Good thing IT doesn't matter, huh?

Medium-size company decides it's time for a new ERP system to replace its 15-year-old (but still regularly updated) software, says an IT pilot fish working there.

"Governance is set up favoring the user department managers over IT in the selection committee, because 'System selection should be driven by user requirements, not IT technocrats,'" fish says. "IT is officially relegated to research and assistance."

IT's internal analysts go to work and determine that the deal will probably cost $11 million to $21 million. An external consultancy is brought in to help create requirements and -- surprise! -- estimates the total project cost to be between $10.5 and $25 million.

But that's far too much for the user department managers to sell to the board of directors. Their solution? They simply change the estimate to the $4-to-$6-million range and kick the IT analysts off the committee.

Six months and one board approval later, 21 bids come in -- and they're all in excess of $11 million. Well, all except one: It's for only $7 million.

The department managers abandon the review criteria they developed and push to award immediately to this low-priced wonder. But there's a snag: It's still too expensive, by a cool million.

What to do, what to do? Aha! Just eliminate all training! It's only another ERP system, after all. How different can it be?

"We're now 14 months into implementation," says fish. "Payroll preparation takes 47 hours, up from 2.5 before. Pension and benefits are being prepared by hand. And the system can't produce financials or manage inventory.

"And IT? Well, most of those 'IT technocrats' are preparing to swim for other seas."

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