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Another Government ERP Fail


December 19, 2013

Doug Hadden, VP Products

I’m often asked about the risk of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) failure in government. This is when using commercial Tier 1 and Tier 2 packages that support multiple industries and were not originally developed for government. This is unlike what FreeBalance provides, a Government Resource Planning (GRP) system – and only government.

If the destination of ERP failure is any of: late delivery, over-budget, lack of meeting original objectives, higher post-implementation costs than envisioned or abandoning the system before envisioned – well, it’s not a question of risk – it’s almost a certainty.

Risk can be reduced by purchasing software designed for government.

What if you are faced with an large government ERP implementation?

  • Project governance is critical, as is having the full commitment from the software manufacturer when the implementation is spending considerable amounts of public money
  • Code customization is to be avoided because this is a source of overhead in the short and long terms. Of course, GRP doesn’t require the type of code customization of ERP. This can be a tough problem because so-called ERP “best practices” rarely are for government.
  • ERP is usually implemented in a “big bang” approach because it is difficult to make substantial post-implementation changes. This tends to result in long implementation schedules that reduces organizational buy-in. GRP uses configuration methods that require little or no code customization and is able to adapt over time. It is wise to identify what elements of the ERP system could be implemented piecemeal over time.
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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