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How Business Automation Projects Fail, Part 2

22 August 2009

In part 1 of this series I wrote about a simple case where failure to define requirements for a software purchase ended up costing the business several thousands of dollars worth of wasted effort that had to be re-done. The software purchase price was just a few hundred dollars, so it seemed okay to take shortcuts in the selection process. The resulting loss was more than anyone bargained for.

In part 2, this post, I’m writing about a much larger purchase of custom-developed software. This is a true story of a project that could have turned into a disaster. It could have sunk a new startup company before it ever got off the ground. It could have failed badly. But this one actually has a happy ending. Disaster was averted because the business owner stopped in the middle of the process to ask some key questions, and he acted on the answers.


Steve Speaks on How To Avoid Technology Traps

03 July 2009

I recently appeared on Nancy Brown’s Business Guru Show on Blog Talk Radio to speak about “How To Avoid Technology Traps.” You can hear the show (30 minutes) by following the link or you can play it right here:

How Business Automation Projects Fail, Part 1

12 March 2009

I’m starting a short series in How Business Automation Projects Fail. This is part 1, where I’ll cover the case of an apparently simple project to install a common software package. In part 2 I write about a much more complex and expensive project.

Business Processes

Businesses run by following well defined processes. Let’s look at a wholesale distribution business as an example. Here’s a grossly simplified version of the core processes at the heart of the business: