This posting is a continuation of the “MESA to Change Direction?” posting. This series discusses how to implement MES systems using a Business Process Management approach, looking at the manufacturing processes and then determining how to implement those processes through changes in how operators perform tasks and the technologies that enable those changes.
It’s not enough to simply hold workshops solve world hunger and sing Kumbaya. Having a roadmap, a plan for change, and the business case to back up our claims for improvement can make it a reality.
Ok, so we’ve held the workshops… WHOOHOO! Exhausting as they are, we’re now armed with some fantastic information. Our four deliverables from those workshops look something like this:
A process map of how each manufacturing activity will be performed in the Future State.
During the workshops, we sketched these on flip charts or whiteboards at a high level. Afterwards, we need to create an electronic version with all the details, both in the form of a process flow map, and a textual document describing the process. Route it through the participants and get their sign-off.
A mapping of the capabilities defined in the above processes to existing systems and new systems that will be required to support the Future State. This requires some analysis. We’ll need to determine which capabilities (or pieces of capabilities) will be performed through modification of existing systems, and which will be performed through acquired systems. We’ll need to identify those new systems. How? Because many of the MES application vendors (MES, LIMs, Data Historians, PLM, etc) have developed and market their products using the ISA-95 standard its usually a straight-forward process to map the future state processes with MES application capabilities.
A collection of “touch point” agreements between systems that specifies each specific interface called out in the To-Be process. This provides the information we need to get the IT department in gear. Probably the most important piece of this deliverable though is a Data Walk-Through. This takes our future state process, assigns real values to the data transferred between systems so everyone can see how their processes will be expected to work. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Just seeing the real data will bring everyone down to the reality of how the new process will work.
A high level business plan that contains:
- Description of the objectives
- A list of requirements
- A Gap Analysis
- A description of the change management issues
- A migration plan
- Expected ROI’s by activity
Objectives – We’ve already collected these for the workshops, we just need to include them to frame the business case. We can also provide some high level statements, from analysis of our future state and ROI, for how our new way of doing business will meet our objectives.
Requirements – Since we’ve conducted our workshops based on ISA-95 capabilities and functionality, we need to capture those capabilities and assign a priority value to each. The intent here is to form the basis for selection of technologies and provide justification for changes in current business practices.
Gap Analysis – Working from our list of shortfalls from the workshops we can now develop a gap analysis that describes how the new process addresses those shortfalls, or describes the mitigation plan where the processes do not address or solve the shortfalls.
Change Management – By including a change management champion in our workshop sessions, we’ve been able to collect change management issues, bring them into the discussions of future state, and begin the planning to address them. The list of change management issues may surprise you but it’s imperative that the company is aware of and planning for the changes in how you will do business. Change issues can range from simple tweaks to the way a department handles a transaction, to an overhaul in how documents are managed and employees are trained or certified.
Migration Plan – No matter how you will proceed, having a roadmap for how you will get there is critical. A high level technical roadmap that calls out the order and timeframe of implementation of the systems needed to support your future state can provide the budgeting information you need to sell your program internally. Don’t think it’s all about the budget either, having a plan for implementing fundamental capabilities or capabilities that have far reaching impact in your organization can help you transition smoothly and more efficiently.
Return on Investment – All the work we’ve done in the workshops to determine the costs of the shortfalls we’ve identified pays off here. Remember that each workshop was set up for a particular set of capabilities or functions, and that we’ve collected the shortfalls, and the costs of those shortfalls for those capabilities. In addition, we’ve identified estimates of lost opportunities during those workshops. This defines our ROI for each of those activities. Having this granular level of ROI allows us to do one very important thing, we can measure it. Along with the identification of the ROI for each activity, we’re going to identify the KPI that measures how well we will accomplish the improvement we seek.
OK, that’s great! We’ve got our workshop deliverables. Now what do we do with them?
Next time – Making It Real