• Login

Bridgestone versus IBM ERP Failure-- The REAL Issues -- Part 1: Overview

Overview of findings with regard to the dispute between Bridgestone and IBM with regard to Bridgestone's US$600 million damages suite against IBM

The headlines of the issues identified by applying my Critical Factors approach to the Court Pleadings

Bridgestone versus IBM -- The REAL Issues

Executive Summary

Links to previous articles at the end of this article

Bridgestone are suing IBM for $600 million following a catastrophic systems implementation failure that did huge damage to the business -- unable to process orders, stock piling up, losing customers, -- the business information systems nightmare of every CEO.

This article examines the REAL reasons these things happen and how to prevent them by analysing the key elements of the Bridgestone -- IBM situation and explaining how to prevent them occurring in your project.

Issues discussed include the viability of old software, valid governance for projects of this nature, the need for a tough and robust procurement approach and resulting contract, the Business Process myth and why the Business Process approach is dangerous, the need for a rigorous "engineering" approach, the critical need for a Business Simulation Laboratory, the benefits of tough certificates and the non-negotiable need to provide a roll-back capability in the event of disaster.

It is concluded that both parties made mistakes, that the mistakes are common place and, in reality, part of the established order and that there is a need for a radically different approach -- this approach is outlined in the article.


Bridgestone sues IBM for $600 million after suffering massive damages -- tires stacked in the parking lot, hiring a third party warehouse to store stock, unable to fulfil orders, lost customers --THE business information systems nightmare of any CEO.


The system cost over $75 million and went live in January, 2012. It immediately experienced "system-wide failures" for three months, Bridgestone alleges:

"Tires which should have been delivered to fill customer orders --piled up in distribution centres, smaller warehouses, and trailers parked in parking lots. Ultimately, [Bridgestone] was forced to lease an enormous amount [of] public warehouse space at great expense."

The complaint also says:

"IBM's defective system lost or deleted scheduled customer orders, would not process orders, duplicated, or partially processed orders and, for those limited orders that were processed, did not complete critical corresponding business applications"

But IBM says the problems were caused by Bridgestone. The company failed to do its part so that IBM could build the system on time and on budget. IBM sent this statement to the Tennessean:


Google "Bridgestone sues IBM for $600 million" in quotes so you get an exact match -- 4,560 results!

This is big news.

It MIGHT be THE event that redefines the business information systems in the way that dramatic construction engineering failures a century earlier redefined the construction industry .

Why do these things happen?

Fact is that failure is rife -- see my "Failure Catalogue", failure that involves mainstream firms like Bridgestone, BMW, The BBC, etc as clients and IBM, Deloitte, EDS , etc as service providers.

In fact the indications are that the failures are getting bigger, more frequent and more damaging.

There is NO real indication that anyone has an answer to THE CRITICAL QUESTION -- "how do we prevent our organization getting hit by such a catastrophic event?"

This article seeks to answer that question from a very different point of view -- a point of view that I term "the engineering approach".

Before you ask what an engineer has to do with an industry that is the preserve of accountants and MBA graduates I ask you to note that ALL significant engineering structures are designed using computer based systems that are far more complex than business information systems and which are required to operate at exceptionally high levels of reliability.  Engineering MORE than accounting drove the creation of high performance computers over the last fifty years.

This article is a summary, the full article is available on my website  and will also be emailed to you progressively in the days ahead.

Failure is rife

Fundamentally, failure has been rife for decades but the big implementers and the NOT so big implementers continue to focus on getting better and better at what they are doing seemingly oblivious to the principle that "if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got".

A DIFFERENT approach

This article seeks to present a DRASTICALLY different, and I contend, BETTER way of looking at this sort of situation directed at enabling you, as an executive of a company faced with the prospect of replacing your systems, or sitting with a project that is failing or a system that is under performing, to take DIFFERENT decisions to your counterparts in Bridgestone, BMW, The BBC, etc.

I have been investigating failures and sub-optimal outcomes of business information system projects since 1989, speaking about the reasons they happen since 1992 and learned a large amount to the point where I am now in a position to actively publish what I have learned after undergoing an intense and lengthy process of discovery, inquiry, analysis, practical application and refinement.

Following are the points that stand out for me about the Bridgestone situation:

1. COBOL -- NOT a valid reason

The project commenced with a fundamentally unsound, supposedly technical, motivation -- existing systems were written in COBOL, COBOL was "obsolete" and therefore needed to be replaced.

Firstly there are still a large number of organizations running COBOL, secondly, as a programming language it is entirely possible to maintain COBOL applications for the long term.

There was therefore NO technical need for Bridgestone to change, they should ONLY have changed as part of a clearly thought through strategic initiative to add value conceived and driven by the business.

For more discussion on why OLD systems ARE viable and also relating to COBOL please see the article "Old Software IS Viable ", there is a piece on COBOL lower down the page.

The balance of this article is based on the assumption that you DO have a sound business case for moving to new technology and want to do this with minimum risk and maximum value add.

2. Governance -- the BIGGEST single cause of failure

OK, so Bridgestone decided for good or bad reasons to change.

There was clearly a major governance problem, the CIO was replaced SIX TIMES in two years during the project !

Inspecting the "Bridgestone USA Executive Bios " page we find that there is NO Chief Information Officer on the Executive team.

After some digging on Google I was unable to festablish who the CIO reported to but it seems clear that the Chief Information Officer was NOT really a "Chief" -- effectively just the IT Manager.

For a project as far reaching as the Bridgestone "Order to Cash" project the CEO is the ONLY person in the organization who can take custody of the project and the person managing the project should report directly to the CEO with an executive mandate.

This is the ONLY way to make this sort of project work:

a. Make the CEO responsible -- see my material on "Executive Custody " for guidance;

b. Appoint a highly experienced expert to run the project on behalf of the client and have that person report VERY closely to the CEO in an Interim Executive capacity with a VERY tough mandate to act on behalf of the CEO and a strong contract for the duration of the project -- see my article on "The Art of Project Leadership " for some suggestions;

c. and ... see the sections that follow.

3. Procurement --- securing a robust, tough and enforceable contract

Studying Bridgestone's complaint there was clearly a major deficiency in their procurement approach.

It is vital that a project such as theirs is initiated with a very formal tender process against extremely detailed and very robust documents prepared by the client team with assistance from a business systems procurement expert and client legal advisors in order to create a framework for a robust contract.

For procurement to lay a foundation for a successful project:

a. It is vital that the CEO has first appointed their tough interim executive Project Leader / Project Director, someone with a large amount of procurement experience;

b. It is also vital that the procurement takes place against a tough and comprehensive procurement pack;

c. with at least three to five bidders;

d. with a tough multi-stage adjudication procedure;

e. resulting in a tough contract.

See the discussion of the requirements for such a procurement approach on my website .

Such a contract must lock the contractor into a fixed price for a clearly defined business outcome.

It must contractually bind provably competent contractor personnel individually to the project for the duration.

Please read the material on my website  for more information.

4. The Business Process Myth -- irrelevant, distracting and DANGEROUS

Next major contributing factor:

The project name "Order to Cash" speaks volumes.

This was clearly a "Business Process" orientated project.

How do I know that?

Firstly the whole industry does it that way.

Secondly "Order to Cash" is a classic example of the nonsensical gobbledegook that Business Process proponents use to describe things.

"Order to Cash" is a substitute for -- order processing, works orders, warehousing, logistics, invoicing, credit control, ... or whatever Bridgestone exactly DID commission.

Fundamentally a Business Process centric approach to a project of this nature is a waste of time and money -- see my article "Business Process -- Irrelevant, Distracting and Dangerous " to understand why I say this.

The things that matter are the software functionality on a module by module basis correlated to the business -- business function by business function coupled with the configuration of the system and particularly the validation data and master classification lists, see my article "The Alternative to Business Process -- the RIGHT Approach " for a discussion of the correct approach.

Fundamentally, what is required is:

a. Discovery of the strategic essence of the business -- why it exists and HOW it thrives;

b. High level functional definition of the components of the business;

c. Definition of the key functional elements from a strategic essence perspective;

d. Relate this to typical software modules available in the market place;

e. High level specification of system requirements on a module by module basis;

f. Tough procurement as discussed above;

g. Determine what capabilities are to be delivered with standard software, what requires customization and what requires custom development -- determined by strategic essence;

h. Detailed development of a comprehensive suite of representative configuration and master data;

i. Specify and build software as required;

j. Precision configure ;

k. Test, refine, test, finalize, accept;

l. Laboratory program as discussed below including management prescribe workflow (aka process);

m. Deploy and commission;

n. Operate.

There is much on my website relating to this approach.

It is probable that IF Bridgestone had followed this approach there would have been MUCH less custom development.

This approach focuses attention in terms of deliverables on the two things that ALWAYS remain at the end of the project, the software and the configuration.  The Business Simulation Laboratory, described below, provides the mechanism to integrate this into the business and ensure that people are fully trained -- the third component that remains.  The procurement approach should ensure that a rigorous project method that enforces the above points is followed.

5. Absence of engineering rigor -- sloppy projects and sloppy solutions

It is clearly apparent from the Bridgestone pleadings that IBM ran a sloppy project.  I do NOT say IBM AND Bridgestone, I say IBM -- they CLAIM to be the experts.

Bridgestone in their pleadings make it clear that they appointed IBM as trusted advisors, as experts, as a leading brand in the field with a high level of confidence and trust that IBM would do right by them.

IBM failed outright and even allowed Bridgestone to go live despite acknowledging there were problems.  There is a point at which a responsible consultant stands firm and REFUSES to allow the client to go live or, at the very least requires the CEO to sign a TOUGH indemnity clause.

My point?

I am advocating a level of rigour, precision, accountability, etc that is far beyond ANYTHING that occurs in the business information systems industry, see my article on "The Engineering Approach to Business Information Systems Defined " for a discussion of the characteristics of this thing that I refer to as "The Engineering Approach" it is a culture, a way of thinking, a way of doing that is unique to people who have made it their life long goal to create things of lasting value from nothing, these people are engineers and they know that without intense rigour and discipline bridges do NOT stand up!

So, you need a Project Leader who understands these principles and you need to find a contractor who understands them as well.  And then you need to apply them rigorously and conscientiously.

6. Lack of formal Business Simulation Laboratory testing

Another very obvious element of the Bridgestone complaint and IBM's response is that there WERE known problems BEFORE going live!



There is NO reason for them to be.

They are a field of engineering endeavour like any other, failure is inevitable UNTIL you eliminate every possible cause of failure from the solution.

Engineers are schooled with exposure to failure and how to prevent it.  The bulk of the undergraduate university curriculum for engineers relates to preventing failure and the construction of large buildings and other engineering structures is ALWAYS coupled to engineering laboratories that constantly test representative samples of material to destruction in order to provide required quality control.

A Business Simulation Laboratory LOOKS different, it is a room with tables and computers and a data projector or two but the principle of its design and application is the same.  The most experienced personnel of the client organization systematically work with small quantities of carefully selected representative data to do everything possible to cause the system to fail.

The dictum is"break it until you cannot break it any more".

ONLY once this state has been achieved can the software then be fully configured and again tested, the workflow (that is process) dictated by management and configured, the reports, models (data warehouse), alerts, etc defined, built and tested and training material developed.  The training material should preferably be interactive.

Once ALL of the above has taken place and the system / systems have been manifestly proven to be ROBUST and reliable and ALL components are working THEN and ONLY then are ALL staff brought into the laboratory environment to be trained in SIMULATED live operations.

Should IBM have done this?

Categorically yes!

Were they negligent that they did not?

Well, YES BUT, there are very few people in the industry who know to do this let alone know HOW to do this.

As far as I am concerned there is NO alternative to the Business Simulation Laboratory and a rigorous and robust testing program managed by a tough no nonsense senior person who will brook NO arguments for compromise.

7. NO certification

There is an extension to the previous point, something that, on its own might have greatly reduced the risk of going live prematurely and that is a robust and tough "Readiness to Commission" Certificate or "Go-Live" Certificate.

Once ALL staff are trained in the Laboratory, THEN the entire project team are required to progressively sign a tough formal certificate of "Readiness to Commission".

The value of such a certificate is that it forces people to think.

The psychology of how one manages people on these projects is of paramount importance.  The psychology of a tough certificate with wording that clearly holds the people signing accountable cannot be under estimated -- it forces people to think very carefully before putting their signatures on such a document.

And THAT is EXACTLY what you want.

Make it DIFFICULT TO SIGN and easy NOT to sign.

8. NO roll-back plan

Beyond that note that Bridgestone did NOT have a roll-back plan.  They were apparently unable to roll back to the old systems.  That is an act of gross negligence that needs to be laid equally at the door of IBM and the CIO / IT Manager.

This should be NON-NEGOTIABLE!


From the documentation there are other factors.

Consideration of my factors relating to "The REAL Issues in Business Information Systems" -- the factors causing failure and the Critical Factors for Success (the subject of my book -- available on the website together with the course of the same name ) will give you many more pointers to what went wrong and how YOU can avoid a similar catastrophic outcome for your organization.

I suggest for your consideration that there IS a better way that will deliver MUCH better outcomes, see my article on "What does a HIGH VALUE Business Information System Solution look like " for more ideas.

This outcome is one in which every aspect of the business runs smoothly, efficiently and effectively.  The systems "flow" with the business and most activities take LESS time than they did previously.

Most importantly executives and managers have a wealth of strategic, operational and tactical information available literally at the touch of a button.  Information that is of the highest quality and entirely reliable.

Executives and managers have time to be more creative and the business is able to sustain greater production, sales, etc with existing headcount or headcount has reduced by natural attrition over a  year or two.

The business is booming, it is growing faster than it did before, new customers, new products, new services.

All of this traceable back to the new systems that have been expertly configured to EXACTLY model the real world in which the business operates such that the systems are easy to use and FLOW with the business.

This is what IBM should have delivered to IBM and failed!

My website contains considerable information in the form of articles, white papers and presentations that discuss what I recommend in considerable detail with information that you can take on board and apply immediately, please have a look -- the home page, http://www.James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.eu will give you a good overview of what I am advocating and help you to navigate the entire site to locate information that you can apply immediately.

The Table of Contents lists all the webpages on the site, there is a lot of deep content that is NOT immediately visible.

The Article Catalogue contains well over 150 articles on diverse topics.

The Article Keyword Cloud provides alphabetic keywords linking to many of the articles

The Conference page lists around 90 conference presentations, nearly all different with around 40 of the presentations live on the site for you to view and download -- email me if there is a presentation you would like that is not on the site.

If you would like to know more about me there is detailed information on the website and further detailed information on LinkedIn

Visit the Testimonials page to hear and read what clients and others have to say about me

The full version of this article is available on the website

Particularly relevant recent articles are listed after the signature in this email

Diagnostic Pulse Measurement
I offer a concise diagnostic "Pulse Measurement " light touch, high impact investigation that in the space of a day to ten days for most organizations, depending on size and problem complexity, will deliver you a concise written report that will accurately diagnose what is wrong with your current systems OR your project OR your IT Department and prescribe meaningful and actionable treatment for the conditions I identify.  See special offer at the end of this email.

I look forward to being of assistance to you.

Yours faithfully,


Dr James Robertson PrEng

James A Robertson and Associates Limited
Assisting clients to thrive through effective and efficient application of Business Information Systems

Mobile: +44 (0) 776-862-2875
Landline: +44 (0) 207-059-0007

eMail       : James@James-A-Robertson-Associates.eu
Website   : http://www.James-A-Robertson-Associates.eu
Linked In  : http://uk.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor

Articles published so far in the article series to which this email refers:

Strategic Essence -- The Missing Link in Business Information Systems

A discussion of how strategic essence should inform ALL business improvement projects and particularly business information system projects.  This thread discusses the analysis of strategy, the planning of strategy and feeding strategy through into business system specifications and the management of business improvement projects.  Articles to date include:

1: Strategy Defined
2: Differentiation
3: The Essence IS Different
4: Strategic Essence is the Point of Departure
5: Determining Strategic Essence

The Real Issues in Business Information Systems

A discussion as to why business information systems fail to deliver on expectations or fail outright.  Coupled to discussion of the Critical Factors that must be taken into account in order to achieve successful outcomes.  This thread is progressively discussing more hands-on specifics of achieving high value outcomes and builds on the Strategic Essence series.  Articles to date include:

1: Introduction
2: Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody
3: Lack of Strategic Alignment and Lack of Precision Configuration

Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems

Discussion of practical specific measures that can be taken in order to greatly improve the information yield of business information systems at both the operational and executive strategic level.  A number of simple steps that can be taken immediately and more complex measures that can be taken over time. 

This thread is discussing increasing business system and data warehouse value yield using techniques that lead to significantly improved business intelligence capability, including support for the ability to "obtain answers to questions we had not previously thought to ask ".  This builds on the content in the Strategic Essence and Real Issues threads.  Articles to date include:

1: Introduction
2: Principles of Data Engineering
3: Steps in Applying these Recommendations

Robust Business Information Systems Procurement

In order to fully apply the methods and principles discussed in the threads above with regard to new systems it is vital that a robust and effective approach to procurement is applied.  This requires a tough procurement approach directed at achieving a tough business outcomes orientated project that ensures a high value outcome.

This thread discusses the components of such a procurement approach.  The individual documents and processes that make up the approach are outlined.  Thereafter the components are discussed in more detail.  Articles to date include:

1: Introduction
2: Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate, etc
3: Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and other matters

Critical Lessons from Real Life Business Information Systems Failures

Comment on some of the dramatic business information system investment failures of recent years.  Articles to date include:

1: The BBC Digital Media Initiative £100 million write-off

Special Offer -- Diagnostic Pulse Measurement

I would like to present you with a special offer for my intense executive level diagnostic service which I term a "Pulse Measurement " because it is quick, concise and delivers high value diagnostic and treatment information with regard to any business related information systems concern or problem including sub-optimal system operation, stalled and failing projects and under performing Business Systems and Information Technology Departments.

I would like to offer you a standard Pulse Measurement of one to ten days at a discounted rate to explore any issue of concern with regard to your business information systems, business systems project or business systems (I.T.) department.  At the end of the day you will receive a headline diagnostic assessment and recommended treatment of the situation.  Method is outlined on my website together with some example reports .

This is my premier offering and has been delivered dozens of times -- headlines of some examples are available on my website.  Over the last 25 years I have developed diagnostic techniques, based on Military "Quick Attack" principles and Engineering methods, which enable me to rapidly identify the REAL issues with regard to project, system or departmental under-performance and drill down to concrete indicators that business executives can relate to, understand and act on.

As discussed in my articles on "The REAL Issues in Business Information Systems" the factors that give rise to under-performance and the Critical Factors for Success are more obscure and intangible than many people realize.  Much of what is published about methods of obtaining successful outcomes is fundamentally flawed, as evidenced by the ongoing high level of sub-optimal results, witness recent reports regarding BMW, Bridgestone and the BBC .

If you have the slightest doubts about whether your systems, project or department are performing to full potential, a Pulse Measurement will give you a fresh and independent second opinion.  Some Pulse Measurements have enabled client executives to take major directional decisions in areas where there was significant uncertainty, refer the examples on my website .  In some cases very substantial planned expenditure was averted.


I guarantee that you will find this intervention of high value, failing which you may terminate the assignment at the end of the first day and I will NOT bill you for my fees for the day, only for my travel and accommodation costs outside of London.  This guarantee is subject to full cooperation during the investigation and all meetings proceeding as scheduled.


To inquire about purchasing any of the above services simply click on the link above, enter your details in the resulting email and send it to me.  If for some reason the email does not open please just hit reply to this email and enter your contact details.  I will revert to you in the manner you request to answer your questions and make arrangements.

Should you require further information please email me and I will be delighted to connect by email, phone or Skype to answer all your questions.

I look forward to being of service to you.

Yours faithfully,


James Robertson

Random Selection of Articles by Dr James Robertson

Random Selection of Articles by Dr James Robertson

Dr James A Robertson PrEng

Business Systems NOT delivering?

Call the Business Systems Specialist

Dr. James Robinson

Dr James A Robertson -- has been involved in the effective application of Business Information Systems, including but NOT limited to ERP, since 1987 and in the profitable and effective use of computers in Business since 1981.

Drawing on a diversity of experience, including formal military training in Quick Attack techniques at the Regimental Commander level, Dr Robertson has developed highly effective methods of investigating any sub-optimal Business Information Systems situation -- be it an established system or a stalled project or any other source of Executive frustration -- quickly and concisely diagnosing the root cause of the problem and prescribing concise practical actions that Business Executives can effectively act on see the Pulse Measurement page and also the Sample Reports page for redacted real reports.

He has also developed highly effective methods of strategically enriching systems to unlock the full potential of existing investments, see the Precision Configuration page and couples this to architecting small pieces of clever software that harness the full potential of your investment, see the Software page.

If you are having problems with your systems, your project or your IT Department, call The Business Systems Specialist

Business System Failure is RIFE -- we offer insight into why this happens AND WHAT is required to prevent it.

Failure is at epidemic levels with massive damage done to client companies -- if you are NOT aware of the extent of the problem please visit the About Failure page for a catalog of major failures running to billions of Pounds and Dollars.

All evidence indicates that the established players do NOT know how to deliver stable, reliable high value solutions that WORK.

There HAS to be a better way!

This website provides information relating to that way with a large collection of white papers, presentations, standards documents, etc that you can use to start bringing the situation under control

We also offer high level advisory services with regard to the application of the principles advocated on this website

We offer an ENGINEERING APPROACH to addressing these issues

Click here to read more about the Engineering Approach

By Engineering I mean the formal, structured, highly disciplined, highly systematic, highly practical approach that consistently delivers results in ALL areas of human endeavor where formally trained and certified engineers are the ONLY practitioners permitted to operate -- think large buildings, factories, motor vehicles, aircraft -- highly complex systems that work at a level that we take it for granted that they WILL work and where failure is all but unthinkable and, when it happens, attracts immediate public attention and rigorous investigation directed at ensuring that such failures are prevented in the future -- in fact, everything that the management consulting industry that implements complex software systems is NOT

This approach is discussed further on the Engineering Approach page.

Search Articles

Random Selection of Articles by Dr James Robertson

SNw 055 Business Process – irrelevant, distracting and dangerous

Business process is the focus of most business information system implementations and is highly ineffective, this article goes so far as to suggest that business process is irrelevant, distracting and dangerous and that there are other much more effective techniques that should be applied
SNw 051 Strategically Enriching your BIS: Part 3 -- Steps in applying these recommendations

Steps in applying these recommendations with regard to precision configuration in terms of a method of working geared to quickly and efficiently developing high quality data content that captures the essence of the organization and creates a platform to help the organization thrive

Book -- The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success

In 2003 I undertook an in-depth analysis of all the information and experience that I had gathered with regard to the factors giving rise to Business Information System failure including ERP and general IT and classified this information into a number of categories including "The Factors Causing Failure" and "The Critical Factors for Success" based on this I developed a two day Course "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success" which is still offered today.

Based on this I wrote the book of the same name, which is available in electronic form here for download:

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Click here to send us an email subscribing to our free newsletter -- all articles posted by James Robertson will be emailed to you

Detailed information about James Robertson on LinkedIn

James has a very detailed profile on LinkedIn should you require further information about him.

You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor

James has an open networking profile -- click on "Connect" and use email address James@LinkedIn-at-JARA.com.

Contact Us

You can contact us on

Email: James@James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.com

LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjamesarobertsonerpdoctor

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.a.robertson.393

Mobile: +44 (0) 776-862-2875

Landline: +44 (0) 207-059-0007

Fax: +44 (0) 844 774 4580

Articles by James A Robertson and Associates

There is a large body of white papers, articles and other content produced by Dr James Robertson available on this website

Please click here to visit the detailed listing of articles

ArticleTagCloud for Articles Published by James A Robertson and Associates

7 steps to FIX your ERP      80:20 regarding software replacement      aborted projects      abstract      abstractness      accounting      actionable      adjudication      Advantage Data Transformer      advisory      agreement      all possible classifications      all reports      all software elements required      all spreadsheets      all tasks required to execute the project      Alpha Omega      analysis of data      analytics      animation      answers to the questions we have NOT yet thought to ask      Armscor      arrogant ignorance      art of strategic business information system project leadership      ASCO      attendance register      attorney      audit      audit cost reduction      bankrupt organizations      basis for achieving alignment      basis of payment      basis of pricing      better way      bid adjudication      bid adjudication score sheet      bid compliance      bid compliance checklist      bill of materials      bill of services      BIS      BIS failure      BIS success      boots in the mud      BPM      BPM dangerous      BPM distracting      BPM ineffective      brainstorming      break it until it does NOT break anymore      break it until it will NOT break any more      budget      budgeting      business engagement      business executives      business improvement      business information system      business information system failure      business information system success      business information system taxonomies      business information systems      business information systems procurement      business information systems projects      business integration      business intelligence      business intelligence models      business knowledge and experience      business participation      business process      business process mapping      business requirements focused      business requirements specification      business simulation laboratory      business systems      business systems laboratory      business understanding      by the book      care      case studies      case study      CEO      CEO -- project leader communication      CEO as custodian      CEO definite views      certificates      challenges      challenging presentations      change facilitation      change for strategic reasons      chart of accounts      classification schemes      clever software      client changing scope      client compact      clinical codes      coaching      Cobol      COBOL CAN be retained      Cobol still viable      code schemes      coding conventions and standards      cognitive span      collapse      communication      competitive advantage      competitive advantage through precision configuration      competitiveness      compiler      complexity      compliance      compliance checklist      comprehensive testing      Compuware      conference speaking      conferences      confidentiality      configuration      consultant NOT delivering what required      contract      contract certificates      contract law      contracting      contractors      corporate planning      cost      cost-quality-time      CPT 4      CPT4      critical factors      critical factors for IT investment success      critical factors for success      critical factors for technology success      critical human foundation      critical issues      critical issues analysis      critical requirements      CRM Risk Control      cubic business model      custom development      custom software      customer focused      data      data content      data engineering      data entities      data warehouse      DB2      definitions      design against failure      design and development      design for success      determination of strategic essence      determining strategy      diagnostic code      diamonds in the dust      differentiated      differentiation      diffusion of innovations      discovery      dislike of failure      dispute resolution      do NOT change systems because of alleged software redundancy      do things competitors could NOT do      document pack      Dr James A Robertson      Dr James A Robertson PrEng      dramatic benefits      dramatically improved strategic management information      driver of success      Dunning-Kruger effect      ease of use      economic collapse      economics      effective communication      effectiveness      efficiencies      efficiency      efficient filing of emails      eliminate light bidders      email      engineer against failure      engineered data      engineering      engineering approach      engineering approach to strategy      engineering failure      engineering laboratory      engineering services      engineering solution design      engineering techniques      enhance differentiators      enhance the differentiators      enhancing the value of your present investment      ensuring project success      enterprise resource planning      ERP      ERP configuration      ERP failure      ERP procurement      ERP success      ERP taxonomies      ERP value      essence IS different      essence of business      essence of the business and how it thrives      ethics      examples      exceptionally bad code design      executive briefing      executive briefings      executive custody      executive decision support      executive engagement      executive forum      executive frustration      expose hidden agendas      facilitation      factors causing failure      factors causing IT investment failure      factors causing technology failure      factors to manage for success      failure      failure to address soft issues      fashion      file table of contents      Financial Information System      financial information systems      financial management      fixing your ERP      focus for projects      folder design      foundation for delivery      full training      functional entities      future      Gantt Chart      gap analysis      general ledger      George Paton      go-live      go-live certificate      governance      governance = care      governance failure      group consolidation      Group Consolidation Chart of Accounts      growth      gut feel factors      hand holding      harshest judge of governance      hate failure      head count reduction      health management software      hierarchies      high level requirements      high road      high value      high value implementations      high value solutions      high value systems implementation      highly effective chart of accounts      holistic view of solution      how do you achieve executive custody      how the organization differentiates itself      how to      how to do it      huge opportunity      human foundation      hype      Hyperion      IBIS      ICD 10      ICD10      importance of executive custody      improved management information      in-box rules      incremental enhancement of existing systems      ineffectiveness      inefficiency      information required from third party suppliers      information technology      information technology failure      Information Technology Strategy      information technology success      Informix      in-house courses      innovative software solutions      innovator      inside head of CEO      insightful      instructions      intangible      integrated business information system      integrated view of business      integrity      intelligent data      interactive training material      interview      invitation to bid      isolated CEO = explosion      IT      IT and strategy      IT Audit      IT failure      IT governance      IT lies      IT management      IT mythology      IT non-performance      IT people who lie      IT personnel socialization      IT procurement      IT projects that fail      IT strategy      IT systems      IT systems procurement      IT the harshest judge of governance      James Robertson      Jof Nelson      key performance indicators      Kirsten Speer      knowledge management      laboratory      lack of an engineering approach      lack of precision configuration      lack of strategic alignment      lawyer      leadership      legal agreement      legislation      lies      list of required software      listen carefully      litigation      logical entities      loss information      low road      loyalty      MacDonald      maintain code schemes      maintenance      maintenance management      Malcolm McDonald      management      management information      managing contractors      manual      marketing hype      master data      master data classifications      master test data      mature facilitation      mature facilitator      measurable      measures of alignment      mentoring      Microsoft Outlook      misrepresentation      missing link      mistique      morals      Munich      mystique      mythology      new future state      New South Africa      no drill down      non-disclosure      NOT classic project management      obsolete is a fashion statement      obsolete software      old software IS viable      once software works it always works      on-line seminars      opportunities      opportunity to turn the economy around      organizing Microsoft Outlook      orientation of IT staff      own business experience      passion to enable clients to thrive      people are part of the system      personality matrix      planning      platform for a tough contract      precisio      precision      precision configuration      precision configuration advisory      precision configuration leadership      precision data      precision taxonomies      Predictive Index      preparatory steps      prescribed table of contents      presentation technique      presentations      preventing failure      preventing falure      preventing project failure      pricing      principles      problem statement      procedure code      process      processor ignorant of language      procurement      procurement timeline      professional speaker      Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa      profitability      programming languages are for the programmer      project facilitation      project leader      project leader -- CEO communication      project leadership      project management      project management IT project management      projects      prove it works      PSASA      psychology      psychometrics      public conferences      public presentations      public speaking      Pulse Measurement      quality      REAL issues in Business Information Systems      REAL value      recognizing failure      redaction      reduced audit costs      reduced head count      reference documents      Reg Barry      regulatory body      relationship Almighty      relationship orientated      remediation of existing systems      Rennies Group      reports      reports not reliable      request for proposal      requirements specification      results orientated      RFP      right things      rigorous process      rigorous strategic planning      risk management      Robert Priebatsch      robust business information systems procurement      robust business systems procurement      robust contracts      robust procurement      robust solutions      SAICE      SAP ABAP is similar to COBOL      scheduling procurement      scientific professional      score sheet      screen design      seminars      SEPT      service orientated      Service Orientated Architecture      simple techniques to enhance business information systems value      simulation      sloppy configuration      SOA      socialization      software      software assets      software design      software does NOT wear out      software is instructions for the bricklayer      software schedule      software specification      software specification standards      solution experience      solution knowledge      South Africa      South African Institution of Civil Engineering      speaking      Spirit Led      standards      strategic      strategic advisory      strategic alignment      strategic analysis      strategic analysis and design      strategic business improvement      strategic custom development      strategic definition      strategic discovery      strategic driver      strategic driving force      strategic engineered precision configuration      strategic engineered precision taxonomies      strategic essence      strategic financial information      strategic gap analysis      strategic governance      strategic information      strategic management      strategic management information      strategic plan      strategic planning      strategic project leader      strategic snapshots      strategic software      strategic solution architect advisory      strategic solution architect leadership      strategic solution architecture      strategically designed chart of accounts      strategy      strategy defined      strategy focused planning      Strategy Snapshot Toolset      StratGap      StratSnap      strengthen differentiators      structured analysis      structured chart of accounts      substantial management information      succeed by engineering against failure      success      successful deployment      survive      system knowledge and experience      table of contents      tailored presentations      take notes      taxonomies      taxonomy      taxonomy software      technology      technology failure      technology issues      technology management      tender document pack      tender pack      tender pack table of contents      test data      testing      The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success      the Critical Factors for Success      the essence of the business      the essence of the business and how it thrives      the essence of the organization and how it thrives      the factors causing failure      the first hour      The REAL Issues in Business Information System success      things right      third party suppliers      third world countries      thrive      time      tipping point      tough certificates      tough contract management      tough contracts      tough procurement      tough terms      training      training material      treatment code      understanding of data      understanding the engineering approach      Uniface      unlocking value      use different languages for new components      V3 Consulting Engineers      validation data      value      versus process      video      webinar      webinars      weighted factors      what is executive custody      what is strategy      what is the essence of this organization and how does it thrive      what to do      where is IT going      why executive custody is required      why the organization exists and how it thrives      why your business information system is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it      why your ERP is NOT delivering and how to fix it      workflow      writer     

Table of Contents


About Dr James A Robertson PrEng -- The Business Systems Doctor -- and Other Topics

Catalogue of Major Business Information System Failures

About the Engineering Approach

James Robertson's Value Add

Attributes of a HIGH VALUE solution

Recognizing Business System Failure

The Critical Human Foundation

Old Software IS Viable

From South Africa

Competencies of Dr James A Robertson PrEng

About Professor Malcolm McDonald

Table of Contents

About my relationship with the Almighty Creator, Yah the Eternally Self-Existing

Comments relating to the Business Systems Industry and other topics

Testimonials and other positive material regarding James Robertson

Reference Articles

List of Articles

Article Catalogue

Achieving High Value Business Information System outcomes

Executive Custody -- What is it and HOW do you get it?

The REAL Issues in Integrated Business Information System Success

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2 -- Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody

Part 3 – Strategic Alignment and Precision Configuration

Why your ERP is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it

IT Project Management

Pulse Measurement

CEO Anthony Lee Comments on his experience of the Pulse Measurement

No Charge Guarantee on the Pulse Measurement Service

Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes

Critical questions regarding the Pulse Measurement™

The Pulse Measurement Workflow

The Critical Factors for Business System (ERP+) Investment Success in the Pulse Measurement

Indicative Pulse Measurement Durations

What is a JAR&A Pulse Measurement?

Survival of the fittest – why it makes sense to measure the pulse of your business

Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes over 24 years

Sample Pulse Measurement Reports


Strategic Essence: The Missing Link in Business Information Systems

Strategic Essence: Overview

Strategic Essence: Part 1 -- Strategy Defined

Strategic Essence: Part 2 -- Differentiation

Strategic Essence: Part 3 -- The Essence IS Different

Strategic Essence: Part 4 -- The Essence should be the Point of Departure

Strategic Essence: Part 5 -- Discovering Strategic Essence

Strategy -- the Essence of the Business: What is it and how do you develop actionable strategic plans?

Simple Steps to Increase the Strategic Value of your ERP Investment

Free Strategic Snapshot Toolset and Manual

A strategy focused planning system beyond traditional budgeting

Tough IT and ERP Procurement and Contracting that Works

Robust Business Systems Procurement

Part 1 -- Introduction

Part 2 -- Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate, etc

Part 3 -- Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and other matters

Procurement Documents

Guidance and Advisory Services

The Art of Project Leadership

Why Regular Communication with the CEO is Vital

The Business Simulation Laboratory

Precision Configuration and Strategic Business Information Architecture

Precision Configuration based on Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies

The JAR&A Cubic Business Model

Highly Structured Strategic Chart of Accounts -- a Vital Element of your Corporate Information Arsenal

The Product Catalogue -- an Essential Element of any Precision Configuration

Attributes -- answers to the questions you have NOT yet thought to ask

Case Studies of Notably Successful Projects with high value Precision Configuration

092 Doing things differently and better -- ASCO Case Study 2-- BPM Summit 2013

088 Strategic ERP Invesment -- ASCO Case Study -- Service Management Conference and Exhibition Africa

026 Information Architecture and Design of FIS for Rennies Group -- Financial Information Systems Conf

018 CRM Risk Control: Designing and Implementing an Integrated Risk Mgmt Sys -- Integrated Risk Mgmt Conf

011 V3 Consulting Eng: Benefits of MIS to Professional Practice -- SAICE 15th Ann Conf on Computers in Civil Eng

Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems

Part 1 -- Introduction

Part 2 -- Principles of Data Engineering

Part 3 -- Steps in applying these recommendations

Simple Steps to increase the strategic information value yield from your Business Systems Investment

The Full JAR&A Taxonomy Manual

Part 1: Introduction, Problem Statement, Definitions and Examples

Part 2: Why Use JAR&A, Required Knowledge and Experience, Cubic Business Model and Chart of Accounts and Taxonomy Software

Part 3: How to do it, Case Studies and White Papers and other References

Example General Ledger Manual

Business Process -- Irrelevant, Distracting and Dangerous

The RIGHT Approach

Custom Strategic Software Design and Oversight of Construction

Standards for Custom Software Specification

What IS Software?

IT Effectiveness

Organizing Outlook

Critical Factors for I.T. Success

A Moral and Ethical Dilemma -- Systems that Fail

Case Studies examining Business Information System failures

The BBC Digital Media Initiative Debacle

The Bridgestone -- IBM Conflict

Speaking and Training

Showcase of Conference Presentations

Most Viewed Presentations

Briefings and Seminars

Why your ERP/BIS is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it

ERP and IT Procurement that Delivers Results

The Critical Factors for IT and ERP Investment Success

Other Seminars

Conferences and Public Presentations

Conferences 80 to 99 -- 2009 to Present

Conferences 60 to 79 -- 2005 to 2009

Conferences 40 to 59 -- 1996 to 2005

Conferences 20 to 39 -- 1994 to 1996

Conferences 01 to 19 -- 1989 to 1994

On-Line Seminars (Webinars)

Webinar on Preparing and Presenting Webinars

Contacting James A Robertson and Associates Limited