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ERP projects regulaly miss completion deadlines

Survey finds ERP software project overruns distressingly common

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A significant number of companies polled in a new study said their projects involving Oracle, SAP and Microsoft Dynamics software went over schedule.

Nearly two thirds of respondents to a survey released by Panorama Consulting in the US found that nearly a third of respondents had yet to realise any financial rewards from their projects, and another 30 percent said it took at least three years to start seeing full return on investment.

The survey based on 2,000 responses from 61 countries collected between February 2006 and May of this year, found 28 percent finished on time and 11 percent completed the project sooner than expected.

The enterprise resource planning (ERP) software being used was largely not to blame for problem projects, the survey said.

Just 4 percent of respondents cited vendor functionality issues as a reason for project delays, although technical issues drew 14 percent.

The company said it is "distressingly common" to see ERP projects running so late.

A change in the project's initial scope was the top reason for slowdowns, named by 29 percent of survey respondents. A fifth of respondents cited organisational issues, followed by data issues and resource constraints, both with 17 percent.

Dynamics led the pack in terms of overall implementation times, averaging 13 months to SAP's 17 months and Oracle's 18 months, according to the survey.

These results should be viewed with some caution, since Dynamics tends to be implemented by smaller companies with less complex environments.

SAP and Dynamics projects ran on average two months past schedule, while Oracle implementations averaged four-month overruns, according to the survey.

Sometimes, ERP projects go so poorly that customers end up suing their vendor, as well as vice versa.

Oracle, for one, is currently embroiled in a high-profile dispute with Montclair State University. Epicor was also the target of a number of recent actions.


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