Software Training & Implementation Aimed at Outcomes

Teamwork - Blog

Paul McNamara

While there are no guarantees in life, unless you plan to produce great results, you don’t have a chance at producing them.  The outcomes you aim at will specify what kinds of tools you will need and how you will need to use those tools.  The same tools can be used by two different people or the people on two different teams with vastly different outcomes.  Why?  Because of gaps in the knowledge and skill required to produce the outcome.

Why are we Crazy When it Comes to Software Implementation?

It could be because we’re not sure what success looks like with the software we’ve purchased so we don’t know how to judge it.  That is clearly the case with Enterprise Asset Management solutions.   If we look in other areas it seems easier.  Try picking up a professional athlete’s bat or racket, a professional musician’s guitar or drum sticks and seeing if you can perform to the same standard as the pro.  Get a group together and try to compete with their team.  It would be crazy to think you could compete, right?   This shouldn’t be surprising.  What is surprising is we expect teams and their use of enterprise software to be somehow different or, more often, we have lower expectations.  Both are recipes for failure in today’s hyper-competitive world.

It’s Time to Get Real!

Past success is no indicator of future success.  We all need to be checking our thinking because the solutions that used to work are no longer sufficient in today’s drastically different competitive landscape.

When Sente began in the asset management game 20 years ago most companies were satisfied tracking their assets, avoiding write-offs and audit findings.  While we weren’t satisfied producing that, most companies were.  We partnered with the ones that weren’t.  Today’s competitive situation means companies need to get more from their assets and their people and do it fast!  Today’s competitive standards obsolete the traditional asset management approaches and those involved require new and different skills.

New Competitive Standards Demand a Different Approach

Today competitive advantage goes to those who beat their competition with a steady flow of new and unique products and services that their competition can’t match.  This means they have to manage their highly complex work environment to be agile and responsive and ensure their human capital and capital equipment is laser-focused on the mission, not distracted managing support functions, searching for equipment or getting the right tools.  For asset-intensive businesses the cost of not managing this well is especially high.

Asset Management Must Become a Team Sport

Economists say equipment and facilities aren’t assets unless they are making money.  Competitive standards are driving all parts of today’s enterprise to change and asset management is no exception.  When enterprises are tasked with producing products twice as fast, the importance of collaboration and coordination between departments is critical.  Since asset returns are driven by individuals and teams developing and producing products using those assets, the solution needs to be aimed at helping the users.  Asset management specialists steeped in historically effective asset management tradition will need help transforming as they are all too often left out of these bigger conversations.

Focuses and Benefits of the Team Approach

When moving from a mostly “control and compliance” mindset focused on assets to a “speed & agility” mindset focused on people using assets the focuses necessarily change.   The “team sport” includes not only the current people “managing” the assets, but also the users of the assets, their management, suppliers of the assets and services associated with them (maintenance, calibration etc.), purchasing, finance, and quality.  Practices must be tailored to be useful to each of the team members in this new paradigm.  This can’t be a separate thing they are doing, and it’s not “team for team’s sake”.  Every person has an important role to play and they have to see how their efforts contribute directly, both positively and negatively, to speed and cost-effectiveness. Team members must be focused on building trust and satisfying each other.

The benefits of this approach are significant:  2X to 4X increases to utilization, 2X increases to speed, 40 to 60% reduction in equipment obsolescence risk across an inventory of equipment half the cost.  Increased speed, reduced risk, and lower cost.  Win. Win. Win.

Implications of the Team Approach to Training and Implementation

With a larger focus on building trust and satisfaction between teammates, training must include this as a focus.  It starts with making sure each member first understands the implications of fulfilling their role on the success of the team and the company. One way trust is built and maintained is through transparency and clear communications and ultimately through keeping commitments.  While a number of commitments remain the same, there are additional commitments that enable trust to build so velocity can increase and costs decrease.

Examples of services offered by Sente in support of this approach are shown on our Tactical Services page and our Strategic Services page.



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Notable Quotes

“The team contributions that your process facilitated from engineering, operations, and finance was essential to our success.”

Sr Director, Space and Communications