Failure of Business Information Systems, which incorporates the loose and generally inaccurate term "ERP", is at epidemic levels but many executives are NOT aware of this
This catalog provides a LIMITED selection of examples, there are many more and many failed projects are just quietly aborted with little or NO public announcement
Many more projects deliver shockingly sub-optimal outcomes
This website presents a diversity of principles, methods and standards and supporting background information to enable you to take control of your systems
We also offer a range of executive level services to help you review your existing systems, course correct and turn-around your sub-optimal projects
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Business Systems Failure is Rife -- Reference Documents
By Dr James A Robertson PrEng
This article presents a catalogue of failed and sub-optimal business information systems projects and related articles to assist readers to understand the scale of the problem and why the methods presented on this website are so critical in terms of formulating an approach to preventing failure and achieving successful high value project outcomes.
Separate articles will be prepared with regard to examination of individual cases, this document is purely a catalogue.
In reviewing these articles please contrast the substantial number of disastrous failures with the bridge failure below, a failure so unusual that it made headline news around the world within minutes of the event – because we simply do NOT expect engineered structures to fail – hence the engineering approach for business information system, IT and ERP projects that is advocated on this website
This website contains considerable material that will assist you to better understand WHY these failures occur AND what to do to prevent them or turn failure situations around. See particularly the series of articles on the "Real Issues in Business Information Systems". The Pulse Measurement Sample Reports give some examples of real world situations where failure was occurring.
The Article Catalogue lists considerable material which you may find relevant.
See also the Seminar presentations "Why your ERP is NOT Delivering and HOW to FIX it" and "The Critical Factors for ERP and IT Investment Success".
The main issues are summarized in the one hour video, "Why your ERP is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it"
The rest of the site contains supporting material ranging from "A Robust approach to Procurement" to "Strategic Essence" to "Precision Configuration".
We offer a corresponding range of services to assist you to diagnose why your system is NOT performing, to advising and assisting you with regard to all aspects of the topics covered on this website
Please contact me on James@James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.com for further information
Bridgestone versus IBM – US$600 Million Court Action
Tire company Bridgestone has slapped IBM with a huge lawsuit over a custom-built computer system that performed so poorly, it threw Bridgestone’s "entire business operation into chaos," the suit alleges, as reported by the Tennessean.
The system cost over $75 million and went live in January, 2012. It immediately experienced "system-wide failures" for three months, Bridgestone alleges:
"Tires which should have been delivered to fill customer orders … piled up in distribution centers, smaller warehouses, and trailers parked in parking lots. Ultimately, [Bridgestone] was forced to lease an enormous amount [of] public warehouse space at great expense."
The complaint also says:
“IBM’s defective system lost or deleted scheduled customer orders, would not process orders, duplicated, or partially processed orders and, for those limited orders that were processed, did not complete critical corresponding business applications.”
Bridgestone IBM lawsuit redacted complaint
Pennsylvania Kills An IBM Contract That's 3 Years Late And $60 Million Over Budget
Labor & Industry Releases Unemployment Compensation Modernization System Study
BMW Owners Vent Anger at Months-Long Wait for Spare Parts
10 Famous ERP Disasters, Dustups and Disappointments
Wake Up People! Forget Twitter and iPhone Apps, and Focus on SAP and ERP Apps
ERP Backlash Coming Soon to a Company Near You
SAP project halted after shareholder pressure
Why ERP Systems Are More Important Than Ever
ERP Implementation Success: Odds Are Stacked Against You
Overstock.com's Four-Year ERP Nightmare
Overstock.com overflops in Q3
Big ERP Vendors Making Same Mistakes as Big Three Automakers
BBC was 'complacent' over failed £100m IT project
Biggest Enterprise Resource Planning Disasters of 2010
Manhattan U.S. Attorney charges four CityTime employees with $80 million waste, fraud scam
HP pays BSkyB £318m in final settlement of CRM lawsuit
Marin County to rip and replace ailing SAP system
Marin County complaint against Deloitte Consulting on failed SAP project
SAP, Waste Management Settle Lawsuit
ERP woes blamed for lumber company's bad quarter
Jury Awards Pet Food Maker $61 Million in ERP Suit
Payroll errors shortchange Fort Worth police officers
SAP System Issue Blamed for Delayed San Diego Audit
Oregon SAP project wracked by leadership woes
Cloud downtime has cost over £45 million since 2007
ERP Software Vendors: Playing the Shell Game
Gartner -- Most organizations are NOT making better decisions than they did five years ago
SAP: Clueless Consultants From Accenture And IBM Giving Us A Bad Name (SAP)
The Price Tag of ERP Failure: $440 Million?
Why it is Important that Software Projects Fail
Labour's computer blunders cost £26bn
A rigorous (engineering approach) to strategic planning using critical issues based analysis techniques and structured gap analysis techniques to develop a comprehensive and rigorous multi-year plan that is measurable and actionable and traceable back to the original analysis in order to produced high value outcomes, requires effective strategic facilitation
Business Systems NOT delivering?
Call the Business Systems Specialist
Dr James A Robertson -- has been involved in the effective application of Business Information Systems, including but NOT limited to ERP, since 1987 and in the profitable and effective use of computers in Business since 1981.
Drawing on a diversity of experience, including formal military training in Quick Attack techniques at the Regimental Commander level, Dr Robertson has developed highly effective methods of investigating any sub-optimal Business Information Systems situation -- be it an established system or a stalled project or any other source of Executive frustration -- quickly and concisely diagnosing the root cause of the problem and prescribing concise practical actions that Business Executives can effectively act on see the Pulse Measurement page and also the Sample Reports page for redacted real reports.
He has also developed highly effective methods of strategically enriching systems to unlock the full potential of existing investments, see the Precision Configuration page and couples this to architecting small pieces of clever software that harness the full potential of your investment, see the Software page.
If you are having problems with your systems, your project or your IT Department, call The Business Systems Specialist
Business System Failure is RIFE -- we offer insight into why this happens AND WHAT is required to prevent it.
Failure is at epidemic levels with massive damage done to client companies -- if you are NOT aware of the extent of the problem please visit the About Failure page for a catalog of major failures running to billions of Pounds and Dollars.
All evidence indicates that the established players do NOT know how to deliver stable, reliable high value solutions that WORK.
There HAS to be a better way!
This website provides information relating to that way with a large collection of white papers, presentations, standards documents, etc that you can use to start bringing the situation under control
We also offer high level advisory services with regard to the application of the principles advocated on this website
We offer an ENGINEERING APPROACH to addressing these issues
By Engineering I mean the formal, structured, highly disciplined, highly systematic, highly practical approach that consistently delivers results in ALL areas of human endeavor where formally trained and certified engineers are the ONLY practitioners permitted to operate -- think large buildings, factories, motor vehicles, aircraft -- highly complex systems that work at a level that we take it for granted that they WILL work and where failure is all but unthinkable and, when it happens, attracts immediate public attention and rigorous investigation directed at ensuring that such failures are prevented in the future -- in fact, everything that the management consulting industry that implements complex software systems is NOT
This approach is discussed further on the Engineering Approach page.
A simple confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement which you can tailor and elaborate on as you see fit and which may vary depending on your legal jurisdiction and your attorney. I recommend that this initial document is kept simple as you want ALL persons attending the initial tender briefings to sign this
You would possibly have a much more comprehensive agreement for your short list bidders and possibly more comprehensive still for your final choice although I personally hold that very detailed documents of this sort tend to be excessive
In 2003 I undertook an in-depth analysis of all the information and experience that I had gathered with regard to the factors giving rise to Business Information System failure including ERP and general IT and classified this information into a number of categories including "The Factors Causing Failure" and "The Critical Factors for Success" based on this I developed a two day Course "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success" which is still offered today.
Based on this I wrote the book of the same name, which is available in electronic form here for download:
Click here to send us an email subscribing to our free newsletter -- all articles posted by James Robertson will be emailed to you
James has a very detailed profile on LinkedIn should you require further information about him.
You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor
James has an open networking profile -- click on "Connect" and use email address James@LinkedIn-at-JARA.com.
You can contact us on
LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjamesarobertsonerpdoctor
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.a.robertson.393
Mobile: +44 (0) 776-862-2875
Landline: +44 (0) 207-059-0007
Fax: +44 (0) 844 774 4580
There is a large body of white papers, articles and other content produced by Dr James Robertson available on this website
Please click here to visit the detailed listing of articles
About Dr James A Robertson PrEng -- The Business Systems Doctor -- and Other Topics
Catalogue of Major Business Information System Failures
About the Engineering Approach
James Robertson's Value Add
Attributes of a HIGH VALUE solution
Recognizing Business System Failure
The Critical Human Foundation
Old Software IS Viable
From South Africa
Competencies of Dr James A Robertson PrEng
About Professor Malcolm McDonald
Table of Contents
About my relationship with the Almighty Creator, Yah the Eternally Self-Existing
Comments relating to the Business Systems Industry and other topics
Testimonials and other positive material regarding James Robertson
List of Articles
Achieving High Value Business Information System outcomes
Executive Custody -- What is it and HOW do you get it?
The REAL Issues in Integrated Business Information System Success
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2 -- Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody
Part 3 – Strategic Alignment and Precision Configuration
Why your ERP is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
IT Project Management
CEO Anthony Lee Comments on his experience of the Pulse Measurement
No Charge Guarantee on the Pulse Measurement Service
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes
Critical questions regarding the Pulse Measurement™
The Pulse Measurement Workflow
The Critical Factors for Business System (ERP+) Investment Success in the Pulse Measurement
Indicative Pulse Measurement Durations
What is a JAR&A Pulse Measurement?
Survival of the fittest – why it makes sense to measure the pulse of your business
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes over 24 years
Sample Pulse Measurement Reports
Strategic Essence: The Missing Link in Business Information Systems
Strategic Essence: Overview
Strategic Essence: Part 1 -- Strategy Defined
Strategic Essence: Part 2 -- Differentiation
Strategic Essence: Part 3 -- The Essence IS Different
Strategic Essence: Part 4 -- The Essence should be the Point of Departure
Strategic Essence: Part 5 -- Discovering Strategic Essence
Strategy -- the Essence of the Business: What is it and how do you develop actionable strategic plans?
Simple Steps to Increase the Strategic Value of your ERP Investment
Free Strategic Snapshot Toolset and Manual
A strategy focused planning system beyond traditional budgeting
Tough IT and ERP Procurement and Contracting that Works
Robust Business Systems Procurement
Part 1 -- Introduction
Part 2 -- Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate, etc
Part 3 -- Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and other matters
Guidance and Advisory Services
The Art of Project Leadership
Why Regular Communication with the CEO is Vital
The Business Simulation Laboratory
Precision Configuration and Strategic Business Information Architecture
Precision Configuration based on Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies
The JAR&A Cubic Business Model
Highly Structured Strategic Chart of Accounts -- a Vital Element of your Corporate Information Arsenal
The Product Catalogue -- an Essential Element of any Precision Configuration
Attributes -- answers to the questions you have NOT yet thought to ask
Case Studies of Notably Successful Projects with high value Precision Configuration
092 Doing things differently and better -- ASCO Case Study 2-- BPM Summit 2013
088 Strategic ERP Invesment -- ASCO Case Study -- Service Management Conference and Exhibition Africa
026 Information Architecture and Design of FIS for Rennies Group -- Financial Information Systems Conf
018 CRM Risk Control: Designing and Implementing an Integrated Risk Mgmt Sys -- Integrated Risk Mgmt Conf
011 V3 Consulting Eng: Benefits of MIS to Professional Practice -- SAICE 15th Ann Conf on Computers in Civil Eng
Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems
Part 2 -- Principles of Data Engineering
Part 3 -- Steps in applying these recommendations
Simple Steps to increase the strategic information value yield from your Business Systems Investment
The Full JAR&A Taxonomy Manual
Part 1: Introduction, Problem Statement, Definitions and Examples
Part 2: Why Use JAR&A, Required Knowledge and Experience, Cubic Business Model and Chart of Accounts and Taxonomy Software
Part 3: How to do it, Case Studies and White Papers and other References
Example General Ledger Manual
Business Process -- Irrelevant, Distracting and Dangerous
The RIGHT Approach
Custom Strategic Software Design and Oversight of Construction
Standards for Custom Software Specification
What IS Software?
Critical Factors for I.T. Success
A Moral and Ethical Dilemma -- Systems that Fail
Case Studies examining Business Information System failures
The BBC Digital Media Initiative Debacle
The Bridgestone -- IBM Conflict
Speaking and Training
Showcase of Conference Presentations
Most Viewed Presentations
Briefings and Seminars
Why your ERP/BIS is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
ERP and IT Procurement that Delivers Results
The Critical Factors for IT and ERP Investment Success
Conferences and Public Presentations
Conferences 80 to 99 -- 2009 to Present
Conferences 60 to 79 -- 2005 to 2009
Conferences 40 to 59 -- 1996 to 2005
Conferences 20 to 39 -- 1994 to 1996
Conferences 01 to 19 -- 1989 to 1994
On-Line Seminars (Webinars)
Webinar on Preparing and Presenting Webinars
Contacting James A Robertson and Associates Limited