ACS NSW branch chair Richard Baecher has a long-time passion for ensuring that NSW members "value their membership at the ACS above all other organisations to which they belong".

But equally, he wants to make sure ACS NSW delivers its members "the best set of services, events, functions and interest groups and so on that it can possibly do so" to give members a reason to value it highly.

"My branch executive committee shares this passion for innovation coupled with service delivery, and directing it to our membership," Baecher told Information Age. "If we don't do that we don't fulfil our mission as a Society."

While noting that measuring value could be subjective, Baecher said it could be measured in terms of the support ACS NSW is able to give to ICT professionals.

"We like to provide the best we can so they can be the best they can within their profession," Baecher said.

He saw professionalism as a big challenge for the ICT sector as a whole.

"I believe strongly that the ACS sets an example to its members, and the members should set an example into the ICT industry as a whole," Baecher said.

"By that, I mean we need to be seen to be trustworthy as well as trusted in everything that we do, and reliable in our execution of everything we do."

Baecher believed ACS did lead by example. "As a society and anywhere in the ACS I believe it's outstanding in its demonstration of commitment and compliance with those standards."

Planning success

Baecher said that the success of ACS NSW in achieving its aims would be reflected in key performance indicators (KPIs) set out in the branch's annual business plan.

That plan comprises "a number of significant parts", Baecher said.

"It's comprised of events and activities and special interest group development that we provide for members," he said.

"It recognises that there are key demographics [in our membership]. For example, we have programs for young IT professionals and women, and for assisting students around their understanding and skill development in ICT and hopefully stimulating their interest in moving into the industry."

Once programs had been designed to meet the needs of its membership demographics, they were implemented and generally measured "in a straightforward manner", such as by attendance numbers and with the results of exit surveys.

"In an overall sense we can measure whether our attempts have been fruitful by growth in our membership numbers and attendance at our events, and some of the good qualitative feedback you get from surveys of people leaving events," Baecher said.

"So we know we've been successful when we've achieved the number of KPIs we've set.

"Now, if you're going to ask me next how do you know it was a good plan, that's always a good question. Sometimes you just have to sit back and go to it with a bit of hindsight and take some soundings of members to make sure that's the case."

The right mix

In any event, Baecher believes NSW is "blessed" with a very enthusiastic and capable branch executive committee for 2015 that will help the state branch achieve its goals.

"It has a rather unique blend of experience, energy, youth, capability and wisdom which - to my view - is outstanding and works well for all the demographics in the branch," Baecher said.

"As the branch executive committee grows within the job it has been given, so will the quality of service we deliver to our members.

As for what the committee is truly capable of achieving this year, Baecher has one thing to say: "Watch this space".