Biggest ERP Failures of 2010

pc pointed out a great little article in a post on the discussion forum.

The article touches lightly on why ERP implementations are so hazard prone, and then lists the “Biggest Failures” of 2010.

Of note is that the majority of the listed failures are governments. I can see why. Governments, by their nature, have a harder time concealing the budget over runs, process breakdowns and other failures that are endemic with these implementations.

A corporation can have the same, or even a worse, experience, but we are unlikely to know. They are going to make the best of it, work around it, and make benign sounding declarations such as “the ERP implementation is six months behind schedule” if for no other reason than to protect themselves from shareholders questioning their competence.

Does anybody have any of their own stories to share?

5 Replies to “Biggest ERP Failures of 2010”

  1. Can I share a success story?

    We where shopping for ERP in November 2008, signed contract on December of same year. Pilot implementation on April 2009 and full rollout began on August of 2009. Fully running in seven locations and in two languages by end of year 2009. On schedule and on budget.

  2. In that department we cheated a bit. We don’t use algorithms so in that sense one might question calling our system ERP. When it is basically just used for order handling, invoicing and purchasing.

    Our lead time is two days in most cases but that is mostly by nature of our business more than real excellence on our part.

    Scheduling is done just by arranging orders by route and departure times.

  3. Now that I think back I realize that one of the reasons for our success was concept of MVP, Minimum Viable Product. We built absolute essential features first and then kept building on top of that as needs arose.

    And even though we were up and running year ago we are still adding new features regularly to make our workflow easier.

  4. I have taken around 10 “major” SAP projects live in the last 12 years – predominantly in the Planning & Production module. This includes MRP… I must admit that I cannot share any real success stories – nor can I share any real failures either.

    May I offer the following analogy: MRP as part of an ERP is like a fast limousine (fast if you don’t load it too much) so depending on whether the current system is a tractor, or a super sports car, you will find the ERP to be a tremendous improvement – or a step backwards…

    None of my projects were for government organisations, all were in the private sector. All but one were on time & within budget. One was pushed out twice for failing the all important “user acceptance tests”, but the eventual “go-live” was uneventful.

    Somebody once said about IT projects: They can be on time, they can be within budget, they can be to specification – choose any two. My experience is, that the specifications are watered down before extra time / money is allocated. Then, once the system is “live”, the extra bits are planned for a never executed “phase 2” and the company hobbles along, as before, without any real benefit of the new ERP system.

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