No company undertakes significant management initiatives such as MI with the plan to quickly throw it away. After all, running a program up the flag pole is not a generally accepted manufacturing system evaluation procedure. Such initiatives consume too much time, effort and money and generate too much operational disruption to be needlessly repeated.
However, many initiatives and their IT support systems fade away too quickly because they just never develop enough operational traction within the organization to maintain their momentum.
A common plot line in these stories is that operational and engineering oriented parts of the team focus on the ”obvious” engineering part of the systems while deferring the people part of incorporating the system into the daily work life. The result is inadequate efforts to prepare all stakeholders, give them sufficient skills and tools to be successful, garner ground-floor buy-in for the initiative, and extend corporate culture to support the initiative.
Definitely not the way to produce a sustainable management initiative.
System technology is usually not the only reason for failing to make targets, and managing technology deployment alone is not enough. Success depends also on developing and managing the operational routines which will use the technology.
The system needs to be easy-to-use and embedded in company culture to survive time and employee turnover. That is how MI becomes a significant part of the infrastructure and delivers the role-specific information that empowers each person to successfully do their job.
So, what’s a proven approach to making initiatives sustainable?
Practitioners have benchmarked successful projects and developed guidelines for properly designing and implementing programs. By following these guidelines, one can expect results that:
- Break the cycle of limited results to increase ROI and sustain results;
- Effectively engage all capable resources from executive management through line operators;
- Define success for all levels of the organization;
- Develop systems that sustain these goals through:
- Documented processes.
These best practices are explained in the article, Implementing Sustainable Manufacturing Intelligence. Try them and build truly sustainable initiatives in your company.