System Integrator Best Practices

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Ken Kutchek of Patti Engineering offers best practices for project management for systems integrators.

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System Integrator Best Practices

  1. 1. Presentation for Best Practices for Systems Integrators… Its all about Project ManagementPresenter: 3/13/2013Ken KutchekVP Operations
  2. 2. Patti Engineering Overview• Control System Integrator• Established in 1991• Offices in Detroit MI and Austin TX• 47 Employees, 32 Engineers, 3 PEs (lic. in MI and TX)• InduSoft Certified Integrator• Experience with multiple H/W & S/W Products• We are NOT a “Me Too” Company• CSIA Certified (Control System Integrator Association)• Control Engineering 2013 System Integrator of the Year
  3. 3. Key Markets• Automotive• Distribution (Material Handling & Sortation)• Factory Automation / Robotics• Process Control• MES
  4. 4. CSIA CertificationIntegrator complies with CSIA’s Best Practices• General Management• Human Resources Management• Financial Management• Marketing and Sales Management• Project Management• System Development Lifecycle• Quality Assurance Management• Service and SupportAn audit is required every three yearsReduce the project risk and increase the probability of success!
  5. 5. Project Management Best Practices • Project Initiation – Project Management Plan – Choosing team members – Internal kickoff meeting – Customer kickoff meeting • Development – Functional Specification – Software Design/Development – Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) – Changes / Additions • Installation – Install / Testing / Verification – Training / User Manual • Completion – Project Closeout – Project Review / Evaluation
  6. 6. Project Management PlanA goal without a plan… is a wish !!
  7. 7. Project Management PlanPlan of Execution – Scope of work / Requirements – Hardware / Software technologies – Team – Training – Budget – Schedule – Risks (technology, staffing, schedule, requirements, startup issues) – Communications – Quality – Closure
  8. 8. Project Management Plan“A little pessimism is just good planning”
  9. 9. Choosing Project TeamChoose a Lead Engineer/Project Manager and project teambased the following items : – Customer – industry, their plant/operation – Customer - specific application – Technologies being used (PLC’s, Servers, databases) – Project size – Schedule
  10. 10. Internal Kickoff MeetingSalesperson, Engineering Manager, Lead Engineer/Project Manager,and engineering team meet to review and discuss the project. – Customer, plant/operation, specific application – Proposal (Scope of Work, Customer Responsibilities) – Hardware / software requirements – Project team members and responsibilities – Budgeted hours – Schedule – Project risks and expectations – schedule, software development, installation, testing) Meeting minutes taken and distributed afterward
  11. 11. Customer Kickoff MeetingLead Engineer/Project Manager and Engineering Manager meet withthe Customer to review and discuss the project. – Project team members (Customer and Integrator) – Scope of work – Requirements – Hardware / software requirements – Schedule – Testing/Verification – Risks Meeting minutes taken and distributed afterward
  12. 12. Functional SpecificationPurpose - Thoroughly define / explain function, features, and operationOutcome - Understanding and agreement between integrator and customer • Customer Requirements • System Requirements • System Overview • Screen Layout / Content • All operator interactions with the system • All interfaces with other systems or equipment • Included Reports • System administration, security • System limitations • Customer responsibilities • Review Functional Spec with customer • Customer must sign off
  13. 13. Software Design / Development• Functional Spec becomes road map to design• Open Issues List - Log all questions, required information, clarifications assign responsibilities• Task List - Breakdown the Software design into individual tasks assign responsibilities, set expected completion• User Friendly / Intuitive Design• (KISS) Keep It Simple Stupid• Design Standards• Design Reviews
  14. 14. Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)Thorough and systematic testing/verification is critical !!•Provides formal testing to verify the functionality and operation•It is really just one big checklist•Deserves same attention as requirements and designs.•Begin developing early….as soon as the requirements are approved.•Some method (e.g. matrix) should be used to ensure all requirements havebeen mapped to one or more test protocols.•Start using FAT during office testing, finish during onsite testing•Customer should be involved
  15. 15. Changes / AdditionsScope Creep is bad for the Integrator … and the Customer too.Scope Creep is the kind of thing that accumulates so slowly andsubtly that you dont realize its happening until its too late.•Design change requests. Is it within the scope ?•Change Orders•When a Change Order is accepted by the customer – Update Project Management Plan – Update Functional Spec – Update Factory Acceptance Test
  16. 16. Install / Testing / VerificationThorough and systematic testing/verification is critical !!•Complete the Factory Acceptance Test•Log all issues on Project Task List•Provide “Stand-by support” for the agreed amount of time•Complete all Task List items•Remote access for future support and changesAny item not tested or resolved onsite can cost 10x whenaddressed as a warranty issue later
  17. 17. Training / User ManualCritical to “perceived” system functionality, customer satisfaction – System Overview – System Operation – Start-up and Shutdown procedures – Operator interaction procedures – Supervisor interaction procedures – Administrator interaction procedures – Explain each type of screen – List and explain all Fault Messages and Status Messages – Troubleshooting Guide
  18. 18. Project CompletionCloseout is critical to wrapping up project and getting buyoff.Project Completion Checklist - thorough and organized completionVerify the following items are complete… • Customer is satisfied • All deliverables have been given to customer • All Open Issues List Items resolved • All Task List Items complete • Factory Acceptance Test complete • Final software has been backed-up
  19. 19. Project Review / Evaluation•What went well ?•What did go well ?•Rate and Comment on the following – Customer Satisfaction – Initiation – Development – Installation/Testing – Project management – Schedule – Budget – Closeout – Proposal Evaluation
  20. 20. Thank You ! IndusoftBest Practices for Systems Integrators… Its all about Project Management

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