SAP was stalled in the launch of the world’s largest implementation of its ERP system with one of world's largest mining companies. Continued delays could result in a fatal failure to deliver to their markets and customers. This would severely impact share price, global trust in the corporate brand and countless millions in recovery costs and lost revenues.


The had been investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in swarms of consulting teams running tests, conducting systems, providing status reports and (false) reassurances.


The operating assumption by the supplier was that the mining company was not implementing and applying the new system properly. But, the harder the mining company tried to implement change management, the more time and money they were wasting in delayed implementation.


When we applied our sense and sense making approach, opening up internal and external dialog, we discovered a design flaw in the new governance and accountability system. We provided design protocols to refashion the design of mission critical roles. We worked with the business to establish new design protocols based on self regulating feedback loops between customer service, planning, operations and maintenance This broke SAP's rules based on linear, individual accountability and replaced this with measures of consensus and joint accountability based on customer and market impact.


New organisation design principles allowed the wealth of latent talent in the business to take control of the change, so the vendor was not making the change to or over the organization, but with and through the organisation. This provided the necessary agility for the system to function effectively because it was now operating from an inside-out and outside-in perspective rather than top-down and bottom-up. People forget how much consulting firms are designed (for their own profit model) to be top down.