A Digital Transformation gone predictably wrong

The Hertz Corporation has sued Accenture for a failed “Digital Transformation Program”. I was going thru the detailed complaint with Alan Pelz-Sharpe and it is a fascinating read.

Seems like a “project management 101” level disaster.

Issues mentioned include:

– delays in delivery

– Deliverables not as per agreement

– Usability issues

– Standards not followed

– Untrained resources

– Best practices of content management systems not followed

– Bad project management

– Design not as per spec

– Spiraling costs

– etc

To be honest, many of the points mentioned are unbelievable. I mean, in 2019, things like “responsive web site” or a tablet-friendly website should be a default. No?

So i am not believing everything, not yet at least and would love to hear what Accenture says. But here is what Alan said in a recent TechTarget article regarding the lawsuit:

While the Hertz complaint only shows the rental car company’s side of the argument, typically the problems begin when consultants — who aren’t content experts and tend to default to Adobe products — focus on the app’s front end at the expense of retooling the back-end systems delivering the content, said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of the research firm Deep Analysis.

“Overhauling and modernizing legacy web and commerce systems, particularly those with multiple geographies, products and sites is very difficult indeed,” Pelz-Sharpe said, adding that the Adobe products aren’t the problem, but rather the free-form evolution of a company’s legacy web CMS that can’t just be quickly ripped and replaced. “Web content provides unique challenges as it is, not so much in the form of files; rather, it is made up of strings, links and items of data that have to be assembled dynamically.”

These projects are a “nightmare,” Pelz-Sharpe said, adding that jumping in with an army of consultants can cause more damage than benefit. A slower and better approach can be tackling one piece of the back-end system — and one body of content — at a time. This may require recreating content where necessary, unraveling unnecessary workflows and simplifying the process.

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