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Software Crash and Burn

January 30, 2013

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
– Popularly attributed to Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) / (1896 –1969),
but there’s no proof he actually said it…

Last week it was reported the US Air Force is scrapping their Oracle ERP implementation that has flown through $1 Billion dollars since 2005. That’s a lot of jet fuel. And wasted tax dollars, but given the complexity of the project (one comment to the Computerworld article claims the project included consolidating “over 400 inventory systems into one ERP system”), I’m not surprised it crashed. Many IT projects still fail today for many of the same reasons the Standish Group identified over a decade ago. What about those that “succeed?” How successful are they, really?


This humble pie really got my attention. It’s from the Standish Group, and yeah, it’s a little dated, but I believe it’s directionally correct and provides a look at how few software features are actually used. Think about it. If you use Microsoft Excel, what percentage of its features do you use? Ever use VLOOKUP or a pivot table? SUMIF? Conditional formatting? Probably not, but advanced Excel functions are incredible productivity tools and can give you deep insight to your business data. Sadly, most are never clicked…

This same is true with enterprise software like ERP, CRM and workforce management. I believe most users employ just the basics, and leave a great deal of potential ROI unrealized. Kronos does have some users that really push their systems, and they are far along the workforce management maturity curve. These customers don’t just automate time cards, they improve their workforce management processes, and go beyond basic timekeeping into optimization of scheduling and activities. They also use workforce analytics to see trending and drive continuous improvement. Yeah, it’s a journey, but here’s how you get there:

You learn how to get the most out of your software,
and the domain of workforce management.

Some customers are out there talking about it. We have forums on our customer portal, plus there are public sites like the Improvizations “Kronos Fans” on Yahoo groups, and many Kronos and workforce management discussion groups on LinkedIn. There’s also actual training on how to use the products. What a concept. Training. Did you spend tens or hundreds of thousands on software, then skimp on training your users to um, use it? It’s never too late to learn new tricks. Kronos offers virtual and live classroom training and KnowledgePass, our 24/7 education portal. Our team can even customize your training, so that your differentiated processes and terminology can be taught along with the product usage itself. Here are just a few direct links to training paths for some of our products:

So get on it. Start your journey. Take that first step. Well, unless you have money to burn, or you’re happy with your “workforce management” investment just adding up time cards.

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