How do you recognize a HIGH VALUE
Business Information System Solution?
This article summarizes the key attributes of a high value business information system implementation.
This is presented in terms of business outcome with the bottom line
being significantly increased strategic effectiveness resulting in
greater competitiveness, profitability and growth.
Organizational efficiencies result as a by-product of the design
approach that I advocate. These give rise to overall reduction in
unit overheads and operational costs.
It is recognized that these claims have been widely made in the
past by the business information systems industry and seldom realized at
anything close to what has been promised. One report says that
"19 out of 20 ERP implementations do NOT deliver what was promised".
Accordingly it is important to read this article in the context of
previous articles relating to the "REAL Issues in Business Information
System Implementation" and the application of an "Engineering
Approach". This is coupled to "Precision Configuration" and
"Robust Procurement" in order to achieve this outcome. Techniques
are used which are substantially different to the norm of the industry.
I find that most people are so accustomed to the mediocre operationally
mundane and strategically inept Business Information Systems
implementations that dominate the business landscape that there is
little or NO vision of what is really possible.
I discovered some years ago that even the mainstream big brand
software companies and implementers did NOT understand many of the
principles that I regard as fundamental and non-negotiable. I further
found that configurations that I regarded as extremely poor were regarded
as acceptable and the norm. I even found that terms
like "best-practice" were used with regard to some of these highly
I eventually concluded that the distribution of value looked as follows
and that the industry norm, which I have seen repeatedly during my
Pulse Measurement investigations, was at the bottom left of the curve
below and that which I considered as desirable was at the top right of
I continue to find that most executives have NO vision of what the top
right of the curve looks like let alone a vision of how they might
attain such an outcome.
IF they once had such a vision it has been drummed out of them by years of mediocrity.
This article sets out what I consider to be essential deliverables for a
business systems project outcome and, by extension, a currently
operational system. In my view what I advocate here should be the
If your organization does NOT have ALL of the following then I strongly
urge you to get in touch with me to discover what can be done to move
you towards this goal.
Following are the attributes that I regard as necessary:
1. Better management decisions being taken faster resulting in increased growth and profitability
Greatly improved management effectiveness through greatly improved
information immediately available. This is coupled to MUCH greater
information diversity resulting in better decisions made faster at all
levels. This gives rise to dramatically improved competitiveness
enabling accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions.
2. Wealth of information available
Executives and managers have access to a wealth of
information, literally at their fingertips -- orders of magnitude more diversity and
accuracy than ever before -- coupled to a huge diversity of powerful and
effective reports and models with dynamic and immediate drill down to
3. High level of ownership throughout the organization
Executives, managers and staff have a high level of ownership of the
system, understand exactly how it works and have a HIGH level of
independence from implementer support with associated savings in
4. Corporate awareness of data quality
All personnel are highly sensitized to the importance of neat,
accurate and complete data with the result that the data is entirely
reliable and trustworthy. This leads to further efficiencies -- including
that the organization runs more smoothly.
5. Corporate leanness and efficiency attained
All the above lead to overall corporate leanness and efficiency such
that the same white collar staff complement can manage a substantially
larger organization highly effectively. This enables substantial
cost effective organic growth. Furthermore audit time and cost
have been materially reduced.
These benefits are the consequence of applying ALL the principles and
techniques that I advocate -- as presented on my website and made
available to my clients.
I would welcome the opportunity to connect with you by Skype, phone or
face to face to discuss how I can assist you to attain this level of
business outcome with your existing systems. Please reply to this
email or click here to arrange a meeting.
I look forward to discussing how I can assist you to unlock the FULL
value of your Business Information Systems investment, no matter which
software you have, how old it is or how dissatisfied you are with it.
Dr James Robertson
James A Robertson and Associates Limited
Assisting clients to thrive through effective and efficient application of Business Information Systems
Website : http://www.James-A-Robertson-Associates.eu
In : http://uk.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor
A Robertson and Associates offer a range of services directed at
enabling clients to put in place comprehensive measures to achieve the
level of system effectiveness and efficiency discussed above in such a
way as to give lasting high value low life time operating cost outcomes
also offer short, sharp diagnostic interventions to determine why your
business system, department or project is NOT delivering or is stalled,
including easy to understand actionable advice on how to turn the
will also give you an independent evaluation of the health of your
existing systems and give guidance on whether they REALLY need to be
replaced or not and, in many cases, advise how to greatly extend the
life and sustainability of those systems
click here to email me for more
Articles published so far in the article series to which this email refers:
Strategic Essence -- The Missing Link in Business Information Systems
A discussion of how strategic essence should inform ALL business
improvement projects and particularly business information system
projects. This thread discusses the analysis of strategy, the
planning of strategy and feeding strategy through into business system
specifications and the management of business improvement
projects. Articles to date include:
The Essence IS Different
Strategic Essence is the Point of Departure
Determining Strategic Essence
The Real Issues in Business Information Systems
A discussion as to why business information systems fail to deliver on
expectations or fail outright. Coupled to discussion of the
Critical Factors that must be taken into account in order to achieve
successful outcomes. This thread is progressively discussing more
hands-on specifics of achieving high value outcomes and builds on the
Strategic Essence series. Articles to date include:
Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody
Lack of Strategic Alignment and Lack of Precision
Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems
Discussion of practical specific measures that can be taken in order to
greatly improve the information yield of business information systems
at both the operational and executive strategic level. A number of
simple steps that can be taken immediately and more complex measures
that can be taken over time.
This thread is discussing increasing business system and data
warehouse value yield using techniques that lead to significantly
improved business intelligence capability, including support for the ability
to "obtain answers to questions we had not previously thought
to ask". This builds on the content in the Strategic Essence and Real
Issues threads. Articles to date include:
Principles of Data Engineering
Steps in Applying these Recommendations
Robust Business Information Systems Procurement
In order to fully apply the methods and principles discussed in the
threads above with regard to new systems it is vital that a robust and
effective approach to procurement is applied. This requires a
tough procurement approach directed at achieving a tough business
outcome orientated project that ensures a high value outcome.
This thread discusses the components of such a procurement
approach. The individual documents and processes that make up the
approach are outlined. Thereafter the components are discussed in
more detail. Articles to date include:
Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate,
Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and
Critical Lessons from Real Life Business Information Systems Failures
Comment on some of the dramatic business information system investment
failures of recent years. Articles to date include:
The BBC Digital Media Initiative £100 million
Bridgestone versus IBM -- The REAL Issues
Bridgestone versus IBM Part 2 -- Governance and
Information Available on the Website
Please browse my website for more information
home page, http://www.James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.eu
you a good overview of what I am advocating and help you to navigate
the entire site.
lists all the webpages on the site, there is a lot of deep content that is NOT immediately visible.
contains well over 150 articles on diverse topics.
provides alphabetic keywords linking to many of the articles
lists around 90 conference presentations, nearly
all different with around 40 of the presentations live on the site for
you to view and download -- email me if there is a presentation you
would like to view that is not on the site.
you would like to know more about me there is detailed
information on the website and further detailed
information on LinkedIn
Visit the Testimonials
page to hear and read what clients and others have to say about me
Visit the Failure
Catalogue to get a realistic perspective of the
severity of the problems with the business information
systems implementation industry. There is also a
description of what I mean by the word Failure
in this context
page on The
Critical Human Foundation
will give you some idea of
the full diversity of the matters that I take into account in advising
I look forward to discussing how I can assist you to unlock the FULL
value of your Business Information Systems investment, no matter which
software you have, how old it is or how dissatisfied you are with it
A rigorous (engineering approach) to strategic planning using critical issues based analysis techniques and structured gap analysis techniques to develop a comprehensive and rigorous multi-year plan that is measurable and actionable and traceable back to the original analysis in order to produced high value outcomes, requires effective strategic facilitation
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:
Click here to send us an email subscribing to our free newsletter -- all articles posted by James Robertson will be emailed to you
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
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