AAHRPP Conference Followup: Keep Your Connections Going on LinkedIn

We’re back from the 5th Annual AAHRPP Conference in Los Angeles, and we’re excited about all of the great connections we made again this year.  We heard over and over again that people are ready to make their accreditation process less painful by sharing lessons learned.  People are tired of feeling isolated, and want to communicate with their peers to share strategies for executing a successful accreditation project.

The best laid plans…

We know how easily life can get in the way of good intentions!  You return from the conference with a pile of business cards and every intention of following up with your new friends, but those business cards can quickly become buried under mountains of other work.  Before that happens this year, take action and establish new habits to keep yourself in the loop with minimum effort.

Social Networking Spotlight: LinkedIn

The great news is that there are a ton of social networking tools out there to help you stay connected!  There are a lot of services available, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we’re just going to concentrate on one of them for now:  

LinkedIn.  Our favorite site for making professional connections is LinkedIn – it’s easy to use, and we’re already set up to create a network of people who share our passion for making accreditation less painful by sharing lessons learned.

  • Step 1: If you don’t already have one, create a professional profile on LinkedIn.
  • Step 2: Join the AAHRPP Accreditation Community Group
  • Step 3: Invite your colleagues to join LinkedIn or tell them about the group.
  • Step 4: Participate!  Start a discussion or add a news article of interest to the group.

Starting your accreditation process – Tip #2: Get Organized

There’s a lot to do when getting organized to start a big project like this! The ones we’ve highlighted below are those we’ve found to be most frequently overlooked.

  • After you figure out who will be on your accreditation team, and establish roles and responsibilities for your team members.  Figuring this out in advance will help you avoid stepping on toes, or missing important tasks because you assumed someone else was handling something they didn’t know they were supposed to handle!
  • If you are the only person on the team – get HELP!
  • Make sure the person in charge of the team has a Type A personality — he or she must love to make lists, keep spreadsheets updated, and have an unnatural affinity for post-it notes and office supplies.
  • Establish a project timeline and milestones so you can measure your progress. If you’ve never worked on a large, long-term project before, consider investing in a project management book (read it – don’t just buy it!) to familiarize yourself with basic concepts.
  • Figure out how you’re going to handle the technology side of things – store all your documents in one place, make sure everyone has the access they need, decide how to name your documents and handle version control. This might be a good time to check out our AccreditStation™ product (hint, hint).

Look for more detail on these topics in the coming weeks – we love to rattle on about the importance of organizational skills and project management!