Software Implementation Gone Awry-As Depicted in These 15 Oscar-nominated Films for Best Picture

As a research analyst for TEC and a contributor to its Blog, I sometimes get the opportunity to mix business-related issues with common everyday pleasures. This past weekend (that incidentally turned out to be a complete write-off weather-wise), and being the movie buff that I am, I decided to sit back and watch a few classic films. After having done so, I was curious about what some of the past Oscar winners were for Best Picture. So I sauntered over to my computer and printed out the list. Reading through it, I just had to laugh, because many of the titles struck a chord with me in terms of some of my experiences with software implementation projects.

So, to add a little humor to your day—especially if you’re from the upper northeast of the United States or eastern Canada where the rain may be finally “getting to you”—I’ve added a little of my own take on what these movies would be about if they were written with enterprise  software implementations in mind.

Even if you’re not a movie buff, but know a little about the trials and tribulations of software deployments, I’m sure you’ll get a kick outta these! For true movie fans, I’ve even added the years these films won.
1)    All Quiet on the Western Front (1929-1930) – the hopeful outcome of your enterprise software implementation.
2)    Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) – users, users everywhere, and not a computer in the place working properly!
3)    It Happened One Night (1934) – yeah, the evening of “Go Live”.
4)    Gone with the Wind (1939) – that’s what happened to the money that we spent on this “piece-of-crap” system.
5)    The Lost Weekend (1945) – that’s how long it took for us to recover the data and get the system up and running again.
6)    From Here to Eternity (1953) – the hope for our future with our new 1.6-million-dollar enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
7)    In the Heat of the Night (1967) – as the servers overheated and the smoke thickened, I decided if I made it to the airport fast enough, I could get out of the city before sunrise!
8)    One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – yeah, the project implementation manager! He’s spending some time at Betty Ford.
9)    Rocky (1976) – need I say more?
10)    Dances with Wolves (1990) – really more of what happens prior to implementing the software whilst whittling your long list down to a mere few.
11)    Unforgiven (1992) – this is what’s going to happen if we don’t get this working soon.
12)    Titanic (1997) – the ship is sinking, but as captain of this ship, I will make sure it goes all the way to the bottom.
13)    Million Dollar Baby (2004) – that’s how much we spent on the new system!
14)    Crash (2005) – not necessarily the way I wanted “Go Live” day to end.
15)    Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – the vendor from whom we purchased this wonderful application is laughing all the way to the bank.

…and a Few Honorable Mentions

Although they never won an Oscar, here are a few great old (and some new) films that I felt were worth mentioning.

  • The Way We Were – can’t we just go back to our old system? I know it was a dinosaur, but at least it worked!

  • The Sting – kinda the way you’ve been feeling since you were selected to be the project manager—“Stung!”

  • Heaven Can Wait – …because I’ll get this mess sorted out before the boss gets back and kills me!

  • 12 Angry Men – the project champion, the subject-matter expert (SME), the company president, the board of directors, the chief financial officer (CFO) ...

  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – the individual responsible for this nightmare (the software implementation project manager) has just been renamed “Garfield”

  • The Longest Day – waiting for things to go from bad to worse.

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – unless that happens to be the name of your chief technical officer (CTO).

  • Deliverance – Something you’ll certainly hope for after you’ve signed on the dotted line.

  • Network – without it, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog!

  •  As Good as It Gets – considering that our controller wanted to save a lot of money on this project…

  • Lost in Translation – “You forgot to do what?”

To ensure your company’s software selection project events won’t end up on my next Oscar list of Best Pictures (or worst implementation nightmares), I suggest taking a look at TEC’s Evaluation Centers. This will help put you on the path to what will be your best performance yet!
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