You want to dig a hole so the first thing you do is to run out and buy a shovel. You’re very proud of your new, top of the line and somewhat expensive shovel and are quite sure that your hole will be exactly what you need and where you need it. You remove the packaging, install the shovel, stand back and wait for the hole to be dug. But wait a minute……
a shovel can’t dig a hole by itself!
Wondering why the shovel is not doing the job and realising you’re going to have to get involved you start thinking……...
Why are you digging this hole? A hole to plant a tree is very different to a hole dug to lay water pipes. How wide and deep should your hole be, perhaps the sides need to be at a certain angle, how many holes do you need and where is the best place for these holes? You don’t want to dig a great big dirty hole right where your partner has had grand visions for the new outdoor area or the kids swing set. What’s your STRATEGY?
Wait up, are you the best person to dig the hole, you’ve never dug a hole before and you’ve missed a few gym sessions lately, are you fit enough for the job? What can it hurt, maybe you just start and dig one hole, but you need ten, who will dig the rest and when will they dig them? And come to think of it do you even have the time and capacity to dig these holes, what other things will you have to postpone or put off whilst you dig these holes? What PEOPLE do you really need?
Hmmm, what will be the quickest and easiest way to dig these holes? Should the earth be prepared in some way before digging, putting your foot on the top of the shovel whilst digging should make it easier and quicker, how should you dig so you don’t hurt your back, is there a U-tube video you could watch to learn how? What’s your PROCESS?
Whilst you’ve been pondering, time is slipping away and it’s getting hot in the sun. Maybe the shovel is not the right tool for the job after all, a mini-digger would be much better. So, you take the shovel, put it in the shed and leave it to find a dusty home sitting with your other tools never to see the light of day again.
Our industry, the accounting industry, has a plethora of software tools available to us. We often think by investing dollars in them will get our holes dug, but they are just like a shovel, they are simply tools. In the past, I have most certainly been guilty of doing and thinking just like this, by having the best tools (and the more the better) with all the bells and whistles will get the job done or so I thought. Only to find out again and again just like the shovel, some of them sit lonely and abandoned in the shed.
So, what do you do from here, there are so many questions, where are the answers, you need to dig your hole? The answers lie simply in your implementation process. Take the time and effort to think and plan your STRATEGY, your PEOPLE and your PROCESS, in equal measure, before you start to dig your hole or even better before you buy that brand-new shovel! Your time and effort will not be wasted and the lessons learned will reap dividends. Taking a holistic approach and incorporating STRATEGY, PEOPLE & PROCESS in your implementation and the ultimate purchase decisions for tools (because we all still need to buy shovels) will be a much better investment of your time & money.
A shovel can’t dig a hole by itself!