“No HAL 9000 Series Computer has ever made a mistake..”
2001 A Space Odyssey is a great movie to revisit if you are looking for something to do in lockdown.
It got me thinking about how we can fall into the trap of thinking that a particular software package can fix all our corporate woes.
I remember, years ago, a bunch of old blokes discussing passionately if the new company should use Word Perfect or Word. At a Board meeting no less. I doubt any of them had ever typed. Not long before this most IBM PCs sat on executive’s desks and were never used.
We are now in an age when cloud software has done amazing things for SMEs. At the same time, it has bogged down a lot of big companies with seemingly endless complexity and huge costs. Look at what they pay for apps. They struggle to keep up with you, my nimble and smart mates.
Of course, Xero is a big success story that changed the way most people thought about software. It didn’t try to be all things to all folks, it formed a solid base that other cloud software can hang off.
In the early days of Xero, most entrepreneurs wanted it, but most accounts staff hated the idea of giving up MYOB. It gave them cold sweats and dark steely eyes. What they were most concerned about was a major system change because they had lived through nightmare system changes before. They would even change jobs to avoid going through it again. Luckily, because Xero was easy to use, they were soon converts.
I still occasionally get asked, “should I get Xero”. I often say “yes but…… Xero is not a Magic 8 Ball“. A better question is “what should I be doing to make sure my numbers support my goals”. Xero is an excellent machine that adds things up in a structured, safe and reliable way. But the most important thing is to know how to classify things so those totals can be useful.
System changes are also helpful because the process of changing over can act as a clean sheet of paper in a new notebook on the first day of the new year. Time to plan, to be better organised. And if you make sure the new processes work it can avoid system knowledge being lost when a staff member leaves.
What I am saying is Xero software is just an important part of a big picture of interdependencies, people, processes, and planning.
Your management reports need to be an accurate insight into the performance and health of your business but they also need to be forward-looking.
Just the thought of that can be exhausting, but there are some things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable with forecasting. I recently blogged a how-to guide.
Despite the current storms of change hitting businesses you still need to make it work day today. As Tom Peters said….
My 2 favorite strategy quotes: (1) Omar Bradley, "Amateurs talk about strategy, professionals talk about logistics." (2) Jack Welch on definition of strategy, "Pick a general direction–and implement like hell."
— Tom Peters (@tom_peters) January 28, 2018
Everything is Connected
The number of systems that interface with Xero is amazing.
Great packages for: time and billing, CRM, project management, payroll, point of sale, and reporting. I just took a big breath then, you should too when you consider this stuff. It’s not like a choice between word processors.
We are experts in this field and we work closely with other great people. People with very deep knowledge. It is not our first Rodeo.
We are Xero Partners but otherwise technology agnostic. But, most of all, we love to talk about how to actually get your money’s worth from your technology not just talk about the technology itself. You don’t want to be like the bloke that pays for a year-long gym membership on 2 January but only goes a few times.