Since taking over the office of vice president Chapter Services for DAMA International (DAMA-I) last December, I have had the privilege of working with many DAMA chapters around the world. My role is to help organize new chapters and support existing chapters, especially ones that are struggling to stay active. In reflecting on my contacts and the stories I've heard about "chapter life," I've identified a few telltale signs that indicate a chapter is having problems. For example, you know your chapter is in trouble if:

Seriously, we know that there are common problems that affect all chapters from time to time. Keeping a chapter alive and active is a challenging task. Fortunately over the past year, I've also seen numerous ways to help a chapter succeed. Among them are: Applying one of the central tenets of good data management: reuse. Take a look at what other chapters are doing and find ideas that might work for your chapter. This sharing can be done by browsing other chapters' Web sites, attending President's Council meetings or tracking the new "Chapter Highlights" feature in the DAMA newsletter (http://www.dama.org/public/pages/index.cfm?pageid=617).

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