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Speakers Corner

Source: Philip Wolmuth

I came to a revelation this weekend that today’s social media is the 21st Century version of the famed Speakers’ Corner in London. For those of you who don’t know, the original Speakers’ Corner is in Hyde Park. Speakers’ Corner was the first institutionalized venue for and is symbolic of free speech. So much so that not only are there venues around the world modelled on the original, but the phrase itself has entered the lexicon.

As an ERP Expert Witness I review cases of software ERP failures. Panorama Consulting Solutions receives enquires from law firms looking for someone to help them untangle the mess of a failed implementation. The scope of engagement can be as simple as asking for advice on a technical aspect, commentary as to the suitability of the application of a specific piece of software, a brief report or declaration, or even a report regarding the failure of a multi-million dollar, multi-year implementation. As you can tell, these engagements are all over the map in complexity.

I won’t bore you with the details of pouring over thousands of pages of documents, customer requirements, technical specs, contracts, statements of work and the never-ending supply of emails, but this is where the revelation came from. People continue to do things that don’t make sense, but they do them anyway.

What kicked off my desire to share my experiences with you? It was while reading an article in the Sunday paper that stated that after a 70-year absence, the 10th Mountain Division is returning to Colorado (in limited form – training with the Colorado National Guard). There is so much history with the 10th Mountain Division and why they should be here in Colorado (sorry, but Fort Drum, NY is a paltry 600 feet above sea level, hardly the location for ‘mountain’ conditioning comparing Camp Hale at 9,200 feet). The story here? Why did the Army move the 10th Mountain Division to upstate New York? To me, it doesn’t make sense, but they did it anyway.

Why is this relevant? The same behavior that repeats itself before, during and after the failed implementations that we examine. Common sense doesn’t prevail, people lose sight of the end goal and issues are compounded when mistakes are made, ignored, missed or hidden. More of that in another blog but it was all these ideas floating around in my head that has compelled me to start this blog.

Now to end with a phrase from the famous Speakers’ Corner, “Thanks for listening, I’ll get off my soapbox now…”

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