Friday, April 06, 2007

Enterprise Software Selection: The High Cost of an Incorrect Choice

Back in December, after our CMS proof-of-concept was over, I got the idea to write a paper for the Project Management Journal about the lack of a cohesive methodology for the selection and implementation of off-the-shelf software. There are dozens of commercial life-cycle methodologies for writing software, but none for buying software. In my opinion, part of what made our proof-of-concept for CMS successful was the process that we followed. I don't think the framework I've developed could be canned and sold per se, but I was hoping to start a discussion in the industry about this problem.

I submitted the paper to PMJ before Christmas, and finally got word back last week that the paper was rejected as-is. I spoke to the editor, and they liked the topic and the content, but would like less of a case study and more of a scholarly paper. Having worked at a scholarly journal for three and a half years, I'm not comfortable reworking the content to be longer and wordier without adding more substance just to have it published. The only value with that would be to do controlled experiments around the process, but I'm not Gartner: I'm not in a position (time, resources, money, projects) to do that.

I've decided not to rewrite the paper, so I'm publishing it as-is on my website. If you're interested in reading, here it is.

Special thanks to Kirsten, Amy, and Fred for letting me prod you with interviews; your input was invaluable.

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