To this day (…and possibly forever) I remember August 1, 1999 not with fond memories, but rather with a complex set of emotions which begin a churning upset in my stomach. The day was, without a doubt, one of the most memorable days of my life for its stress level. It was the perfect example of an ERP implementation gone wrong! In retrospect it is understandable that it was.
What has brought this infamous day to mind was reading a white paper entitled “ERP at the Speed of Light“, an excellent white paper which I discovered this morning as the result of an email. Looking back for me as I read the white paper’s list of “key risks” of an accelerated implementation, we experienced each of the risks outlined in the paper, as well as a few more not mentioned — not the least of which was “buggy” and incomplete software. While we made every effort to work with the “out-of-the-box” processes offered, they just didn’t work.
The article states that “…in any scenario, there is a certain level of disruption of existing operations in the course of an ERP engagement…”, and we certainly experienced that to the utmost! Our implementation accomplished only one primary goal in its early stages — our unmanageable different applications inherited during growth through acquisition were replaced — as a company we were now all “on the same page”, the page hating the new software. We had in fact been united!