/greatest, but they do need to be kept up-to-date.   If they are older than 3-4 years it's probably time to upgrade.
    • If you will be doing check in, you will need a computer for each check in kiosk (see more under peripherals below). We also recommend having a separate machine (could be a laptop) running Database near your check in area so that you can handle any issues that may arise without tying up a kiosk during a busy time.
  2. Network and Internet Access
    • Since Database accesses your data online by default, a good internet connection is very important. If you want to test your speed go to www.speedtest.net  You need a decent Ping under 50ms. Download and Upload speed should be at least 1Mbps bare minimum. The more network load you have, the greater your need for speed!
    • Your network administrator should be familiar with security and firewall settings to make sure that Database can communicate effectively with the servers online.
    • Some ministries decide to use local offline access (either to handle check in without internet connections or for faster access to large databases). If that's you, then you may need a dedicated server. 
  3. Peripherals
    • Elexio provides support only for equipment you purchased through us. If you want to try using that label printer you purchased elsewhere a couple of years ago that's no problem, but we won't be able to provide support if it isn't working correctly. 
    • Check in kiosk - (also listed with computers above) Check-In screen is best
    • Bar code scanners - optionally used for check in or for recording attendance in the office
    • Fingerprint scanners - very cool, fast and easiest to administrate!
    • Label printers
    • Tablet PCs - if you don't have enough USB ports for your purposes you may need an active USB hub. 

3. Your Data

Good data is VITAL to your database software working well.  If you have no intention of putting systems in place to routinely gather and input data then let's stop now and pray for your church.  ;-)   Accurate, timely data, in ONE database is critical to achieving maximum benefit.

Gather up and evaluate the data you have now... check with every ministry and don't forget the tattered notebook your Visitation Pastor keeps. ;-)   Where is it? Is it accurate? Who knows that data?

How you use (and want to use) your Data

Take an inventory of how your ministry uses your data. There's a good chance you'll have some cleaning up to do, but this information sets you up to make good decisions on priorities. 

Consider

  1. Ministry direction: Discuss ministry plans with your Executive Pastor (or your only pastor) and find out what reports would be helpful to get routinely so you can gauge health and effectiveness. The answer to this question will tell you what data is most important to help you get where you want to go.
  2. Different ministries - how are they using data and what are their priorities? Get a copy of reports that are being used, identifying the most important and not-so-important.
  3. Lay the groundwork for change - Find out what is costing your ministries time and energy and look for ways that you will be able to help them do more in ministry.
  4. Sort out what's needed and what's just familiar - For example, maybe the Treasurer's favorite report from their accounting software is different than a standard Elexio Database report. Look for the purpose of current reports and it's likely that you have what you really need.

4. Set your priorities and make a plan

Think about priorities in these three categories:

  1. High: What does your ministry do in your database on a weekly basis that can't be interrupted? You have to be prepared to keep these rolling smoothly when you launch (when your Elexio Database becomes your ministry database for daily work).
  2. Middle: Very important but not absolutely necessary for launch. You want these to be ready to get in place within a week or two of your launch.
  3. Low: What you want to add within one to three months of launch.

Make a list of your priorities (Here are a couple of sample priority lists).

With your priorities list, make a plan using the Elexio Success Plan Tool.

Feeling overwhelmed? Hang in there... it takes work but we've seen it done hundreds of times! To have an implementation expert to walk your ministry through the process, check out our Implementation Coaching

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