No two organizations ever implement the same manufacturing system in the same way. Combine the vagaries of different companies, business processes, people, and systems, and “the directions” for how to implement a manufacturing system take on the wandering complexities of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Yet just as the Joyce epic has crib notes, so, too, does manufacturing system implementation.
In simplest terms, a successful implementation boils down to managing a handful of key activities:
- Assemble a cross-functional project team with a respected project leader.
- Understand why the organization needs the system (i.e., define your business “pain”) and why the pain exists (e.g., system issues and/or business-process issues).
- Define the scope of the system.
- Establish phases for system implementation.
- Gather and define the organization’s requirements of the system.
- Prepare the organization for change.
- Prepare people and data.
- Manage “scope creep.”
- Thoroughly test the functionality of the system.
- Run and refine the system.