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ERP Pending Disasters "Code of Silence"
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Many organisations we visit tell us the story of their ERP project running off the rails recognised by the project team but little or nothing is said for fear of being branded negative. In fact a positive spin is put on the project until an excuse comes along that the project disaster can be blamed on.

This comes down to a corporate culture issue whereby people are not prepared to stick their necks out as failure is blamed on individuals who, in some cases, have no control over events.

ERP projects that lack strategic direction, have budgets and go-live dates mandated based on assumptions without research are doomed to run into trouble. ERP Software suppliers and their implementation teams are not going to argue about timelines and go-live dates as they want to secure the work. ERP suppliers have more experience in failure than they do in success stories, although success for them is actually having the system running even if it cannot be used effectively.

Our discussions with management tell of a glowing tales of progress with the ERP project implementation that is not supported by the people trying to implement the system at the coal face. The people attempting to implement the system speak of their frustration on issues such as data clean-up, lack of resources, lack of interest from management and employees, poor training attendance and outcomes, unresolved system issues and general confusion.

Ultimately tasks that need to be completed are shelved until after the go-live date which only prolongs the inevitable disaster recognition. Shortcuts are an obvious symptom of an ERP system in trouble.

The major reason management are unaware of the many issues confronting the project is because no one has told them the bad news and spin is the name of the game. An ERP project is a challenge to any organisation and if the company is not of one vision, driven and supported by top management, then the project is doomed to failure.