We go into every project expecting it to end successfully, but did you know that approximately two thirds of projects will not deliver expected results?

It’s never pleasant to hear about a project failure. Everyone blames each other, and no one wants to take responsibility. A recent article details the Lidl Software disaster where, after seven years and 500 million pounds, Lidl’s new inventory management system with SAP has died. You can’t help but wonder how this happens?

For Lidl it seems it was a classic mix of bad communication, staff turnover, management resisting change, and the big one: customization.

Over the last 20 years, Sense Corp has helped implement countless transformation projects and has gathered many best practices along the way. We compiled some of these learnings into a recent eBook: 10 Ways to Drive Successful Transformation.

In one chapter, we talk about how to ensure a smooth project by avoiding the dangers that surround over-engineering solutions. In other words, keep it simple!

When Lidl didn’t want to change the way they’ve always done things, it required the software to be adapted. Changing the code made everything more complex and more susceptible to failure.

So how do you avoid this?

We recommend business users visualize the solution to help drive project requirements. Repeatedly ask why so that everyone is clear on requirements. Trust that out-of-the-box is a falsehood. There will always be some customization required for every implementation, but make sure you aren’t customizing something just because you aren’t willing to reassess your own processes.

Properly managing scope creep and communicating clearly with the team on what gets brought in or left out, and how that impacts the project, can keep the project on track. Lastly, work with technologists who subscribe to this paradigm. Don’t just take them at their word – have them prove it to you.

To read all 10 of our learnings, download the full eBook here.

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