Posted by: Adam Deane | 25/04/2011

ERP and Frankenstein

FrankensteinIt’s alive! cried the professor. The creature is alive!
My greatest creation has come to life! Years I have worked on you and today I have finally finished my experiment

The monster sat up and looked around

What is my name master?, asked the monster.
Good question, replied the professor.
I’ll call you Sapenstein… no… maybe Frankenstein… no…maybe ERP-enstein… hmmm.
Let’s just call you ERP for short

The monster walked to the other side of the room and looked at himself in the mirror
How do I look master, asked Frankenstein.
Well, to be honest, replied the professor, you look quite hideous. You’re big and clunky. You cost a lot, and you’re ugly as hell.

That’s not a nice thing to say, whispered the monster sadly
I know, I know, said the professor. But’s it’s true. No one will ever marry you or integrate with you.

But why? Asked the monster. Surely there was a reason you created me like this
Look, said the professor, It took years to build you. The initial idea was to integrate internal and external management information across an entire organization using an integrated software application. Your purpose was to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.
The idea was fantastic. The end-result was a disaster.

Am I a failure? asked the monster with a tear in its eye.
Well.. answered the professor.. maybe not a complete failure, but defiantly not what I expected
The ‘big ERP’ approach doesn’t work. The traditional big ERP paradigm has failed.
The licensing, implementation, customization, annual maintenance and upgrade costs are a nightmare

Why will nobody play with me?, asked the poor monster, with a tear in his eye.

Well.. said the professor. We wanted to create one silo of information, one application that does all. We hoped that we wouldn’t need other applications. We hoped you would be the answer to our prayers. Looks like we were praying to the wrong god.
Now we are stuck with multiple silos, without any connection between them.

But Master, pleaded the monster, I’m so lonely.

Ok, ok.. said the professor lifting his hands in the air. I’ll see what I can do.
I can’t change the way you look. The best I can do is bring in a BPM platform to improve your business processes, make them look prettier, get them up and running quicker and enable to change them quickly and easily.
Sounds like a sales pitch to me, said the Monster.

Ok. ok.. How about bringing in a BPM platform to help connect you to the other solo systems in the organisation. We won’t need to tear them out. Just join them to you.
Still sounds like a sales pitch to me, said the Monster.

What you like me to do? asked the professor.
Cut my costs, replied the Monster, reduce redundant transactions. Make me attractive.
Sorry, said the professor. No can do. It will take me years to get you to a state where people can look at you without screaming in fear.
Make me pretty, make me useful, make me powerful! cried the monster in anguish.

Sorry my son, said the professor. I cannot make you more powerful, you are already too powerful for your own good.
You are my creator, said the monster in a loud voice, but I am your master. Obey!.

I was afraid this would happen, said the professor quietly… Where’s the off switch…


  1. Excellent, post. I have re-twitted it. It looks there is synchronization. I will hold an ERP – BPM workshop to show the advantages of such ecosystem. And, the disadvantages of being ERP-integrist.

  2. […] durante una reunión a los interlocutores mostrar su insatisfacción con el despliegue de su ERP (post the Adam Deane). Como sabemos estos despliegues son siempre rígidos y singulares. No es una crítica es una […]

  3. […] Normally, all user demands are articulated in the same way: The tools they are furnished with are only good for the transactional side, not to support their work activity. Read more about this in the post from Adam Deane. […]

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