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Over the years, organizations all over the world have gained experience in selecting software systems. Many companies in our Western world have even gone through this process many dozens of times. But despite all these experiences, a strange phenomenon can be observed amongst potential buyers of business software. As soon as the magic ‘discount’ word is mentioned during the negotiations, many of these experienced companies suddenly tend to forget all their previously learned lessons. This remarkable form of amnesia often leads to disastrous consequences. How well does your memory work in this important project phase?

Companies who replace their software solutions are often committing an exemplary form of capital destruction. However, every year there are still many businesses who – be it forced by necessity or no – decide to take this drastic step. The reasons for this are diverse and vary from unforeseen bankruptcy of the software vendor and decreasing maintenance of the selected software system to completely failed implementation projects.

As far as the causes are within the sphere of influence of the customer organisation, these companies obviously decide firmly never ever to fall into the same trap again. But, as you have guessed, in practice this resolution is often broken. Because as soon as there are discounts to benefit from, the amnesia strikes again devastatingly.


Was the limited knowledge of the consultants the cause of the problems? For discount, most customers are prepared to allow inexperienced consultants to deliver the project. Can we decrease the budget by skipping the offered change management services again? Let’s go for it! What about the enormous importance of continuity? A little extra discount also erases this important lesson from memory. And, like last time, let’s recruit an intern for the overall project management. That saves us the cost of another expensive employee!

According to Dutch idiom, even a donkey manages to avoid bumping into the same stone twice. But what about you? Do you also tend to forget previously learned lessons? If you want to avoid this danger, you better start your selection process by writing all these lessons on large sheets of paper and put them on your wall. So you can see them again and again. But also all your directly involved colleagues. This will decrease the chance that you will overlook them again for your next software selection.