First DBS Ltd - Some of Our Stories

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Buy for your future needs, not your past

Many years ago, a mobile phone network organisation thought they had a problem with inventory - they didn't know how much they had, where it was or whether it still worked. So they thought they needed a large,expensive inventory management system to look after it all. Luckily, while they were still in the sales process, they asked Jo and a team of consultants to conduct a business review. Jo investigated, she asked lots of questions but most of all she listened. The mobile phone people explained their industry and how it was rapidly changing - where they were now and where they were going to be in a few years time. As they spoke, they realised that they were buying a system to cope with yesterday's problems and not tomorrow's needs. So they stopped the sales process. They realised that they had to define the real problem before they could design a solution.

Sometimes walking away is the right thing to do

Jo was asked by the software supplier to project manage a European-wide ERP implementation for a packaged goods company. The vision was one software, one set of processes from the north of Scotland to south of Spain. The reality was that most of the budget had been spent on management consultants and "team building" doing "blue sky thinking" - but they had all left. There was little money, a second team, no agreed ways of working - and the software was brand new, not stable and constantly changing. Added to this, the client and software supplier had very different views on what was wrong with the project. All this made for an untenable situation - time to walk away. And what happened next? A project relaunch with a team untainted by past problems, a delay to let the software reality catch up with the promises, a more realistic vision that worked with the system bought instead of against it - and a successful implementation.

Never mind the quality, feel the width

Andy was once helping a client with some analysis and design work towards the implementation of a new healthcare system. He inherited a draft data model which had been delivered by a larger consultancy business, and was astonished at its sheer size, complexity and inconsistency. It was as if it had been produced with the goal of delivering the greatest possible thickness of paper, rather than with a view to practical implementation in a useful system.

By taking a back-to-basics approach in modelling the core entities needed, and by actually talking to those analysing the detailed requirements and planning the practical implementation, Andy was able to help the project get back on track.

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