Failed ERP Projects – Rip and Replace

Rip and replace is the most dramatic way an ERP software project can be terminated. I’ve spoken to a number of businesses over the years that have attempted to implement one or more ERP solutions and ultimately decided to revert back to their old system, if possible.
The worst client situation I have run into was a business in Alabama that had attempted to implement no fewer than three solutions at a cost of almost a half-million dollars, but ultimately switched back to their old system. I spoke to a Tennessee business this week that had gotten off cheaper, they had tried two systems and spent over $100,000. They were still on their twenty-year-old obsolete, custom system.
These businesspeople aren’t unwise; they aren’t stupid. They simply purchased software that would not handle the business transactions they need to handle.
Notice, too, that I’m not talking about difficult or over-budget projects. These types of projects are all-too-frequent, and can usually be traced to an ever-expanding scope (scope creep) and problems with the management of the project (client or vendor management problems).
There’s one common fact in all of the rip and replace clients I’ve ever talked to: Not a single one had ever done a written needs analysis.
Here’s another fact: in 25 years of practice, I’ve never proposed a system that was ripped and replaced because I ALWAYS do a written needs analysis for the client.
You can find a series of podcasts on doing needs analysis on the ceoTechCast podcast site, beginning here: http://ceotechcast.com/2007/03/show_3_needs_analysis_how_and.html.
You might also find the Guide To Selecting Business Software (our most popular book) useful.
Do give me a ring if I can help. My number is 901.452.4585 x 118.