I hate clowns, but I love McDonald’s. Unfortunately, Ronald was not the only one clowning around at the company back in 2001, when the chain began a project to create an intranet connecting its headquarters with restaurants to provide real-time information. The project was called Innovate, and boy was that a misnomer.
These days, McDonald’s barely acknowledges the project ever happened, which is seldom a sign of success. It was supposed to create a global ERP application to connect tens of thousands of restaurants across the world, and only after $170 million was already spent on consultants and planning did the company realize the project was infeasible. The death of Innovate was quietly slipped into a 2003 SEC filing, with no mention of funeral arrangements.
Massive IT projects require massive planning, and frankly, it is more of a hassle than most businesses really want to deal with anymore. You need to think your plan through before you have already spent the first couple hundred million dollars on it.
This story was originally found at InformationWeek: http://www.informationweek.com/