The Early Years: Outward Appearances (2007)

November 28th, 2010

AUGI hit the ground running in January 2007 after announcing plans to focus on growth at the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas the previous month. In addition to the planned membership drive, AUGI planned to increase its local presence, by announcing a 55-city tour of augi CAD Camps throughout the US and expansion to additional international venues. This year, 2007, turns out to be a year of firsts for AUGI. Internationally, AUGI expanded a national presence into eight countries with a new "country chapter" focus characterized by aggressive expansion into key markets. Breaking from the traditional grassroots growth model, AUGI Country Chapters were seeded with hand-picked boards of directors and paid country coordinators. This "chapter in a box" concept, designed to kick-start country- and language-focused chapters, succeeds in forming eight chapters during the year. As part of this process, existing AUGI members from the countries represented are added to new members who join through new country chapter microsites.

In concert with international expansion, the publications team expanded the monthly newsletter, AUGI HotNews, into three industry-focused newsletters serving the AEC, MFG, and Infrastructure markets. While expanding into vertical markets, the publications team also pushed for growth by working with the new country chapter coordinators to publishAUGIWorld in multiple languages including Portuguese and Spanish.

The international expansion continued in AUGI's virtual community, led by Forum Manager Mike Perry. The international forums were reorganized and invigorated with a new group of moderators. This resulted in an organized expansion with categories and hierarchy designed to support many new discussions in foreign languages.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include the addition of two new AUGI Wish Lists to provide member wishes directly to Autodesk development teams. At Autodesk University, AUGI continued its support of members by supporting the AUGI International Reception, the 2nd Annual AUGI Leadership Conference, the AUGI General Meeting, and AUGI's Birds of a Feather Luncheon. AUGI Day, where AUGI-branded merchandise is worn and members are recognized, made its debut at AU 2007.

Even as outward appearances indicated a robust and high-functioning organization, internal problems continued to focus board member efforts on basic functions rather than overarching direction of the organization and benefits to members. The problems that had begun to surface in 2006 with our management services provider continued and actually worsened.

Repeated requests for information, struggles with finance and reporting irregularities continued to hamper progress. The AUGI website, a core focus for our international membership, remained in desperate need of an overhaul. Extended delays in execution caused the site to remain stagnant for another year. Financial reports continued to be delivered late with changing formats, which made it difficult to compare finances with previous quarters or years.

The board and the LUG manager were isolated from local chapter operations, while existing AUGI Local User Groups remained disconnected from the benefits promised by the new local chapter portal. Access and control of the promised local chapter portal are never delivered. Repeated requests for information and access to the portal are ignored by our management services provider. Server downtime impacts projects and initiatives. Requests for data, feedback, and operational reports are ultimately not delivered. Multiple programs take on new directions and focus without notification to or input from the board of directors. Processes and standards developed by the board are not implemented by our management services provider. The Board decides to address the lack of accountability by embracing Policy Governance and votes to include a workshop in the next face-to-face board meeting.

Total membership expanded by more than 27,000 members and reached almost 145,000 members total.

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