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Bridgestone versus IBM ERP Failure Part 2 -- Governance and Procurement

Discussion of the critical governance and procurement issues in the Bridgestone project that contributed to the catastrophic outcome

Bridgestone versus IBM Part 2 – Governance and Procurement

Executive Summary

Links to previous articles at the end of this article

Bridgestone are suing IBM for US$600 million for damages resulting from a botched business systems implementation.  IBM are fighting back.

The damage to Bridgestone was huge, unable to fill orders inventory piled up to the extent that they had to hire extra warehouse space, frustrated and angry customers, customers going elsewhere, every CEO's nightmare and yet Bridgestone thought they had gone the safe route of IBM and SAP!

This series of articles analyses in detail what went wrong and how you can avoid making the same mistakes in your organization.

In this article I look in detail at the major governance problems associated with the Bridgestone project and outline a robust approach to managing projects of this nature effectively.

I also look at major flaws in the procurement process and how to avoid these.


The first article provided an overview of the Bridgestone versus IBM business systems failure in which Bridgestone are suing IBM for US$600 million in damages.

The article introduced the topic and then headlined each of the major components of the situation based on my "Critical Factors" approach.

This article goes into more detail with regard to the Governance and Procurement aspects of the project failure.

The previous article stated that the fact that Bridgestone's existing systems were written in Cobol did NOT constitute a valid business reason to change their systems and referred to further material on my website  that elaborates on this point.

2. Governance -- the BIGGEST single cause of failure

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

They went with SAP because SAP is supposedly THE leading brand although a look at my Failure Catalogue has SAP occurring rather frequently.

They went with IBM because IBM is a household name and surely to be trusted -- although a look at my Failure Catalogue has IBM also occurring rather frequently.

Two supposedly good reasons for the executive of Bridgestone to believe they were making a good decision -- SAP and IBM!

So, what went wrong?

Well, Bridgestone had some governance problems -- they are alleged to have replaced their Chief Information Officer no less than 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 establish who the CIO reported to but it seems clear that the Chief Information Officer was NOT really a "Chief".

Yes, it IS so that in about 70% of cases the Chief Information Officer reports to a member of the executive team, most frequently the Chief Financial Officer -- because somehow businesses mistakenly believe the CFO is better qualified to manage the systems that run the company than anyone else.

One of the reasons there is so much failure and so many sub-optimal outcomes is exactly because the CFO has NO formal training that in ANY way equips them to manage technology.

IF you are NOT prepared to have the IT Manager -- a person who reports to a C level executive who reports to the Chief Executive is NOT a Chief Information Officer, they are an IT Manager and calling them a CIO does NOT make them an executive.  Sitting them at the top table with a reporting line directly to the CEO and operating on a FULL peer basis with the rest of the executive team is what determines if a manager is a CIO.

So, it seems probable that Bridgestone changed its IT Manager six times during the two year project NOT their CIO.

Thus IBM have some basis to allege lack of leadership on several fronts.

Most importantly, the so-called OTC (Order to Cash) project involved almost the entire spread of the business.  The custodian of this integrated view of the business and the ONLY person with the muscle to make decisions stick across multiple operating components of the business is the CEO.

Since the CEO does NOT have the knowledge or the time to manage a project of this size and complexity they need an advisor and Project Leader -- someone to direct the project.  This needs to be a person who has done this before, a gray beard so to speak, someone at least over 50 years of age who specializes in managing this type of project on behalf of the client.  The IT Manager simply does NOT have the clout and, in all likelihood does NOT have the experience to manage something like this.

Remember that when you put in place a massive new integrated system it touches just about every part of the business, it touches just about every person in the business and, by definition, it RIPS THE GUTS out of the business and replaces them with something that is supposedly better.  The Bridgestone debacle provides graphic evidence of what happens when you rip the guts out of the business in a badly planned and badly managed project -- you cannot ship product, you lose customers, you lose millions of dollars!

IF you get the picture of what can go wrong you will recognize that for ANY organization embarking on a project of this nature pretty much the FIRST thing you do is go out and find a REALLY senior, REALLY experienced expert who has done this a number of times before and knows what works and what does NOT work.  Make sure that they have rapport with the CEO, make sure that they demonstrate intuitive understanding of YOUR business and then bind them contractually for the duration and give them an open door to the CEO as an Interim Executive.

On the face of all the evidence Bridgestone did NOT do this -- probably because no one told them it was necessary -- probably because almost no one does it that way which is a major reason why so many projects fail or come in seriously short of expectations.

That said there was obviously something TOXICALLY WRONG with the way Bridgestone were managing their IT Manager -- remember, since he or she was NOT on the Executive Team they were NOT really CIO -- that alone could be enough reason for all the resignations.  Bridgestone embarked on a massively complex and very large project and, seemingly put a lot of responsibility on this person they called CIO and then did NOT give that person the muscle and support needed to do the job.  OR did something else that made the position totally untenable.

A recipe for failure!

So, does that let IBM off the hook?

NOT from where I sit.

Given that there clearly WAS a problem, it is a key element of IBM's defence, then IBM should have done something about it.

Something like raising a "red flag" on the project and advising the CEO that in the absence of a robust and sustainable solution to the CIO problem they would have to cease work and withdraw their team until a suitable person was put in place.  But that would have been bad for planned revenue so I am guessing that typical IT person temerity (people who are good with computers are generally NOT good with people, particularly when faced with conflict) coupled to quarterly revenue target driven greed got in the way of IBM's integrity !

That is a major problem with the business information systems industry, for the most part it is driven by people who are in the game for the money and NOT for the passion of exceptional solutions delivered to high quality standards that meet or exceed client expectations and come in on time and on budget.  The folk who are turned on by good solutions generally do NOT make it to the top.  So, if your fundamental commercial driver is NOT aligned with a quality outcome you will make technically BAD mistakes.  It seems that IBM did this.

After all, it seems they were working with an IT person who was punching below IBM's weight and Bridgestone, according to their pleadings, was counting on IBM to provide the wisdom and maturity necessary to deliver the required outcome.  Problem is that in this case IBM were, seemingly both the main player AND the referee, because there was NO in-house referee of any substance, they changed on average every four months and you CANNOT learn about the business or the project in four months let alone manage a major player like IBM. 

Not to mention deal with whatever ugly governance toxicity caused all your predecessors to leave!

So, YES Bridgestone were at fault and NO that does NOT exonerate IBM -- they should have intervened one way or another to stabilize the situation.  Perhaps they were cutting costs and deploying light weights on their side too?  Bridgestone allege they were.

The lesson for your organization?

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.

James A Robertson and Associates offer a range of services directed at enabling clients to put in place comprehensive measures to prevent the occurrence of the sort of problems experienced by Bridgestone starting with procurement, through contracting, discovery, solution design, construction, configuration, laboratory testing, certification and deployment with solutions designed to give lasting high value low life time operating cost outcomes -- this includes offering the Project Leadership service referred to in this article

I also offer short, sharp diagnostic interventions to determine why your business system, department or project is NOT delivering or is stalled plus easy to understand actionable advice on how to turn the situation around and, where required, taking charge and turning a stalled project around

The diagnostic can be extended to providing expert witness services where required

I will also give you an independent evaluation of the health of your existing systems and give guidance on whether they need to be replaced or not

Please click here to email me for more information


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

From the fact that Bridgestone are litigating against IBM one has to conclude that the contract was shaky.  In fact, if one reads the full pleading document it is apparent that whatever contract existed did NOT have teeth.

One of the reasons that the construction industry consistently produces high quality deliverables is that the construction industry makes use of well-established tough contracts that provide all the basis necessary for legal action against the contractor in the event of failure or sub-optimal outcomes.  So litigation is seldom required.

Signing the contractors contract, as it appears that Bridgestone did, after all everyone does it, is the first step in a journey to a sub-optimal outcome.  Having that contract signed by an IT Manager dressed up to look like a CIO is a recipe for disaster.

Before you can sign a tough contract you must follow a tough procurement process.  From the documents it appears that IBM were appointed on a "sort of negotiated basis", they were already there, they drew up the requirements specification and then negotiated to execute it so, in a sense, they were again judge and jury.

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.

It must provide for detailed discovery BEFORE the price is finalized and the contract is signed so that there is NO room for "change of scope".

There must be a comprehensive and highly detailed project plan and "Bill of Services" such that there is NO ambiguity about what the contractor quoted to do and how much they quoted for each component so that in the event that there really IS a legitimate basis for a variation order this can be managed effectively.

Please read the material on my website for more information.

James A Robertson and Associates offer a range of services directed at enabling clients to put in place comprehensive measures to prevent the occurrence of the sort of problems experienced by Bridgestone starting with procurement, through contracting, discovery, solution design, construction, configuration, laboratory testing, certification and deployment with solutions designed to give lasting high value low life time operating cost outcomes -- this includes offering the Project Leadership service referred to in this article

I also offer short, sharp diagnostic interventions to determine why your business system, department or project is NOT delivering or is stalled plus easy to understand actionable advice on how to turn the situation around and, where required, taking charge and turning a stalled project around

The diagnostic can be extended to providing expert witness services where required

I will also give you an independent evaluation of the health of your existing systems and give guidance on whether they need to be replaced or not

Please click here to email me for more information


To Follow:

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

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

6. Lack of formal Business Simulation Laboratory testing

7. NO certification

8. NO roll-back plan


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.

Remember that "if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got, in this case, if you do what the IT and Business Information Systems / ERP industry has been doing for the last twenty years you will get what they have been delivering for the last twenty years -- expensive projects that run over time and over budget and deliver sub-standard outcomes or outright failure.

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 an outcome 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 management 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 Bridgestone and failed!

Please browse my website for more information, 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.

Back issues of articles in this series are listed at the end of this email.

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 on the child pages 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

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 client organization size and problem complexity, will deliver you a concise face to face report together with a supporting written report that will accurately diagnose what is wrong with your current systems OR your project OR your IT / IS  Department and prescribe understandable, meaningful and actionable treatment for the conditions I identify.  I offer a full range of services to implement my recommendations.  This same service can be used to evaluate whether you REALLY need to replace your existing systems or not.

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

James A Robertson and Associates offer a range of services directed at enabling clients to put in place comprehensive measures to prevent the occurrence of the sort of problems experienced by Bridgestone starting with procurement, through contracting, discovery, solution design, construction, configuration, laboratory testing, certification and deployment with solutions designed to give lasting high value low life time operating cost outcomes -- this includes offering the Project Leadership service referred to in this article

I also offer short, sharp diagnostic interventions to determine why your business system, department or project is NOT delivering or is stalled plus easy to understand actionable advice on how to turn the situation around and, where required, taking charge and turning a stalled project around

The diagnostic can be extended to providing expert witness services where required

I will also give you an independent evaluation of the health of your existing systems and give guidance on whether they need to be replaced or not

Please click here to email me for more information


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
2: Bridgestone versus IBM -- The REAL Issues -- Overview

James A Robertson and Associates offer a range of services directed at enabling clients to put in place comprehensive measures to prevent the occurrence of the sort of problems experienced by Bridgestone starting with procurement, through contracting, discovery, solution design, construction, configuration, laboratory testing, certification and deployment with solutions designed to give lasting high value low life time operating cost outcomes -- this includes offering the Project Leadership service referred to in this article

I also offer short, sharp diagnostic interventions to determine why your business system, department or project is NOT delivering or is stalled plus easy to understand actionable advice on how to turn the situation around and, where required, taking charge and turning a stalled project around

The diagnostic can be extended to providing expert witness services where required

I will also give you an independent evaluation of the health of your existing systems and give guidance on whether they need to be replaced or not

Please click here to email me for more information

Random Selection of Articles by Dr James Robertson

Random Selection of Articles by Dr James Robertson

Std 015 Procurement: 07 Bid Compliance Checklist

The Bid Compliance Checklist is designed to ensure that bid documents are complete and that bidders comply with prescribed requirements.  Bidder are required to initial each item to confirm compliance and reference to the documents that underpin the specific point where this is applicable
Std 010 Procurement: 02 Laboratory Approach to be Applied

The Business Simulation Laboratory is a fundamental component of a successful project.  This document specifies the manner in which the laboratory will be run
It is vital to test the software and the configuration thoroughly in the laboratory with the express purpose of breaking the software and the configuration by testing situations that cause the software either to fail or to fail to return the correct result
One the software and configuration have been adjusted to the point where it is NO longer possible to cause failure then the configuration can be used as a platform for configuring workflow, developing and testing reports and business intelligence models, developing policies and standards, developing training manuals and interactive training material and training staff
The project should ONLY go live once all the above had been successfully completed and ALL staff are trained up in the laboratory
At this stage the Certificate authorizing deployment should be signed by all parties.  As you will see further down the page this is a fairly onerous certificate and should ONLY be signed if ALL parties are FULLY satisfied the software and configuration is fully stable and all elements that are necessary for a successful deployment are in place

Cnf 082 A strategic approach to corporate planning, management and governance

Considerations with regard to governance of information technology and business systems taking account of the abstractness of information technology solutions

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

Cnf 087 Critical factors for strategic business improvement success

A discussion of the factors that give rise to general business improvement success drawing on my experience with business information system and ERP projects
Std 016 Procurement: 08 Bid Adjudication Score Sheet

The Bid Adjudication Score Sheet is a set of weighted factors designed to focus the adjudication team on those requirements that are CRITICAL to the success of the project measured in terms of Business Outcome.  Factors are determined in close consultation with the client Chief Executive and Executive Team
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

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:

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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

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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