E3 Consulting plans to use this blog as a vehicle to promote successful software implementation decisions. Regardless if it’s a classical Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, a hosted Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) or even a customized industry specific solution, the facts are real that 60% of software implementations are considered failures. Why is this? The primary reasons are lack of a defined business process, failure to gain management and organizational buy in, organizational change and the impact of the solution and poor project management and over site.
Over time we will look at all aspects of business operations and technology and hopefully teach the most important, and often avoided, point that technology is a business enabler. When technology is implemented correctly much can be gained, done incorrectly and it becomes the proverbial anchor around the neck of the business. The right technology choice provides a set of tools that empower an organization so they can be competitive and efficient.
Where does it all start? By looking at the business itself and optimizing the transaction. It’s always been about the data, but in the business model the data is important only as it applies to the transaction. The transaction yields valuable data that if used correctly and provides a wealth of information and value to the organization.
Any organization that doesn’t allow for and build into the implementation plan a real business process review is only hurting itself. Even if effective business processes do exist, it’s always wise to validate consensus prior to any software implementation. Once a technology project is started, constant revisiting of business processes can bog down the project progress, resulting in serious cost and time overruns. The bottom line is you are going to end up doing a business process evaluation anyway, so why not get it done in the beginning where it belongs.
Too many times when we are called in to remediate a bad ERP or CRM implementation, we find that we have stop what project progress to revisit existing business process concerns. It ends up being a project within a project.
In our experience, it seems that business processes are never questioned, are accepted as status quo, “The way we have always done business”. Oftentimes, until existing processes are discussed, they have never been questioned. Why is that? Why is it the psychology that once a business has a defined process, business owners forget about it never to revisit it or question it again (unless of course compliance says we have to)? The reality is that even with ongoing quality control adjustments, too much process strangles the business, not enough and the business strangles itself.
Where is the balance between too much and too little business process? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.