Organisations typically implement a programme of work or specific projects to assist the organisation to do things differently or to do completely new tasks in different ways. Sounding good so far?

However, what happens when project outcomes benefit specific business divisions or sectors of the organisation and yet are unfavourable, disruptive and incompatible for others? In this situation we often find that only the positive project outcomes are measured and organisations rarely measure the negative impacts and disruption caused.

A recent example of this is an engineering company that approved the acquisition of a new software application for the generation of product documentation and parts lists. The benefits to the design team were clear and the project was justified solely on that basis. Whilst the implementation did allow the creation of standardised version controlled drawings and or documents and provided an engineering parts list, the software did not interface with the organisations existing manufacturing systems.

The result being:

    • The design engineers did not use standard naming and coding conventions for parts,which meant the parts list had to be reviewed and modified by the production division in order to complete an accurate Bill of Material.
      • Increased production time and cost.
      • Data transcription errors.


    • The design engineers used specialised parts which were often not cost effective for large production runs.
      • The need for engineering change control.
      • Problems associated with parts and materials procurement impacted the production team, again increasing production time and cost.


If this organisation had implemented an Enterprise Architecture and an integrated benefits assessment process, the engineers would have achieved their goal without disrupting other sectors of the business. Food for thought and a lesson learned.