I am continuing to see that virtually no-one is “getting” the value of what I am talking about when it comes to the Cubic Business Model™ or CBM™.
I see a picture of something that is so valuable it is almost beyond belief and, so, almost nobody believes me and I am not sure that anyone understands me fully...
Following is a stab at answers to some questions that I you may need to ask me:
1. What is the CBM™ REALLY?
What is this thing you call the Cubic Business Model™? – REALLY?
Answer: The Cubic Business Model™ is a portfolio of logic that accurately describes the practical components of any organization all of which comprise Divisions (business units) à Locations (where we do what we do) à Functions (what we do) and data elements such as costs, revenue, assets, liabilities, plant, people, etc.
This is coupled with a large body of standards that were originally developed in 1990 and have been proven in a number of projects over the years – we can offer white papers to back this up.
What has “modelling” got to do with Accounting – we deal with facts!?
Answer: The term “modelling” refers to the organization of information in such a way that it correlates closely at a logical level with the practical components of the organization – all these elements are associated with precise definitions of financial accounts and other measuring bins such as allocation of people, assets, products, etc.
ALL ERP’s operate with these models but the need for the level of precision that is advocated here is generally NOT understood.
3. James, what does an engineer know about accounting?
James, you are an engineer, how do you presume to suggest you understand accounting?
Answer: This is NOT about accounting – it is about the logical, systematic, structured ordering of information (including but NOT limited to financial information)
Your organization employs accountants so there is no need for me to be an accountant – I have enough accounting experience amassed over nearly 25 years of working with accountants to be able to have an intelligent conversation and interaction with an accountant to the extent that it is necessary for me to act as a facilitator and advisor in developing a Cubic Business Model™ -- I know how to interpret Tee Diagrams (DrTCr).
My strength is in analysing and structuring data – that is the gap you have, your job is to supply the people who know your business intimately and also the accountants – you are welcome to bring in your auditors as you consider necessary...
4. This used to be done with a 24 column cashbook and now?
We used to do this with 24 column cashbooks and now you want us to spend tens of thousands of Rands / Dollars / Euros / etc developing something we have never heard of??
Answer: Gartner have reported that most organizations are not making better decisions than they did five years previously – this is precisely because most ERP installations are implemented like scruffy 24 column cash books and NOT as the massively powerful data processing engines that they actually are.
5. The big players don’t talk about this so…?
The big 5 don’t talk about this, they do not teach it at University, in fact I do not know a single accountant who knows about this let alone thinks it is important!
Answer: That is because I did not learn it from any of them – I worked it out myself from first principles as a synthesis of a very UNUSUAL mix of knowledge and practical experience.
Most of the established players have a major problem making the paradigm shift necessary to see that there is a far better way of doing things because it will potentially massively detriment their revenues in the medium to long term.
6. Reduced audit fees? – presumptuous!
You talk about reduced audit fees but you are NOT an auditor – that is SERIOUSLY PRESUMPTUOUS! – what makes you so confident?
Answer: Maybe – but I have had cases where it happened (completely unexpectedly) – once you accurately model the business then everyone uses the ERP and the GL and associated systems with appropriate discipline and the quality of the financial information improves dramatically with the result that the business essentially becomes self-auditing with the result that in the end there is much less work for the auditors to do AND the quality of the financial statements improves dramatically as well – this is subject to you using the disciplines which are part of the total CBM™ package.
By the way, in many organizations virtually NO operational managers make use of the financial system for operational performance measurement.
7. We need to keep our history!
What about our history?
Surely this is going to trash all our historical records – your design will be totally INCOMPATIBLE!
Answer: Well, directly YES it is and NO it does not matter! And there ARE ways of dealing with it.
Put the history into a custom designed data warehouse, put the new data into a NEW custom designed data warehouse, map the old codes onto the new codes and, if necessary, put that data in an extension of the new data warehouse to the extent necessary to actually use the history.
In my experience most organizations scarcely use the history at all except at a very summarized level and by forcing the implementation of your new ERP to comply with the old data you make the new implementation look just like the old implementation so there really was no point in putting in the new system.
Generally when people build a new building they demolish the old buildings on the site!
8. What if it doesn’t work?!
This is a HUGE RISK – what if it doesn’t work?
Answer: What is the risk?
The fact that you are reading this document indicates that your present system is probably a MESS!!
How will carefully thought out content that you have personally overseen production of to ensure that it accurately models the real world in which your business operates produce a worse mess than the unstructured spaghetti that most organizations have at present?
And, YES, you will have to do the job carefully and thoroughly and precisely because a sloppy mess WILL place the business at risk – which is a GOOD reason NOT to use conventional ERP implementation methods...
9. This needs DEEP knowledge and experience of our industry
We need a person with DEEP knowledge and experience of our industry to do this, NOT an engineer who hardly knows our business!!
Answer: You and your team have the deepest knowledge of your business and your business in your industry right here in your organization.
If you really want to you can contract in further industry experts but I doubt that will be necessary.
I bring a deep knowledge of information classification, the Cubic Business Model and other logical constructs coupled to over 20 years practical experience facilitating this work in diverse businesses.
TOGETHER we can produce a superb high value outcome that YOUR organization will own fully – provided everybody does their part...
I hope my answers to these questions have helped you to better understand what I am saying.
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss this with you!!
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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.
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:
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.
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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
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
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