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HOW TO KEEP STANDARDIZATION WHILE IMPROVING

 

During the evaluation of potential standards, bench­marking will be done. This benchmarking will be be­tween the systems and processes being compared as well as some that are not being considered for stan­dardization. Once you have standardized on a system, take the areas that the other systems were superior in and add that functionality into the standardized sys­tem (if the additional functionality is of benefit and does not prove to be too costly to implement). Going through this exercise will increase the time of the ef­fort but will assure that all systems chosen will are best-in-class in all areas.

 

Standardization is not a one-year initiative. It must continue or you will be in trouble again two to three years from now. The challenge is getting everyone to­gether, keeping them focused, keeping on task, and providing the time required for the standardization process. The standardization process requires a com­bination of inside and outside benchmarking of sys­tems and processes. Once you have standardized a process, how do you keep it standard and still improve the process? What you must do is to define your sys­tems as D, C, B, or A systems.

 

      AD system is one in which you will not standardize.
It is slated for removal or sundowning.

      AC system is any system that has the possibility of
becoming a standard. It either meets technical re­
quirements or soon will be evaluated from a techni­
cal standpoint. A C system has not yet been evaluated
as a possible standard.

     A B system is a C system that is in a defined pilot
phase.

     An A system is the standardized system. It has been
either grandfathered as the standard system or suc­
cessfully moved from the defined pilot.

 

The next step is to establish criteria on when and how a system can move from a C system to a B system. Some of these criteria are the following:

 

     It must have an owner, customer, be funded, have
infrastructure/supportability, and defined and tan­
gible benefits.

     A definition of what constitutes a successful pilot.
This would be length of time, support, and benefits
expected.

 

The next criteria to establish is how to move a sys­tem from a B system to an A system. These are some of the following:

 

     The system must be evaluated to see that the pilot
criteria was successful.

     Evaluation of the system to see if it has better suc­
cess factors than the current standard.

 

Without a detailed plan, systems often immediately go from C to A because someone does a good presentation. Keeping something standard is like the old reengineering arguments—it is pain only if you let it get out of hand—if you have continuous "tweaks" as opposed to massive changes infrequently, you will have less pain and cost.

Continued

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8


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