One of our young, and deeply curious, co-workers discovered an artifact – a map – while browsing a dusty, old book store in Boston. She bought it for a pittance and took it home where she discovered the key to cracking its codes. No, she will not share those with us – something about job protection…
The map contains the key to how so many ERP implementations stumble and – this is most exciting – confirms that the Valley of Despair truly exists! Upon further translation, she has identified the title on the map as “The Land of ERP Pitfalls”. While translation continues, we have already identified several locations on the map that are both illuminating and thought provoking.
We are moving forward with a set of blog topics involving these pitfalls and key success factors for successful ERP implementations as they are uncovered from the difficult text of the map. h/t to the curious and talented young who illuminate the days of the middle aged, if we are wise enough to listen.
If you’ve implemented an ERP system in the last few decades, you have surely seen one of the many representations of the traditional ERP change management curve, with copious advice for avoiding, or reducing the depth of the Valley of Despair. The graph is somewhat misleading, in that it typically ends with a plateau or pinnacle of success, implying that your troubles are over as soon as you go live.
If only that were true.
A more comprehensive graph would look like this:
Notice the descent into what I will refer to as the Desert of Disillusionment, that awful place where every “productivity improvement” line item in your rosy ROI analysis (the one that you used to justify the project) is revealed as a mirage.
Why does this happen, and does it have to be this way? More importantly, what are the warning signs and how should you deal with them? We will deal with specific topics in future posts, but for now, we invite you to take our short survey on diagnosing enterprise system impact on business productivity.