Narrative A rapidly growing manufacturer had outgrown the limited functionality of the first generation of company systems it had implemented.A decision was made to find an enterprise solution, one that would meet the needs of the company as it grew and changed.Arrangements were made for a number of reputable vendors to make initial presentations to a large group of managers and employees who would be affected by the selection.The presentations were all conducted within a single week.A selection was made shortly after the last presentation.The ramifications of a decision made in this way became clear only when the first steps were taken toward implementation: there would be significant disruptions to existing business processes that could put at risk achievement of the company's stated financial projections.In the subsequent confusion and reassessment several senior managers resigned and others were dismissed.These personnel changes led to significant delays in implementing the new system.
Comments Because the project envisaged a company-wide solution this situation represents an extreme example of what can happen when there is no clear definition of core business requirements or the specific benefits expected from such an investment. It is complicated enough to select a vendor when the requirements are clearly stated. By selecting a vendor an organization is not only purchasing the functionality that the vendor provides but the design embodied in the functionality. This in turn can significantly influence the ease - or otherwise - of bringing the new system on line. See also Distribution II.
Kilcreggan Systems & Software, Inc. P.O. Box 273 Shelburne Falls, MA 01370 (617) 694-8125 firstname.lastname@example.org