Membership

Membership Hack: A Tech Tool for Member Onboarding

By / Apr 12, 2019 (via the Trello website)

Trello is a web-based app that’s popular for project management. One association uses Trello’s kanban boards, which visualize workflows, to onboard new members.

How to hack it? The Iowa Lean Consortium is no stranger to project management essentials. ILC’s members use the “lean” methodology to advance business objectives. One of the tools that many members use frequently is Trello, a project management app that makes it easier to prioritize work.

One of Trello’s main features is the kanban board, a workflow visualization. Since many organizations in ILC’s member market already use kanbans, the tool became a natural extension of the association’s member onboarding process, said Membership Development Manager Tracy Schuster.

ILC’s membership team was already using kanban boards to orient new hires, she said, “and the idea was born to apply it to new member onboarding. We also liked this approach because we’re already using the free version of Trello for team and project management, and there would be no cost to create the board.”

So, last year, ILC rolled out its own version of a kanban board for new-member onboarding.

Why does it work? The kanban provides step-by-step instructions on how to access member benefits and resources. Plus, it allows ILC to highlight a section of tasks called “Stuff We Like,” Schuster said. It includes links to podcasts and websites, teams that members can sign up to join, and contact info and fun informational tidbits about ILC staff.

What’s the bonus? Trello kanbans can be shared publicly as a way to entice others to join, and it helps educate many organizational members quickly. “We have received direct feedback from members and organizational ambassadors who have told us they really like the board and how easy it is to share with team members,” Schuster says. “It’s leaned up the member education process for us.”

Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. More »

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