Design and implementation of complex systems mis-understood

Having worked on a number of ERP projects, and seeing how they so often seem to run over time and over budget, I was heartened by some news:

  • the late delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • – the problems one of our customers has in delivering their designs and builds on time
  • – stories from engineer friends of mine who are struggling to keep projects on track and on time

The common thread to me is that these are all projects involving the design and implementation of complex systems, much like ERP projects.

The more I deal with manufacturing companies making complex products, the more I begin to think that sponsors and managers have unrealistic expectations about projects before they start. There also seems to be a general human problem that prevents people from grasping just how complex a system will become, especially where there are multiple points of integration.

Perhaps to be fair, Michael Krigsman’s IT Project Failures should also cover project failures in other industries. I’m sure the list would be just as good as the top 10 IT failures.

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One thought on “Design and implementation of complex systems mis-understood

  1. Pingback: Another story about complex systems « The Manticore blog

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