Any software package you buy on the market has had its production cycle. It started as a specific development for a certain company and it evolved from there onwards. Behinds this process, behind the functionality of this package are driving forces at work. The fundamental choices and options of the architects behind the solution.
Once you know these forces, you will not only know what you buy, but also what you will end up in the near future. Behind any solutions there are fundamental choices that have been taken.
There are so many options you come across when developing software, that in order to manage that process any company will apply it own set of rules.
If you can make these rules explicit and you can compare them with other packages (suppliers) you have found another mechanism to make a choice in the complex world of software and supplier selections.
To give an example. If you are to select a package you will choose according to a main business driver. If you do not want risks you choose proven technology, otherwise leading edge solutions. If you want the “best of breed", you make a different choice than opting for “one-size-fits-all. " Do you prefer open-source solutions or do you not.
These are just a series of examples that are related to organizational style. If you are aware of this, your selection process will still be complex and difficult, but easier to handle because you have extra ammunition.
There are many issues with selection of software packages like CRM and ERP. Matching the Style of the supplier (materialized in the package) with your own supports the selection process. However, do this in the initiation phase. You do not want to get involved in fundamental discussion half way down the project.
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account