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ERP Systems

Implementation
Michael Lang

Lecturer in Information Systems


Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy
National University of Ireland, Galway
Information Systems Development
 ISD is an inherently risky activity
 The objective of ISD is to change things and deliver benefits
 e.g. cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, better
efficiency, faster turnaround, etc.
 … but who benefits ?
 There are many stakeholders in ISD, internal and external
 “What’s in it for me?”
 Effecting change can be very difficult, especially where
stakeholder lobby groups are strong

© Michael Lang, National University of Ireland, Galway 2


Stakeholder Theory

Donaldson, T. & Preston, L. (1995) The stakeholder theory of the corporation:


Concepts, evidence and implications. Academy of Management Review. 20(1), 65-91.

© Michael Lang, National University of Ireland, Galway 3


Stakeholder Theory

Donaldson, T. & Preston, L. (1995) The stakeholder theory of the corporation:


Concepts, evidence and implications. Academy of Management Review. 20(1), 65-91.

© Michael Lang, National University of Ireland, Galway 4


Task-Technology Fit (TTF)

© Michael Lang, National University of Ireland, Galway 5


DeLone & McLean (Updated) Model
of Information Systems Success

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Unified Theory of Use and
Acceptance of Technology (UTAUT)

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The “Software Crisis”
 Software “crisis”
 NATO Conference 1968
 “a monster of missed schedules, blown budgets, and flawed
products” (Brooks, 1987) No Silver Bullet
 Software’s “chronic” crisis (Gibbs, 1994)
 A “crisis” that lasts a few decades is a contradiction in terms
(Pressman, 1997)
 Software is not like manufacturing or civil engineering
 Why Users Cannot 'Get What They Want‘ (Paul, 1994) – “Fixed
point theorem”
 Requirements are prone to frequent and dramatic change
 Software development is perhaps the “most complex endeavour
humankind has ever attempted” (Brooks 1987)
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Systems Development Methods
 “Methodologies era” of the 1970s / 1980s
 Waterfall / SDLC model came from large-scale public sector
projects (US DoD)
 User involvement is supported only during the early stages and
at the very end
 “[The traditional SDLC] does not work well for many classes of
software, particularly interactive end user applications” (Boehm,
1988)
 “I’ll know it when I see it” (IKIWISI) systems – requirements very
difficult to pin down
 The traditional SDLC relies strictly on the formal specification
document, which “freezes” requirements
 This practice can lead to obsolescence even before delivery !!

© Michael Lang, National University of Ireland, Galway 9


Systems Development Methods
 Modern approaches
 Lean “Lightweight” methodologies / Just-in-Time Software
 Rapid prototyping
 Rapid Application Development (RAD)
 Timeboxing
 Incremental / Iterative / Evolutionary Development
 Agile Methods (e.g. XP, SCRUM, DSDM)
 Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) development
 Open Source Software solutions
 These approaches seek to embrace risk by means of
rapidly getting a system in place, and incrementally
upgrading it / rolling it out
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It’s All About the Requirements !
 “In nearly every software project that fails to meet
performance and cost goals, requirements inadequacies
play a major and expensive role in project failure” (Alford
& Lawson, 1979)
 “The hardest single part of building a software system is
deciding precisely what to build. No other part of the
conceptual work is as difficult as establishing the detailed
technical requirements ... No other part of the work so
cripples the resulting system if done wrong.” (Brooks,
1987)
 Build the correct system (product) + Build the system
correctly (process)
© Michael Lang, National University of Ireland, Galway 11
Playing Catch-up with User Needs
User Needs
Actual System
Capabilities
YTI L AN OI T CNUF

t0 t 1 t2 t3 t4 t5
TIME
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IS Project Success (CHAOS Report)

 User Involvement 15.9%


 Executive Management Support 13.9%
 Clear Statement of Requirements 13.0%
 Proper Planning 9.6%
 Realistic Expectations 8.2%
 Smaller Project Milestones 7.7%
 Competent Staff 7.2%
 Ownership 5.3%
 Clear Vision and Objectives 2.9%
 Hard Working, Focused Staff 2.4%
 Other 13.9%

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IS Project Failure (CHAOS Report)

 Incomplete Requirements 13.1%


 Lack of User Involvement 12.4%
 Lack of Resources 10.6%
 Unrealistic Expectations 9.9%
 Lack of Executive Support 9.3%
 Changing Requirements & Specifications 8.7%
 Lack of Planning 8.1%
 Didn't Need it any Longer 7.5%
 Lack of IT Management 6.2%
 Technology Illiteracy 4.3%
 Other 9.9%

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Public Sector Projects: US GAO

Delivered But Unsuccessful ($3.2m)

Usable after Modification ($198,000)

Usable as Delivered ($119,000)

Used but Extensively Reworked or Abandoned ($1.3m)

Paid For but Undelivered ($1.95m)

29%

19%

2% 47%
3%

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Information Systems “Failures”
 The history of ISD has seen many failed
implementations and “software runaways”
 LondonAmbulance Service Computer Aided Despatch
(LASCAD)
 Denver Airport: automated luggage handling system
(ALHS)
 London Stock Exchange: TAURUS System
 California: Department of Motor Vehicles System (DMV)
 Ireland HSE: PPARS System

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Lessons for ERP Systems …
 "Those who fail to learn history are doomed to
repeat it" (Winston Churchill)
 In the field of MIS, “issues seen as ‘new’ turn out
to have long roots” (Keen, 1991)
 What of ERP Systems ?
 ERP systems are large scale, expensive projects
 ERP systems may involve dramatic changes to work
practices and organisational processes
 They are not “quick fix” solutions and need to be
implemented with care

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ERP Critical Success Factors

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ERP Implementation Framework

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