Years ago, I had the good fortune to work with Eric Trist. He introduced me to the socio-tech view of systems, and to Search Conferences. Soon thereafter, I decided to test the ideas that I had been professing as an academic. I joined a national management consulting firm. The socio-tech way of seeing the world has proved its value on numerous occasions in the years that followed. But I never found a way to apply Search Conferences in my consulting work.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone developed the Computing Body of Knowledge? In my view, that’s an unattainable goal. The problem is that computing is too broad a field. This article is my effort to explain what might be achieved, and what will forever remain an unattainable mirage.
In this day and age, almost every association needs a website. Prospective members check out the association by visiting the website. Members use the website as their source of information about the association. Association management communicates to the members, and to the public, through the website. For all but the smallest associations, there’s no getting away from the need for a website.
No Content Management System, Drupal included, is well positioned to provide the “back end” that an association needs to manage its members, events, and stakeholders. But there is a Customer Relationship Management application, designed for non-profit associations, that works with Drupal. CiviCRM is an open source back end association management application that has been designed to integrate into the Drupal platform.