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Patterns of Technochange Management in ERP Multisite Implementations

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearch

  • Andrea Carugati
  • Cyrus Gibson, Sloan School of Management, MIT, United States
  • Lapo Mola, Universita' of Verona, Italy
  • Department of Business Studies
Research and practices have focused on IT related project execution techniques for a long time and have produced very promising results in specifying methodologies for the inclusion and involvement of people and organizational factors into technical change processes. The methodologies that have had the biggest impact can be briefly resumed by the English born tradition of sociotechnical change (e.g [1; 2]) and the Scandinavian born tradition in participatory design (e.g. [3]). Despite the extreme value in IT project management of these techniques - and their derivates - there continue to be severe problems in getting business results from pervasive IT-related "technochanges". Technochange [4] refers to big, technology-driven, technology-dependent change seeking significant strategic benefits and requiring significant organizational change. From the management point of view these projects differ from smaller scale ones for their strategic dimension expressed in a need for alignment between technical and organizational changes and need for coordination across multiple projects active at the same time. The feeling is that while sociotechnical and participatory techniques are apt to confined projects - this can be evinced from the settings from which these techniques evolved - for technochange projects other techniques should be used. At the same time looking at which IT projects are undertaken by both large and medium corporations today we see a predominance of large scale projects like ERP implementations, BRP initiatives, integrations initiatives connected with mergers, etc. Sometimes the failure is acute, visible and public, as reported in the press: e.g. Socrate project in France [5], Taurus project at the London Stock Exchange in UK [6], more often the failure is chronic and may drag on and drag down business performance undetected for years. The importance of new techniques for project management is further underlined by the monetary amounts concerning these projects. A survey  of cost structures for large scale projects suggests that the hardware and software costs are less than 20% of the total costs of implementation, small in comparison to installation and testing (45%) and, most significantly, deployment or actually achieving effective use of technology (36%). Douplaga and Astani [7] in a survey conducted among companies of various size to discovered the major issues concerning ERP implementations,  show that the major problem for organizations of all sizes was the lack of ERP training and education. Moreover, according to SAP, the leader vendor in ERP industry, it is possible establish an average ratio of 1 to 5 between the costs for the software and the costs needs for consultancy, customizations and training.

This study focus therefore on the knowledge and training issues in multisite ERP implementations and proposes a contingent approach to implementation strategies in accordance to the level of knowledge possessed by the company in the ERP technology. 

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems: People, Organizations, Institutions, and Technologies
EditorsAlessandro D'Atri, Domenico Saccà
Number of pages8
Place of publicationHeidelberg
PublisherPhysica-Verlag
Publication year2009
Pages569-576
ISBN (print)978-3-7908-2147-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-7908-2148-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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