And Now a Word for Our Sponsor

Although information systems are a vital part of today’s organizations, they still often fail to get the attention from senior management that they require. That fact was illustrated in the findings of a survey of North American CIOs conducted by Deloitte Consulting in 1998. When asked to identify why many ERP implementations ran into trouble, respondents pointed to a lack of appropriate management practices. Among the 10 leading reasons these CIOs gave for ERP failures were factors such as a lack of key executive involvement; improper planning, scoping and visioning; insufficient management education; poor resource allocation; and lack of mid-management motivation.

ERP projects are not like other systems-related projects of the past. They are bigger, require more time and energy, involve significant costs and, if not managed properly, especially in the short-term, can cause considerable operational disruptions. Once implemented, the new systems can lead to redesigned work processes, changes in working teams or relationships, and a redefinition of workers’ jobs and responsibilities. Clearly, these issues are too broad – and with implications that are too long-term – for them to be addressed solely within the confines of a technology implementation.



An ERP project needs to be overseen from the broad perspective of the organization as a whole, and that responsibility is normally given to the executive chosen to sponsor the ERP implementation. An executive sponsor addresses many of the managerial shortcomings noted in the survey findings reported above.

His or her duties often include: