Critical Success Factors in Enterprise Wide Information Management Systems Projects Mary Sumner Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Campus Box 1106 Edwardsville, IL 62026 618-650-2093 Msumner@ siue.edu ABSTRACT In the past several years many organizations have initiated enterprise-wide information managementsystems projects, using such packagesas SAP, Peoplesoft,and Oracle. These projects often representthe single largest investment in an information systems project in the history of these companies,and in many casesthe largest single investment in any corporate-wideproject. These enterprise-wide information management systems projects bring about a host of new questions. Someof these questionsand issuesare: . . . . . . How are theseprojectsjustified? Do firms need to change their fundamental business processes, organizational structures, and business strategiesto fit the package? What are the technical challenges associated with implementing a large-scalepackagesuch as SAP? What is the best way to implement a large-scale package: To work through the organization unit-byunit? Or to use a cross-functionalapproach? What are the critical success factors in the implementation of a large-scalepackage? What are the implications of theseprojects for the skill and knowledge requirementsof the IT workforce? engineering business processesbefore implementing IT solutions (Hammer and Champy, 1993), and assuring close involvement between users and the IT organization (Mumford, 1981).
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