Supply Chain Disaster Lessons

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Over on Supply Chain Digest, who recently updated their list of the top supply chain disasters of all time, you can find a short article chronicling some of their lessons from supply chain disasters. Simply put, the key lessons were as follows:

  • “Big Bang” Go-Lives are Risky Business
    Despite the fact that the risks of this approach are well documented, this approach is still taken all too often.
  • Pioneers Get Arrows in the Back
    Being the first increases your odds of failure dramatically … whether it’s a new technology, new methodology, or new market.
  • Do Not Ignore Early Warning Signs
    Just about every disaster post mortem uncovers dozens of indications of emerging problems that were ignored. These warnings are usually ignored or minimized because someone doesn’t want to fess up that things are not going as promised.
  • Avoid hard cut-offs/transitions
    Many project disasters are caused by hard deadlines. Hard deadlines, especially if the project schedule is too tight, are often the largest contributor to project failure.
  • Beware the ROI trap
    Many projects go south because they whittle away key elements for success just to make an (unrealistic) ROI expectation.

And they must be taken to heart. I’ve seen many projects, and companies, fail because they didn’t heed these lessons.