Assignment 4: Changing the AIS
Student: Peter M. Burke
ACC564: Accounting Information Systems
June 13, 2013
Factors contributing to the failure
Whaley Foodservice Repairs hired Epicor to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The deal was signed in 2006, but after two years the project never materialized. Whaley finally sued Epicor for compensation of the cost they had incurred in trying to implement the software (Kanaracus, 2011). The main factors that led to the failure of this project were underestimation of the implementation timelines, underestimation of costs, business processes were not clearly defined, lack of organizational change ...view middle of the document...
This could have led to the delays in implementation, and increase in costs of the project. Understanding a business’s processes would assist the software vendor to know how best to integrate and implement the system. Epicor should have taken upon itself to review the businesses processes of Whaley in order for them to understand how they can integrate these processes into their software. Whaley did not define the business processes in a way that Epicor could understand. The failure to define their processes made the implementation to delay as there was need for change with each implementation.
Whaley did not conduct a change management within the organization. Whaley was not prepared to modify its business processes for them to conform to the processes within the software. This meant that the project required too many changes. This contributed to the delay in implementation and also increased the cost of the project. With new software people should know that change will be inevitable, and some processes would need to be modified. Whaley insisting on maintaining their business processes shows that the company was not prepared for the change. Epicor had a high turnover of employees. This meant that there were new employees handling the project at any given time. These employees had to learn the processes before they could continue with the implementation. Understanding the processes required time and would delay the project timelines. With changes, employees at Whaley were not sure who was handling the various departments, and they had to adjust to new people all the time.
Senior management responsibility
The senior management of Whaley was responsible for acquiring and delivering software that would allow the company to improve its business processes and decision making. This was done by hiring Epicor who demonstrated they could deliver the requirements. The senior management should have ensured that they communicate regularly with Epicor to ensure that the project does not delay, and costs do not get overrun. The new software required a change in the business processes of the company. The senior management was responsible for ensuring that all employees understood the new changes and should have involved all the key stakeholders. Instead there was no change management, and this resulted in trying to fit to software to the business processes, which is quite difficult. Had the senior management been prepared to change the business processes, the project would have been implemented successfully.
Senior management should have undertaken to understand how the new software would fit into the company's business framework. Understanding how the software fits would have enabled the management to determine the required changes and communicated these changes to the key stakeholders. Having communicated the company's business processes, the senior management should have tried to simplify the processes for Epicor. This is...