3 Tips for QuickBooks to ERP Change Management

Whether your upgrading from QuickBooks to a new on-premise or SaaS system, in a small or mid-sized company, the need for an effective management plan based on mitigating the impacts of workforce change is critical. While there are a host of excellent management doctrines in today’s market one of my favorites involves work done by John Kotter at the Harvard Business School. In his 1995 book entitled ‘Leading Change,’ his council is as common sensical as it is useful at a management level.

In his treatise, Kotter outlines several straightforward steps that offer an active change continuum while producing a minimum of toil and trouble inside the enterprise workforce.

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

In this case, this step articulates a way to create momentum that leads to activity based on the sign on of the largest enterprise group possible. For example, your enterprise inventory group may be facing reporting slowdowns stemming from your QuickBooks on-premise system. The active proffer of one or more systems upgrade options can create positive excitement that will not only help a workforce see light in the tunnel operationally, but will also clearly support any upgrade proposal in the future.

2. Form Strong Coalitions

As the old saying goes, ‘there’s safety in numbers,’ and this axiom applies particularly in the case of change management. Consider a CFO who feels that his enterprise QuickBooks financial modules are archaic and difficult to deal with, but is unwilling to go to a subordinate IT manager for help first. Chances are that if the IT resource is sharp, and knows his operating environment, the CFO’s business squawks are probably already known to the tech manager, and they probably feel the same way about the quality of his own departmental reporting. Consequently, this common ground can immediately serve as a team window that both managers can easily operate through, creating a ready coalition that can drive an enterprise toward a future, and subsequent, QuickBooks upgrade decision.

3. Create And Communicate A Vision

This bit of management slight-of-hand is right out of the Paul Bunyan tall-tales playbook. As the fable goes, sometime around the turn of the last Century a Cannery was having a hard time selling its inventory of Pale Salmon to a locally sated customer base. Consequently, the management came up with a unique marketing slogan that established the first ‘if you can’t fix it, feature it’ solution in commercial fishing, by advertising that their Salmon was ‘Guaranteed not to turn pink in the can,’ subsequently creating a firestorm of new business.

Today, the creation and communication of a vision associated with a QuickBooks to ERP system transition is essential for change management success. If a manager is not willing to ‘talk the talk’ every day, it will be highly-unlikely that one will ever have a chance to ‘walk the walk’ sometime in the future.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece Kotter’s change management approach is based on common sense to be sure, but it is much more than that, since the doctrine is easily applied to virtually any sized company, or technological requirements, including the upgrade from a QuickBooks system to ERP.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton