IT projects often miss the mark. Why? Because they're not actually IT projects – they're business projects. Implementing Xero Practice Manager is no different.
At Abacus Business Solutions we work with accountants and bookkeepers to take their expressed desire of ‘getting a better practice management system’ and developing it into clear business objectives. Without clear business objectives, many projects will falter.
How to set up Xero Practice Manager the right way
The list below is a simple set of steps to help focus the project and avoid some common pitfalls.
- Don’t start with what the solution can do! Start by identifying the core business processes, key metrics and desired outcomes (for the firm, the staff and clients).
- Explore which of the current business processes are slow and not as effective as they should be.
- Analyse the reasons and determine what can be impacted by a software solution, process or staff behaviour. Software is not a panacea, it’s just an enabler, so it is vital to focus on the mechanics of good change management.
- Involve your staff – early and often! They live and breathe the processes and problems on a daily basis. They usually have the best idea of what processes need fixing.
- Set realistic and pragmatic project plans. Don’t rush either the decision or implementation. Changing infrastructure is not a trivial exercise, so be cautious and thorough.
If you're struggling to come up with your business objectives or feel like you don't have enough time, bringing in a Xero Practice Manager implementation partner can be helpful. They can work to guide you through the design and implementation process so that you have a sustainable and highly valuable practice management solution at the end.
This post is part of a series about the benefits of Xero Practice Manager for accountants and bookkeepers. Click here to read the other posts in this series.