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'Why New Systems Fail: Theory and Practice Collide' Excerpt

This book chapter begins an examination of why IT initiatives fail in even the largest, most well-funded organizations. One key issue: enterprises often lack the basic infrastructure and discipline to avoid even obvious lapses.

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What does a Fortune 500 company implementing a multimillion dollar "off the shelf" system have in common with a 150-person firm building its own system? In each case, the organization failed to activate and utilize its system as initially conceived by senior management. These two organizations are hardly alone. On the contrary, more than three in five new systems fail. Many miss their deadlines. Others exceed their initial budgets, often by ghastly amounts. Even systems activated on time and under budget often fail to produce their expected results and almost immediately experience major problems. While the statistics are grim, there is at least some good news: This doesn't have to be the case.

Organizations often lack the necessary framework to minimize the chance of system failure at three key points: before, during, and after system implementations. "Why New Systems Fail" provides such a framework with specific tools, tips, and questions from the perspective of an independent consultant with more than a decade of related experience.

The book examines in great detail the root causes of system failures. Case studies, examples, and lessons from actual system implementations are presented in an informative, straightforward, and very readable manner. More than a theoretical or technical text, the book offers pragmatic advice for organizations both deploying new systems and maintaining existing ones.

The attached Zip file includes:

  • Intro Page.doc
  • Cover Sheet and Terms.pdf
  • Why Systems Fail Excerpt.pdf