Many software vendors and internal IT departments fall prey to the same pitfalls described in the previous case studies. Vendors build applications that are designed around the same filtered information the executives use in their flawed strategies. Internal IT departments build systems around requirements that are usually based on existing, flawed practices.
In the past 17 years, I have provided consulting services and built multiple commissioning systems for companies looking to improve their Sales Compensation Management (SCM) processes. In every instance where company executives were disappointed with the results of trying to automate a commission process, frustration resulted from the technical limitations created by the automated system. Packaged software vendors typically take the approach that their solutions “can do anything”—as long as the customer is willing to adapt its commission management processes to the vendor’s perception of how to do business. IT departments usually are not commission experts; so what they often create is an interpretation of what they perceive the business wants. In both cases, complete solutions are seldom developed and often much more expensive than originally expected.
The only way to avoid automating present process flaws is to use a system that allows a company to first mirror its present practices, flaws and all; and then provides the capability to modify processes without a great deal of additional effort as more effective models surface. Otherwise, it leaves open the possibility of comparing apples and oranges when reconciling between the old and new processes.