In an earlier article, we talked about the value of working with a team of three stakeholder groups, Finance, IT and Customers, to extract insight and help management identify potential issues and concerns. In this article, we will look at team development for another important activity, setting goals and objectives.
To achieve the best outcome, leadership should gather a small team of dedicated individuals qualified and willing to assist in tone setting, plan building and project execution. A large committee is neither necessary nor practical and it can cause too much dissention and extend timelines.
A smaller, more focused team can gather the required information, identify and make recommendations, and report back to the main committee in a timely fashion. In our experience, this effort also creates a greater opportunity to obtain buy-in from stakeholders.
Note: Quality, budget and schedule are fundamental to every successful CMMS implementation. For the greatest efficiency, we recommend companies focus first on quality and budget. During team selection, look for strong contributors who can help identify, isolate and resolve quality and budget issues in a timely manner.
Assembling Your Team
This team should encompass affected members from different business units across the company:
- Maintenance, Operations, Finance, IT and HR all have a stake in a unified system and should assist where needed. Their initial job is to review software functionality, identify current business processes and gaps, and determine how and if the CMMS will integrate with other internal systems.
- Another “team” should be a representative of your software vendor or a maintenance consultant who can provide objective assistance with initial fact finding. Internal pressure, from budgets to timelines, can sometimes lead to inferior outcomes. Using an outsider with the appropriate expertise to assess your current business practices and internal systems will equip you with the objectivity to decide based on outcomes, not internal forces.
Putting the Team to Work
It is inevitable that some issues will arise during the planning and implementation process. As they do, the best approach is to define and address them under the three core categories we introduced in our second article in this series:
- Tools – software features and functionality
- Process – business practices/maintenance methodology
- People – training or team issues
Next, assign each of these categories to a specific team. One team will address only training and people issues, one will work on process improvement and one will identify software features, functionality and interface needs with other software tools.
The approach described above offers the added benefit of helping your people see that many issues are greater than the software itself. Understanding this will help keep the implementation on track and avoid too much attention to internal issues that could sideline the project or possibly make the selection process appear flawed.
The initial fact-finding effort will also have resulted in a wish list of personal team priorities. Do not get bogged down creating a “pet feature list” that may never be developed. Focus on doing the basic tasks well and you will often find there is more than enough functionality in the software.
Furthermore, to maintain consistency when you are ready for CMMS implementation itself, consider involving some of your team with the implementation team. This extra step may jeopardize schedule, but if this is your first CMMS/EAM implementation, it also provides a unique opportunity. Extending the timeline gives you an opportunity to maximize the learning curve and create system “authorities” who can share this knowledge across the organization.
Tero Consulting Ltd. provides Maintenance Management software solutions to reduce maintenance and operating expenses through our proven Web Based CMMS, Azzier. Combined with our 40-plus years of CMMS consulting and implementation experience, we can assist with project planning, no matter how big or small. To learn more about our solutions and consulting services go to https://azzier.com/