Why does good business software fail?

Why does good business software fail?


Most businesses today have enormous amount of data available. The issue today is not, how do we get data, the main question today is, how do we use all the data we have, and what should we use it for?

The answer is in many cases building an internal Business Intelligence setup or getting a software solution. If you are a large size company you will have the resources to hire the right people and build the BI tool from scratch, but for most companies, the right answer is finding a software, which solves the issue you have, and have a proven track record. 

The suppliers of good software solutions are more or less telling you, that they have a plug n’ play solution, which most likely is correct, but why does good software fitted for the problem at hand fail, and not give the result which was expected?  I have been selling software for more than 10 years, and I have worked as a management consultant helping companies understand, why they do not get the result expected from the software they have implemented.


In the following, I will give you my take on, what needs to be true, for a company to implement a standard software solution successfully.


For any software implementation, my first advice is, to allocate enough internal resources, and make sure that you have sufficient leadership involvement in the project. You don’t have to have project management skills internally in your company, but you do need the project to be managed, and if you are not doing it yourself, you can get external help.

The second advice is to define your expected impact from implementing this software. Most companies know, what financial impacts they want, like improved revenue or profit, but what are the underlying business impacts you want, what is the baseline, and how do you measure your improvement? This part is often neglected because it is difficult to define the baseline. 

The last part is your behavioral impact, meaning what do you do differently in the company when the software is implemented, and how has the conversation at the coffee machine changed? Working with the behavioral impact is complicated, but it is super important if you want to implement new software successfully.

The third advice is to implement new software as a part of the overall capability building in the company. The capabilities a company has are defined by: 

  • Competences
  • People / organizations
  • Systems / tools
  • Processes
  • Leadership

Hence implementing a new tool/system is only possible if you change or optimize your internal processes, you need to train the people in the organization, and you might even make organizational changes, depending on the type of software you will implement. As mentioned in my first advice, leadership involvement is important, but leaders are also the ones, who can make or break the implementation if they do not require behavioral change, and start asking questions, which will advocate for improved use of the software or minimum helping the organization improve their capabilities.

My three advice are: 

  1. Allocate the right resources
  2. Define the impacts
  3. Build the right capabilities 

We will always take this dialogue with you if you are implementing effectmanager to optimize your commercial FMCG business. 


Please reach out, if you would like to know more about successful implementation of software


Jesper Drachmann