Today there is a story from across the pond. It tells of a nightmare of installing software in a certain Marin County. This was installed in 2006 and still isn’t delivering the right numbers.
This paragraph says it all –
“An Independent Journal review bolsters contentions that a complicated system more sophisticated than necessary was installed, based in the wrong department and implemented too quickly as officials bowed to advice from consultants they now question. Critics were all but ignored. Training was minimal. Management was erratic.”
So often in these cases an organisation doesn’t stamp its authority on the project activities. A project management structure owned and run by the whole organisation is essential when you are re-engineering the organisation processes. Where was the risk management? Where was the executive ownership? Where was the independent audit of the project?
So what are we to learn from their experience? Yet again, change management is the key not the software or how it is provided and that isn’t something you contract out to someone else – you might seek assistance but your own people must be in place to ensure the ownership and delivery. A risk register should be in place and mitigation plans devised for anything identified. Lastly if you contract out services to others you must ensure that delivery clauses exist that are meaningful enough to ensure what you pay for is delivered.