Avoiding IT Failure (And Bankruptcy)

News from a colleague yesterday of another SAP project using Nimbus: unforeseen delays, a shredded budget and a bewildered client. Another huge success in fact.

This European manufacturer was told by a leading analyst firm to expect to take at least 8-12 months for its Finance transformation and SAP consolidation project across 8 countries and 7 lines of business.

Opting to use Nimbus, the program team worked with stakeholders from across the European business units to agree common business processes – in blueprints that included KPI’s, policies, local variants and all the detailed requirements necessary to implement a single SAP instance.

Their results were completed, presented and approved by all the country CFOs and other CxO stakeholders in just 4 months.

Which leaves the program team with an unforeseen delay while the rest of the business scrambles to catch up (it was widely assumed that the program team would take at least 12 months to complete the blueprinting phase).

And the client’s budget is shredded.  The program timescale has been dramatically shortened, significantly reducing the consulting days required (as well as the equally expensive number of days required from internal resources).

This client’s savings are not at the expense of quality. The reverse in fact. As it happened, the client’s chosen SI implementation partner had no Nimbus expertise. So the client decided that they would not be required for the blueprinting phase. It was a gamble that paid off handsomely.  When the SI was recently re-introduced back into the project, at the completion of the blueprinting, its verdict was that this is “the best SAP blueprint we have ever seen”.

It’s another example of the power of Nimbus as a platform for effective collaboration across complex and dynamic environments (yawn…). But it’s extraordinarily relevant in a week when McKinsey has published results from a survey of 5,400 IT projects (with a combined cost over-run of $66bn).

As McKinsey notes, the keys to IT project success are not rocket science: good stakeholder management, effective teamwork and avoiding ‘the common pitfall of focussing disproportionately on technology issues’.

So a platform that provides visualization of end-to-end processes – intuitive, in their complete business context, and in the language of the business – and wrapped within a robust governance framework won’t just cut costs.  It’s the best possible insurance against a ‘black swan’ – the 17 percent of IT projects which McKinsey reckon go so bad that they can threaten the very existence of the company.

Related Posts

28 Aug 2012    The ROI On Process Visualization

24 Aug 2011    The Root Cause of IT Failures

© Text Michael Gammage 2012

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