Standards What do they mean?, What does it take?
As we evolve the Enterprise Control capability around multi-site and system, (yes distributed system), I have been out talking to people. A common topic is standards, the more architectures try to unify/ standardize process, operations etc., the more standards apply, but they have been round for years in control blocks. But why is it such a struggle at the supervisory level, and MES? Basically it appears to be:
· Defining what is a standard? and Why make it a standard?
· Governance and investment to make a standard but the much big investment to maintain and evolve the standard, it must be justified.
· But at the core is this mis understanding that standards are like “applications”, when that are closer to “products”.
The whole concept of Enterprise Control is based on the ability to Federate and Empower Operational Workers, this can only be done if there is a consistency in operational execution, requiring standards. So we are committed to a significant investment evolving the enterprise capability especially around creating and maintaining standards.
Standards provide the advantages of:
· Application reuse
· Faster project time to Value
· Reduced risk and errors
· Reduced commissioning time
· Provide consistency of experience, operations, control etc across applications
A standard is anything you want to reuse and duplicate across multiple situations. This could be symbols, documents, recipes, workflows, reports, data structures, objects, control strategies, on goes the list. But it is important to understand a STANDARD is like a PRODUCT, vs an APPLICATION, they are valuable as long as they are useful standards. As one customer said
"We are good at building standards in control, and supervisory, but useless at maintaining them so we go from one standatndard to many versions of these applocations now way to maintain."
When I quote this to many customers I get a nodd of heads, and I thought a great debate a week ago was a set of top technology executives at one company really asked the question where and what is a standard, realizing success is based upon them, but only is if they get alignment on what they are and investment required for them to succeed.
This means standards must evolve, with new capabilities, and they will have issues so must issue tracking and fixing, so that each new version has new improvements, and fixes. This requires governance and systems to track feedback and issues against each standard, and then planning of the next versions. This is closer aligned to product governance/ lifecycle than an application/ project culture, this is probably the biggest issue we see is most companies fail to recognize the investment in governance and management of standards. This causes the standards too very quickly become un usable and not valuable, so adoption drops off.
Also the products you are applying the standards to must understand standards and templates, which a lot of tradition products do not. While ArchestrA was built on the concept of REUSE and templates, we are fully committed to evolving the standards management and governance to help sustain and evolve standards across sites/ multiple applications, and extend this capability to the other aspects of the portfolio which make up the solution. The “day in the life” in the life of standards the jobs to be done, and experience is being evolved based upon our product lifecycle experience combined with a number of customers who are apply standards, and have implemented governance.
Customers/ Sis start by building a understanding on how they will make the standards succeed, the investment in both culture/ technology and process will return significant. We hope we will continue to evolve to make this evolution to reuse of standards across enterprises a natural act. Your feedback on how you are using standards, or plans and evolution input is appreciated to firstname.lastname@example.org.