MIS Quarterly Executive


Highly complex enterprise software packages have become a standard way of competing in many industries. By the late 1990s, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems had enabled Fortune 500 firms to present ¡°one face¡± to their customers via integrated cross-functional business processes, centralized databases, and point-and-click access to real-time operational data across the business. Today, enterprise systems for supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) are following in the steps of ERP, and, in many cases, providing a foundation for e-business. Supplier relationship management systems are on the horizon. Based on our ERP research, we have identified five factors for successful implementation: (1) top management is engaged in the project, not just involved; (2) project leaders are veterans, and team members are decision makers; (3) third parties fill gaps in expertise and transfer their knowledge; (4) change management goes hand-in-hand with project planning; (5) A satisficing mindset prevails. Furthermore, we found that a project¡¯s position on the maturity curve (early adopter, early majority, or late majority) can influence the implementation route. These five success factors and three maturity curve positions are illustrated in three anonymous cases. The result is lessons for managing the complexities of the next wave of enterprise systems.