Brian, Travis, and I had lunch with Jim Edwards today. We wanted to heard about his experiences with Arena over the last year. He was a very early adopter of Arena at Kansas City Baptist Temple. Their implementation strategy was quite different from ours. They continued to run Shelby V5 for months as they systematically converted ministry teams to Arena one-by-one. This is possible with Arena by taking advantage of the available two-way database triggers that keep Arena in sync with V5 and vice-versa. By contrast, we’re planning a more traditional "big bang" cut over where we will be running on V5 one day and Arena the next. It was very interesting to learn how Jim made his approach work. I’m sure there are lessons in there for us and other churches implementing Arena.
Jim filled us in on a few specific Arena "gotchas" that we need to manage. That alone made the lunch worthwhile. Jim was also quite complimentary of the Arena tech support team. Very good to hear.
Finally, Jim told us about a new strategy they have to improve the quality of new hires at KCBT. I encouraged him to blog it. I’ll link to his post when he does.
Thanks, Jim for a very helpful conversation today. We’re already rethinking some important things.