Why New Systems Fail: An Insider's Guide to Successful IT Projects

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A Fortune 500 manufacturing company spent millions attempting to implement a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Across the globe, a 150-employee marketing firm built and tried to implement a proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) system. For two very different companies doing two very different things, the outcomes were identical. In each case, the organization failed to activate and utilize its system as initially conceived by senior management. And these two organizations are hardly alone. On the contrary, research indicates that more than three in five new IT projects fail. Many miss their deadlines. Others exceed their initial budgets, often by ghastly amounts. Even systems activated on time and under budget often fail to produce their expected results and almost immediately experience major problems. Although the statistics are grim, there is at least some good news: these failures can be averted. Organizations often lack the necessary framework to minimize the chance of system failure before, during, and after beginning IT projects. Why New Systems Fail provides such a framework, with specific tools, tips, and insight from the perspective of a seasoned, independent consultant with more than a decade of related experience. The book examines in great detail the root causes of system failures. Detailed case studies, examples, and lessons from actual system implementations are presented in an informative, straightforward, and very readable manner. More than a theoretical or technical text, this book offers pragmatic advice for organizations both deploying new systems and maintaining existing ones.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Simon's book offers practical advice on why IT projects run late, over-budget, and do not achieve planned results. The framework is clear and the examples compelling, making this book a manifesto for success." -Michael Krigsman - CEO of Asuret, Inc., and ZDNet Blogger on IT Project Failures

"Projects are multidimensional. They're technical, political, financial, personal, emotional, logistical, and more. Great project leaders anticipate these dimensions before the project begins. Read Phil's book to recognize the pitfalls and minimize their impact on your organization and your career. You can't work the plan until you've really planned the work" - Brian Sommer, founder of TechVentive and Vital Analysis

"Simon's book honestly portrays the many small, but crucial, aspects of system failures that too many people in the industry don't want to admit." - Jim Harris, Founder of OCDQBlog, independent consultant, speaker, and writer.

"A good read and as insightful as any I have read about enterprise software project management and the obstacles to success." - David F. Carr, independent journalist and former writer for Baseline Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435456440
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/23/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 815,834
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 6.06 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Phil Simon

Phil Simon is an independent technology consultant and the author of "The Next Wave of Technologies." He began consulting in 2002 after six years of related corporate experience. He has cultivated more than 30 clients from a variety of industries, including health care, manufacturing, retail, and the public sector. Phil has assisted both domestic and international organizations in every aspect of system implementations, activations, and ongoing maintenance. When he's not consulting, he speaks on matters related to organizations' use of different technologies and writes for a number of technology-oriented media outlets about the intersection of technology and business. He has a bachelor's in policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a master's in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University. Visit Phil at www.philsimonsystems.com.
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Table of Contents

Glossary of Commonly Used Terms. Preface. Foreword. 1. Introduction. PART I: DECIDING TO TAKE THE PLUNGE. 2. Why Organizations Maintain Legacy Systems. 3. Why Organizations Implement New Systems. 4. The Replacement System. PART II: SYSTEM SELECTION. 5. The Sounds of Salesmen. 6. Business Processes. 7. Support for the New System. 8. Selecting Consultants. PART III: THE SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION. 9. Implementation Strategies and Phases. 10. The Group Responsibility Matrix. 11. Setup Issues. 12. Testing Issues. 13. People Issues, Roles, and Responsibilities. 14. Reports and Interfaces. 15. Documentation Issues. PART IV: THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF PRODUCTION LIFE. 16. Ongoing System Maintenance. 17. Operational Changes and Risks. PART V: MAXIMIZING THE CHANCE OF SUCCESS. 18. Mid-Implementation Corrective Mechanisms. 19. Audits. 20. Contingency Planning. 21. Employee- and Consultant-Based Strategies. 22. Intelligent Expansion. 23. Conclusion.
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