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Monday, 05 October 2009 10:29

How to make a software roll-out fail, part 4

Rolling out a major project (ERP for instance) requires that a lot of complex factors are brought together harmoniously.  However, such a project can be brought down by more mundane choices; here's another common one.

I have written in the past about the "New Era" project which is now just 1 day from go-live.  Everyone is frantically scrambling to bring it all together...

However, there are a few more 'issues' that are currently arising.

Let me remind you, go-live is tomorrow and we have been in an activity-halt since early last week.  There is an increasing backlog of customer orders (obviously!).

The project is being managed out of an office in Sydney – just about everyone connected with the project has a public holiday today!  Maybe, just maybe, this would have been the busiest day of the entire project, but no – on the penultimate day, everyone relaxed.

Data cleansing has become a bigger and bigger issue.  The New-Era project combines the activities of a number of business units with overlapping customer lists.  Merging this data into a single coherent customer list has taken far longer than expected.  It is no-where near complete.

One of the business units (generally, multiple units occupy each location) has invested a lot of time ensuing that the training and reference materials are complete and usable.  Other units keep seeing this material and asking (nay pleading) to get a copy as it is far better than their own.

These are people who should have already been trained and be eagerly awaiting the change-over.  Seems like they're neither!

Speaking of eagerly awaiting, it seems that none of the key users who are expected to login first tomorrow morning and check that "number 5 is alive" has their new password.

Fun times ahead... but at least all the 'big-wigs' are in town for the launch celebration party.  By themselves, I expect!

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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