The ERP industry has institutionalized confusion

Sellers publicly advocate that a buyer should have the ownership of their ERP projects – after all, sellers need to insist that buyers own project failure, when it happens – but the reality is that the ERP industry has institutionalized confusion. This is the result of an evolutionary process that has taken forty-five years or so to reach its present state. There are reasons for it, interesting reasons in fact, but they are beyond the scope of this discussion. Suffice it to say that the enterprise software industry as a whole is quite content with buyers surrendering project ownership on a wholesale basis. Even ERP software vendors, whose products are disparaged and often slandered when implementations fail, have come to accept it as the way their industry has to work.


In the face of the ERP industry’s abdication of responsibility, any number of books and white papers can be found on the Internet claiming to address the subjects of ERP project ownership and failure but they are generally selling dependency on proprietary project methodologies or their authors’ project management expertise: Hire us and these horrible things won’t happen to you.