It can happen to anyone. You’re sitting at your desk working away when your boss walks by, says someone is leaving and asks, “Can you manage Affinaquest for us?”
Maybe this request comes as a surprise. Maybe not. After all, if you were on the implementation team or you have an IT background, it might make sense. Or maybe, you just happened to be the person in the line of sight at the time.
No matter your background, you probably have some questions as you step into this important role.
The Care and Feeding of Your Affinaquest System
The advancement team has put a lot of time and resources into the transition to Affinaquest. You’ve probably sat in on many of the implementation meetings. Now, you will be the head of the product to ensure that it runs the way users want it to.
It may be exciting, overwhelming or a mix of both. To perform your best, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1- Define Expectations
To be successful in your new role as an Affinaquest admin, you’ll need to clarify what your boss’s definition is of “managing Affinaquest.”
You may still be learning the implementation process. However, there are likely established benchmarks for successful implementation. Talk with your boss and make sure you understand the expectations thoroughly so you can work with those in mind.
2- Talk With the Rest of the Team
How does the team currently use Affinaquest?
Do they have any concerns about the system or confusion about responsibilities?
Is there a “dream list” of functionality that users have submitted?
As a new product manager, people may be coming to you with questions and in need of support. When you talk with them about their expectations, you’ll discover any gaps in functionality or your understanding. Make a list and set priorities.
Sometimes a simple tweak or refinement of the system produces better results and reduces confusion. Like any system, Affinaquest requires maintenance. You may choose to make refinements or tweaks unique to your system’s implementation to enhance its performance. Be sure to test in a sandbox before making them in production.
3- Review the Data
Data is the key to successful organizations.
It’s your job to make sure the data is good, data is moving smoothly to and from various sources into Affinaquest.
Take ownership of it so that you can assess any problems. When you discover which users are the data stewards of specific data elements then you can ask if they have what they need or if they can or should define new standards.
Does the data need to be cleaner? If so, how can you refine and implement the necessary validations? Can you purchase data to improve the data?
4- What’s the Workflow?
If you don’t already have a workflow established, it’s time to create one. The day-to-day activities and functions of Affinaquest vary from site to site.
Yet, daily functions often include adding new users, updating security, setting up reports, and managing governance. You might find yourself adding new approval processes and managing student or finance integrations.
Affinaquest offers plenty of flexibility. To see where you can mold the system to fit your office’s needs, talk with everyday users to see if they’re getting everything they need from it.
5- Assess Your Skill Set
Where do you feel comfortable? Where do you feel you’d benefit from additional training? You’ve taken on a valuable component of the advancement team and there may be a learning curve.
Ask for a budget for additional training and don’t hesitate to reach out to the Affinaquest team with questions.
6- Have Patience
Transitioning to a new job responsibility can take a little time. When you ask questions and define the expectations of your new role, you’ll have a framework for success.
Your Next Steps
Hopefully, this guide has given you reassurance in your new role as Affinaquest’s administrator. A successful transition is all about communicating expectations.
Do you need any more insight or advice for your new role? Do not hesitate to reach out! The Affinaquest team is here to help.