ERP Case Study | Expert Witness Evaluation
Following a failed ERP implementation, this government client was analyzing the feasibility of a lawsuit against its software selection and implementation partner. The government agency had contracted with the consulting firm to assist in the replacement of its tax collection systems but was forced to stop work after nearly two years of delays and staffing issues. The client engaged with Panorama to determine whether or not the situation was reasonable, whether or not the firm had met the terms of the contract, and whether or not legal action was warranted.
- Delays in identification of needed system customization
- Inadequate staffing
- Project delays
- Cost overruns
- Poor project management and controls
- Failure to clearly define business processes as problem statements
The agency chose Panorama Consulting because of its expertise and independence. Panorama was tasked with evaluating and providing expert opinion on the facts of the case to help determine if the consulting firm was liable. The Panorama team performed a comprehensive and objective audit of several thousand documents related to the case (including project documentation, e-mails, project plans, and other materials) to develop an analysis and argument for the legal team rooted in and defined by Panorama’s extensive implementation, organizational change, and selection expertise.
Panorama determined the following:
- Extensive customization to the chosen software was reasonable for a public-sector implementation.
- The delay in identifying the amount and type of customization necessary was unreasonable.
- The consulting firm failed to staff the project with ERP software and tax system experts as it had indicated it would.
- A secondary issue that may have augmented the delay was the fixed-price contract entered into by the two parties.
The Panorama Consulting team provided the state agency with the information necessary to determine if legal action was worth pursuing. Its findings were presented to the agency and its legal team in more than 70 pages of carefully documented and detailed analysis.
The report was used as the foundation for moving forward with the lawsuit, which attempts to recover tens of millions of dollars in consulting fees and lost business benefits. To further bolster the case, Panorama has and will provide the following:
- Additional guidance to legal counsel to craft strategy
- Defense tactics to address potential shortcomings in arguments or findings
- Depositions and expert witness testimony