3 Reasons why Big ERP Implementations Fail

Many failed ERP (or other package software implementations) fails due to some combination of these three factors:

  1. Companies mistake a unique back-office process for a competitive advantage. Usually a process evolved organically over a long period of time, and after several years is left with an “evolutionary hangover” of inefficiencies and steps whose justification has long since been forgotten. Rather than spending months trying to cobble these processes into packaged software, focus your creative energies and innovative efforts on your products, services and R&D and settle for simplified, generic and ruthlessly efficient back office processes.
  2. In a “design” phase, spend some time trying to simplify your organizational structure, and examine if you are making your business more complicated than it needs to be. Follow the rules above.
  3. Build a cadre of “outside the project” advisors, either external or internal people not closely tied to the project, and in the case of outside resources, consultants who do not provide implementation services or have a financial interest that might bias them. Review the objectives of the project with them before you start, and let them serve as an unbiased sounding board should things go awry or should you need to make a critical scoping decision.


  1. Completely agreed. I present it to clients in these terms:

    1. There are only so many ways to sell a box. Stop making it complicated.

    2. Change can be painful and avoiding the pain only makes it last longer. Be ruthless with that band-aid.

    3. Don’t only get opinions from people with a vested interest in keeping the project running.

    Great post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: