A Lean ERP is a Skinny ERP

Ad for Infor ERP at O’Hare Airport, image by Steve Brodner, CC license If you search for “lean ERP,” most of what you’ll read is about whether or not the traditional ERP system supports “Lean Management” concepts. The argument is that Lean Management is based on the pull of demand and Just-in-Time principles whereas traditional […]


What’s Behind the Frosty Relationships Between Business and IT?

Image by Andrew Becraft, CC license. Business people complain their IT team is understaffed, uncooperative, slow, and deploys lousy systems. IT claims business people are disorganized, unwilling to learn, bossy and never available. Such is the just-under-the-surface functional rivalry that regularly plays out every day in many organizations, a tiff that delays and sometimes stops […]


Tedious Supply Chain Jobs Turn Away Good Talent

Processing orders in Chicago, 1937; image by, CC license In the most recent annual Deloitte supply chain study only 38% of executives felt they had the right skills in their organizations. Why? Theories range from supply chain not being cool for new grads, to the predominance of men in the function (scan the room […]

Steep Climb

Scope Can Determine Success or Failure

Image: Island Peak, Nepal, by McKay Savage, CC license “Scope,” or “footprint” in software terms refers to the number of business processes that an application will “cover,” or enable.  The scope of an accounting system is usually: general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, P&L and balance sheet. The scope has to fit the […]

Finance District

ERP 101: Finance Benefits

Image: Singapore Finance District, by Joan Campderros-i-Canas, CC license “Financials” is a term used by software vendors and others that normally includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, balance sheet and P&L. There can be extensions of this definition to include such areas as payroll, treasury (bank account inflows and outflows), and tax management. In an ERP […]

one minute

The One Minute Technology Manager – Test the Assumptions

Image by Nicolas Will, CC license Behind every idea is a set of assumptions.  These assumptions can be exposed by simply by asking “why”? When it comes to good technology management, it’s your job to test these assumptions, to kill the losing propositions or to make them more viable as sound investments.  Sometimes these assumptions […]


A Software Vendor Checklist

Please choose the door through which your next software vendor will take you.  Image: Doors of Dublin, by Tim Sackton, edited to fit 569 X 368px, CC license. Selecting a software vendor is difficult at best in the 21st century; here are some must-have criteria, in addition to, but perhaps more important than, cost and […]

why do software projects cost so much

Why Do Software Projects Cost So Much?

The short answer to why corporate software costs so much is that implementing it takes so long, even if everything goes perfectly, which happens exactly as often as Haley’s Comet passing through our skies. It’s expensive for one reason: specialized, and therefore expensive, skills. It takes expensive skills to: write the software in the first […]


Blow Up Your Supply Chain

Image by Yes, wouldn’t it be satisfying to scrap your entire big mess of a supply chain — all the inefficiencies, dysfunction, lousy systems, and constraints that constantly annoy you and your customers — and start over fresh?  You can do that, in a figurative sense, through some creative collaboration with internal teams and […]

software vendor med

Some Advice for Application Vendors

Image: “Computer Software Development” by Fabio Bruna, CC license Being on the “buy side” of corporate software for many years I’ve seen numerous pitches by software vendors. A few were excellent, most were forgettable, and quite a few were incoherent. Like actress Clara Peller in the Wendy’s ads — for those of you alive in […]