The James A Robertson and Associates
How to unlock exceptional value
From your ERP, IBIS, Data Warehouse or Business Intelligence
Supporting exceptional decisions that enable your organization to THRIVE
A new, different and FAR BETTER approach to information system configuration
Dr James A Robertson PrEng
The ERP Doctor
This article contains the introduction to the Taxonomy Handbook, whilst the rest of the Handbook is reflected in the articles following, flowing from TxM002 to TxM070, and in the same numbering as the Table of Contents given below:
Table of contents
Introduction and copyright
A word of caution
Definition of precision content engineering
Table of contents
Section 1: Problem statement, why read this, history
1.1 Why you should read this
1.2 Typical needs
1.3 Problem description
1.4 What is a Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy (SEPT) to JAR&A Standards?
1.5 History of the JAR&A Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy (SEPT) approach?
1.6 What is NOT a Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy?
1.7 Taxonomy principles
1.8 The desired end-state
1.9 Why Taxonomy coding is important
1.11 What is different about the JAR&A ERP Implementation approach
1.12 Why use the JAR&A approach?
1.13 Key Benefits of the JAR&A SEPT approach to system and data warehouse configuration
1.14 The REAL cost of SEPT Versus the REAL cost of conventional solutions And the REAL value of SEPT
Section 2: Definitions and examples
2.1 What is the JAR&A Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy (SEPT) approach?
2.2 Definitions of Strategy
2.3 What is a strategic taxonomy?
2.4 What is an engineered taxonomy?
2.5 What is a precision taxonomy?
2.6 The case for Strategic Customization
2.7 Defining the taxonomy approach
2.8 Comparison between a full-house ERP SEPT re-implementation and a Data Warehouse SEPT implementation
2.9 SEPT Examples
Section 3: Why JAR&A, Who is James Robertson, required Knowledge and Experience
3.1 Why not do it yourself without JAR&A?
3.2 Introducing Dr James Robertson, PrEng -- The ERP Doctor
3.3 James Robertson's knowledge and experience as applied to taxonomy development
3.4 Knowledge and experience required for a senior SEPT taxonomist
3.5 The Factors Causing Integrated Business Information System (IBIS) Investment Failure
3.6 The Critical Factors For Integrated Business Information System (IBIS) Investment Success
3.7 There ARE visible differences in quality of taxonomies
Section 4: Important principles
4.1 How to give executives REAL information
4.2 The Power of an Executive with a Blank Sheet of Paper
4.3 Why ERP can make the blood boil
4.4 The CEO MUST be the custodian of ERP
4.5 Understanding strategy and how ERP fits in
4.6 Risks and common mistakes when developing taxonomies and configuring systems
4.7 Risks and common mistakes when developing Group-Wide Charts of Accounts
4.8 What is an IT Pulse Measurement?
4.9 Defining an ERP Implementation Engineering Laboratory
Section 5: The cubic business model and group chart of accounts
5.1 The JAR&A SEPT Cubic Business Model and Group-Wide Chart of Accounts
5.2 Benefits of developing group wide Precision strategic master taxonomies and data attributes to JAR&A standards
5.3 Key Components of JAR&A SEPT Cubic Business Model and Group-Wide Chart of Accounts
5.4 Suggested basis of attribution of overheads and production costs in a cubic business model environment
Section 6: Why taxonomy software?
6.1 Why Taxonomy and Configuration Management software is necessary
6.2 What is the JAR&A taxonomy software?
6.3 Why use the JAR&A taxonomy software?
6.4 Further information on the use of software to develop and manage Taxonomies and Precision Configuration
6.5 Benefits of taxonomy software
Section 7: How to do it
7.1 The challenge
7.2 The opportunity
7.3 The essence of the solution
7.5 Preparatory steps for a SEPT project
7.6 Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies and Configuration Getting from where you are to where you want to be
7.7 Design and development stages
7.8 Categories of lists
7.9 Important questions about any data
7.10 Steps in developing a hierarchy
7.11 Steps in coding a hierarchy
7.12 Coding steps
7.13 Critical implementation considerations
7.14 Conventions and standards
Section 8: Case studies and white papers
8.1 V3 ERP Implementation case study
8.2 CRM Risk Control case study
8.3 Rennies Group General Ledger case study
8.4 African Sales Company case study
Section 9: Other references
9.1 Why your IT project may be riskier than you think Harvard Business Review
9.2 19 out of 20 ERP implementations do NOT deliver what was promised -- Financial Mail
9.3 Most organizations are NOT making better decisions than they did five years ago – Gartner
Section 10: Conclusion
Introduction and copyright
The JAR&A Taxonomy Handbook is a compilation of short articles which provide an introduction to the Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy (SEPT) approach to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Data Warehouse (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for business. These technologies collectively form something that I term the Integrated Business Information System or IBIS).
We sincerely believe that this approach is the missing link and next frontier in business information systems.
This document is very much a work in progress and DRAFT
It is a combination of marketing and technical articles, some recent, some of some vintage that have been put together to provide a more comprehensive view of the picture that I see
Thus sections are not necessarily in the best sequence, some items may be redundant, wording may not be clear or may not be as diplomatic as it should be
You have received a copy because I felt it would be relevant to you at this time but I ask that you will take account of the above points and feel free to let me have feedback both negative and positive.
09 November 2011
This manual is the intellectual property of James A Robertson and Associates and may not be reproduced or distributed without the express permission of Dr James Robertson
A word of caution
The techniques presented in this manual have been developed over decades.
It is only recently that I have come to fully understand just how different this approach is to the traditional methods.
During the last two decades I have consistently seen that people readily grasp the concepts but fail to get the detail right.
It is vital to recognize that exceptionally well designed taxonomies and configuration will serve the organization well for decades if well maintained and the commercial strategic value of these hierarchies to the organization will be huge.
In terms of overall life time cost of ownership it costs MUCH more to develop and operate sub-standard taxonomies and configuration and, unless you really understand the fine details of what is contained in this manual you will never know that what you have is sub-standard.
I strongly recommend that you engage with me, at the very least in terms of the high level solution architecture, training and periodic review in order to obtain the true value of this approach in your organization.
I look forward to working with you.
Definition of precision content engineering
The definition of information content in a way that is structurally (taxonomically) fundamentally meaningful to human beings who understand the business and the translation of this content into structured codes which faithfully and accurately reflect human understanding of the REAL WORLD in a way that the computer can manipulate with minimal human intervention so that the computer system appears to be intelligent.
Click here to send us an email subscribing to our free newsletter -- all articles posted by James Robertson will be emailed to you
Business Systems NOT delivering?
Call the Business Systems Specialist
Dr James A Robertson -- has been involved in the effective application of Business Information Systems, including but NOT limited to ERP, since 1987 and in the profitable and effective use of computers in Business since 1981.
Drawing on a diversity of experience, including formal military training in Quick Attack techniques at the Regimental Commander level, Dr Robertson has developed highly effective methods of investigating any sub-optimal Business Information Systems situation -- be it an established system or a stalled project or any other source of Executive frustration -- quickly and concisely diagnosing the root cause of the problem and prescribing concise practical actions that Business Executives can effectively act on see the Pulse Measurement page and also the Sample Reports page for redacted real reports.
He has also developed highly effective methods of strategically enriching systems to unlock the full potential of existing investments, see the Precision Configuration page and couples this to architecting small pieces of clever software that harness the full potential of your investment, see the Software page.
If you are having problems with your systems, your project or your IT Department, call The Business Systems Specialist
Business System Failure is RIFE -- we offer insight into why this happens AND WHAT is required to prevent it.
Failure is at epidemic levels with massive damage done to client companies -- if you are NOT aware of the extent of the problem please visit the About Failure page for a catalog of major failures running to billions of Pounds and Dollars.
All evidence indicates that the established players do NOT know how to deliver stable, reliable high value solutions that WORK.
There HAS to be a better way!
This website provides information relating to that way with a large collection of white papers, presentations, standards documents, etc that you can use to start bringing the situation under control
We also offer high level advisory services with regard to the application of the principles advocated on this website
We offer an ENGINEERING APPROACH to addressing these issues
By Engineering I mean the formal, structured, highly disciplined, highly systematic, highly practical approach that consistently delivers results in ALL areas of human endeavor where formally trained and certified engineers are the ONLY practitioners permitted to operate -- think large buildings, factories, motor vehicles, aircraft -- highly complex systems that work at a level that we take it for granted that they WILL work and where failure is all but unthinkable and, when it happens, attracts immediate public attention and rigorous investigation directed at ensuring that such failures are prevented in the future -- in fact, everything that the management consulting industry that implements complex software systems is NOT
This approach is discussed further on the Engineering Approach page.
In 2003 I undertook an in-depth analysis of all the information and experience that I had gathered with regard to the factors giving rise to Business Information System failure including ERP and general IT and classified this information into a number of categories including "The Factors Causing Failure" and "The Critical Factors for Success" based on this I developed a two day Course "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success" which is still offered today.
Based on this I wrote the book of the same name, which is available in electronic form here for download:
James has a very detailed profile on LinkedIn should you require further information about him.
You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor
James has an open networking profile -- click on "Connect" and use email address James@LinkedIn-at-JARA.com.
You can contact us on
LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjamesarobertsonerpdoctor
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.a.robertson.393
Mobile: +44 (0) 776-862-2875
Landline: +44 (0) 207-059-0007
Fax: +44 (0) 844 774 4580
There is a large body of white papers, articles and other content produced by Dr James Robertson available on this website
Please click here to visit the detailed listing of articles
About Dr James A Robertson PrEng -- The Business Systems Doctor -- and Other Topics
Catalogue of Major Business Information System Failures
About the Engineering Approach
James Robertson's Value Add
Attributes of a HIGH VALUE solution
Recognizing Business System Failure
The Critical Human Foundation
Old Software IS Viable
From South Africa
Competencies of Dr James A Robertson PrEng
About Professor Malcolm McDonald
Table of Contents
About my relationship with the Almighty Creator, Yah the Eternally Self-Existing
Comments relating to the Business Systems Industry and other topics
Testimonials and other positive material regarding James Robertson
List of Articles
Achieving High Value Business Information System outcomes
Executive Custody -- What is it and HOW do you get it?
The REAL Issues in Integrated Business Information System Success
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2 -- Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody
Part 3 – Strategic Alignment and Precision Configuration
Why your ERP is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
IT Project Management
CEO Anthony Lee Comments on his experience of the Pulse Measurement
No Charge Guarantee on the Pulse Measurement Service
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes
Critical questions regarding the Pulse Measurement™
The Pulse Measurement Workflow
The Critical Factors for Business System (ERP+) Investment Success in the Pulse Measurement
Indicative Pulse Measurement Durations
What is a JAR&A Pulse Measurement?
Survival of the fittest – why it makes sense to measure the pulse of your business
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes over 24 years
Sample Pulse Measurement Reports
Strategic Essence: The Missing Link in Business Information Systems
Strategic Essence: Overview
Strategic Essence: Part 1 -- Strategy Defined
Strategic Essence: Part 2 -- Differentiation
Strategic Essence: Part 3 -- The Essence IS Different
Strategic Essence: Part 4 -- The Essence should be the Point of Departure
Strategic Essence: Part 5 -- Discovering Strategic Essence
Strategy -- the Essence of the Business: What is it and how do you develop actionable strategic plans?
Simple Steps to Increase the Strategic Value of your ERP Investment
Free Strategic Snapshot Toolset and Manual
A strategy focused planning system beyond traditional budgeting
Tough IT and ERP Procurement and Contracting that Works
Robust Business Systems Procurement
Part 1 -- Introduction
Part 2 -- Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate, etc
Part 3 -- Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and other matters
Guidance and Advisory Services
The Art of Project Leadership
Why Regular Communication with the CEO is Vital
The Business Simulation Laboratory
Precision Configuration and Strategic Business Information Architecture
Precision Configuration based on Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies
The JAR&A Cubic Business Model
Highly Structured Strategic Chart of Accounts -- a Vital Element of your Corporate Information Arsenal
The Product Catalogue -- an Essential Element of any Precision Configuration
Attributes -- answers to the questions you have NOT yet thought to ask
Case Studies of Notably Successful Projects with high value Precision Configuration
092 Doing things differently and better -- ASCO Case Study 2-- BPM Summit 2013
088 Strategic ERP Invesment -- ASCO Case Study -- Service Management Conference and Exhibition Africa
026 Information Architecture and Design of FIS for Rennies Group -- Financial Information Systems Conf
018 CRM Risk Control: Designing and Implementing an Integrated Risk Mgmt Sys -- Integrated Risk Mgmt Conf
011 V3 Consulting Eng: Benefits of MIS to Professional Practice -- SAICE 15th Ann Conf on Computers in Civil Eng
Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems
Part 2 -- Principles of Data Engineering
Part 3 -- Steps in applying these recommendations
Simple Steps to increase the strategic information value yield from your Business Systems Investment
The Full JAR&A Taxonomy Manual
Part 1: Introduction, Problem Statement, Definitions and Examples
Part 2: Why Use JAR&A, Required Knowledge and Experience, Cubic Business Model and Chart of Accounts and Taxonomy Software
Part 3: How to do it, Case Studies and White Papers and other References
Example General Ledger Manual
Business Process -- Irrelevant, Distracting and Dangerous
The RIGHT Approach
Custom Strategic Software Design and Oversight of Construction
Standards for Custom Software Specification
What IS Software?
Critical Factors for I.T. Success
A Moral and Ethical Dilemma -- Systems that Fail
Case Studies examining Business Information System failures
The BBC Digital Media Initiative Debacle
The Bridgestone -- IBM Conflict
Speaking and Training
Showcase of Conference Presentations
Most Viewed Presentations
Briefings and Seminars
Why your ERP/BIS is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
ERP and IT Procurement that Delivers Results
The Critical Factors for IT and ERP Investment Success
Conferences and Public Presentations
Conferences 80 to 99 -- 2009 to Present
Conferences 60 to 79 -- 2005 to 2009
Conferences 40 to 59 -- 1996 to 2005
Conferences 20 to 39 -- 1994 to 1996
Conferences 01 to 19 -- 1989 to 1994
On-Line Seminars (Webinars)
Webinar on Preparing and Presenting Webinars
Contacting James A Robertson and Associates Limited