One powerful and pervasive source of risk remains unaddressed

In our view, one powerful and pervasive source of risk remains unaddressed in far too many ERP projects.  This is the simple failure to view the project, from its inception, squarely and starkly in the same terms that will ultimately decide its success or failure.  In the end, of course, an ERP system’s success will be measured by its ability to support the company’s operations, but how is the success of the company’s operations really judged?  In practice, the success of our daily operations is judged by the degree to which they support or impede our company’s strategic objectives.  The true purpose of an ERP implementation is to cultivate those strategic objectives deep within the daily life of the company.  This will either happen (success!) or not (failure!), and it is not likely to happen by accident.

Yet we rely on accident – we trust exclusively to accident – whenever we undertake an ERP acquisition without a constant, explicit, and even obsessive reference to our unique company’s unique set of strategic goals and objectives. And, somewhere, somebody is doing that every day: they are relying on best practices and the experience of outside product experts to define the meaning of their own success.  This is the root of most failures today: to succeed according to imported and allegedly universal criteria for success, only to then be judged by their company’s true requirements.

It is not always a simple matter to incorporate a company’s strategic goals and objectives so deeply into their requirements planning that they mold the resulting system’s DNA.  But it can be done, and doing it has become our focus.  We have invented almost none of the techniques involved, but we have observed them in action over the years and we have packaged them into concentrated doses of expertise that are now our stock in trade.

Download our free E-Book; The Symptoms, Reasons, and Causes for ERP project failures from our web site: www.adaptivegrowth.com.