Managing Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software Risks (Part 2)


In a previous post we started discussing the risks associated with implementing production scheduling, production planning, or Advanced Planning and Scheduling software, and how to manage those risks.  We continue the discussion below.
5.    Poor Implementation Project Management

Depending upon your goals, and your starting point, implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling at your company might require significant time and resources. The longer and more complex your implementation, the more crucial is a good implementation project plan, and the management skills to keep the project on track.

A reputable vendor should help you develop a customize implementation plan based on their experience with other customers.  Waterloo Manufacturing Software has done hundreds of implementations over the past twenty years.  You can read about some of the common steps in our implementation methodology at Implementing Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software.
6.    Problems Integrating Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software with Existing Data Bases

Although some customers will implement planning and scheduling software in a stand-alone manner, the majority of companies will integrate the software with existing data bases and legacy systems.  Since the production scheduling software is then dependent upon data maintained in other systems, integration problems can delay or even derail your implementation.

When integrating, at least some help from your information systems group can be extremely valuable.  Securing the assistance of busy information systems staff, and working with them efficiently, can be challenging.  You can view suggestions for integrating advanced planning and scheduling software, and see suggestions for the best way to work with your information systems group, at Integrating Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software.
7.    Lack of Staff “Buy In”

The single most important factor in the success of your Advanced Planning and Scheduling software implementation is the support of your planning and scheduling staff.  You’ll need their expertise to help with the software implementation.  However they are usually the same people you’ll also depend upon to keep your plant running on a day to day basis using existing methods during the implementation.

Once implemented, the software should relieve existing staff of repetitive work, and allow them to use their talents in more creative ways.  However, in the short term, their work load will increase.  To get their buy in and support, it is important that you realistically describe how the content of their jobs will change during and post implementation.  You can read more about how to secure staff support at How do I Get “Buy In” for My Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software Implementation.
8.    Insufficient  Staff Skill Levels

You shouldn’t buy Advanced Planning and Scheduling software simply to automate existing scheduling methods, but rather to harness the power of the software to fundamentally change the way your organization plans and schedules.  Therefore, the jobs of planning and scheduling practitioners should change during and after implementation.