Selecting the right software cannot guarantee the success of a project, but picking the wrong system can ensure failure. This month’s column will focus on three common mistakes made in selecting software - overly detailed requirements, canned demonstrations and uninformed evaluations - and how to avoid them.

Overly detailed requirements. This is such a common error that it is sometimes mistaken for a best practice. Selection teams list hundreds of desired system functions and embed them in a request for proposal. Vendors are expected to answer, often in a yes/no format, without any opportunity to understand the reasons for the requirements or to explain how their solution would meet them. The selection team then scores the results, and the software with the most ticks wins.

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