Tip #2: Paint a Full Picture of Value, Costs, and Challenges
The second tip to maximize the value of your technology is to identify the value, costs, and challenges of the application to secure management buy-in. Whether you’re implementing an application for the first time or trying to improve your current system, identifying this information and securing management support is critical to the long-term success of the application.
Most companies are able to easily identify the initial implementation costs since they are provided by the vendor. However, many companies often overlook other factors that can impact a project’s success and long-term costs. For example, one area that is often overlooked is the application’s impact on resources. Implementing a new program or application often involves the addition of new roles and responsibilities. For example, if you’re implementing an RBI program, you will need to identify an RBI analyst who can help manage the program. Many companies do not think through the impact of the application on specific roles and are left scrambling to justify and fill the position.
Another factor that influences the cost and success of an application is the current state of your program. For example, if you are trying to implement a mechanical integrity (MI) program, you will need to have an accurate master equipment list, hierarchy, and equipment taxonomy. If you are implementing a piping program, you will need to circuitize your piping. Without the completion of these steps, your program will not operate efficiently or effectively, and you may need to take on additional costs to get your program to where it needs to be. Understanding the current state of your program and identifying the key components that are required to make your program successful will be critical to the successful integration of an application into your program.
Finally, the best approach to addressing all aspects of value, cost, and challenges is to develop an effective change management strategy. Change management is a discipline that has evolved over the past 70 years as a framework for managing the people side of change. Typically, many facilities want to maintain their current work practices with a new system. However, many old processes conflict with the application’s intended processes. Communication, starting with the highest level of management, will help users understand the value and impact of the application on the company. Additionally, we find the most successful method in adapting a new application is to understand the new application’s work processes, identify your current ones, and then meld the two together into a new process. Greater acceptance and less reluctance to change is typically experienced when this information has effectively and consistently been shared.