A Framework For Successful Mro Software Mergeimplementation


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Implementing of any new software package will always throw up challenges. However,
most situations can be dealt with in the normal course of the project as long as there is
a sound project management plan in place which will also ensure that the project has
clear objectives against which progress can be measured.
Wes Parfitt, CEO and Founder, EnvelopeAPM Inc.

A discussion on Project Management
Wes Parfitt, CEO and Founder of EnvelopeAPM Inc, outlines a framework for successful MRO software implementation.

EnvelopeAPM Inc, www.envelopeAPM.com,Wes Parfitt, Wesley Parfitt

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A Framework For Successful Mro Software Mergeimplementation

  1. 1. ISSUE 2 • SUMMER 2011Piecing the ITjigsaw together• EA: the beating heart of the business• MRO IT Project Management: keeping the planHow long did that take? capturing man-hoursMeasuring electrical loadUsing and keeping information with CMSWhite Papers: ICF • AeroSoft • EnvelopeAPNCase Studies: Lufthansa Technik Philippines • Marshall Aerospace
  2. 2. 36 | WHITE PAPER: ENVELOPE APM | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | SUMMER 2011 A S An MRO IT software consultant and project manager, I focus on successful implementation of MRO M&E software using project management principles. Project management is a broad topic: this article will look into the basic framework of project management and how this practice is utilized during the implementation of MRO software. It will also cover important points to consider before and during an implementation. Before we can discuss the management of an implementation, we must first understand the definition of project management. In the future we can discuss the framework, consisting of process groups, knowledge areas, and component processes and how they relate to MRO software implementation. PROJECT MAnAgEMEnT Project management is the application of skills, tools, knowledge, techniques and project activities in the processes required to successfully undertake a project. A project is a temporary endeavor: it has a definite beginning and end, and creates a unique product or service. The five basic process groups of project management include: Initiation, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing. PROJECT PROCESS gROUPS - OvERvIEw When looking at a project life cycle we work through the above five processes with the first being project initiation. At this stage, a business issue or a business opportunity is identified; for example, the need for a new MRO software package. A feasibility study should then take place, investigating all possible solutions to the business issue/ opportunity. Next, the scope and the sponsor (either an individual or a committee) of the project will be selected. A full analysis of the new MRO software will be established with a description including aA discussion on detailed list of required functionality with deliverables: this is the time to establish goals and objectives for the new MRO system. StructuringProject Management of the project will take place during initiation and the project management team will be identified. This team may be from internal resources or an internal PMO (project managementWes Parfitt, CEO and Founder of EnvelopeAPM Inc, outlines a framework office), or may be an outsourced project management firm.for successful MRO software implementation. Once the initiation phase has been completed along with the project
  3. 3. SUMMER 2011 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | WHITE PAPER: ENVELOPE APM | 37 CLICK HERE fOR fULL SOfTwARE dETAILS And fOR A dEMO A project is a temporary endeavor: it has a definite beginning and end, and creates a unique product or service. The five basic process groups of project management include: Initiation, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing.scope we can look towards the project planning phase, creation of the projectplan, resource plan, financial plan, quality plan and risk planning. We then moveto the execution phase which is generally the longest part of the project. This iswhen the deliverables of the project are completed with actual project deliveryand implementation. During this phase, we build the deliverables, and monitor,control and manage time, cost, change, and risk. It is at the end of the executionphase that a final review is carried out to confirm that the project has met theobjectives outlined in the initiation phase. Following the completion of all project deliverables and the final acceptanceof the project closure by the customer, i.e. the operator, a formal project closeshould take place. Activities that should be visited during this time will be toidentify any outstanding items, producing a formal hand over to the customerenvironment, cancelling supplier contracts and releasing project resourcesinternally and externally as well as communicating the closure to all stockholdersof the project. Finally, documentation recording lessons learned should befinalized at post implementation and presented to the project sponsor. Following best practices in project management will ensure that yourorganization completes a successful project. Remember that a successful projectrequires having a clear roadmap that will support finishing on time and onbudget with all the required deliverables being met. This roadmap will ensurethat you stay on track during the course of the project.Fig 1: What the project management team must do at each stage of the process
  4. 4. 38 | WHITE PAPER: ENVELOPE APM | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | SUMMER 2011POInTS TO COnSIdER dURIng THE PROJECTProject management principles are universal: if you are tasked with the adoptionof new MRO software, a few important matters need to be considered. Toensure successful implementation of the MRO software package, projectmanagement principles should be followed. Each operator is unique and thereare numerous MRO IT products available but project management principles areuniversal so if the principles are followed correctly, your implementation will besuccessful regardless of the operator and the MRO IT product you have selected.dEfInIng THE PRObLEMBefore starting the selection process, it is important to precisely define theproblem you are trying to solve. Are there specific businesses processes you needto systematize or are there best practices you need to adopt? Do you need toshorten processing lead times or reduce extensive paper shuffles or is the legacysystem simply no longer being supported? Are there requirements of specificquality programs or regulations to which you must adhere? And, perhaps mostimportantly, how will solving these problems pave the way for the operation tobe successful with the newly implemented software? Project management isn’ta simple task and requires much work and knowledge. Without a grasp on theproject direction, you simply will not succeed in the delivery. MRO IT systems Project management is both a science and an art. It iscost a great deal to implement and you definitely do not want to find that you more than planning and project execution, involvinghave gone through the expense for nothing; so be sure that you have defined theproblems identified and to be overcome with the induction of a new system. maintenance of schedules and budgets plus requiring considerable project management skills.InvESTMEnTS nEEdEdFor successful implementation to take place, a certain number of investments are the present time and situation. An analysis must be done to see what projectsrequired. It requires an investment of financial resources, time, and staff. Other are already in place and how the initiation of another may impact them or viceimportant points are enthusiasm, determination, decision making, planning, versa. Many operators tend to already have too many projects in place and itexecution and continuous improvement. is almost impossible for them all to succeed. Since all projects require access to limited or even scarce resources, it is vital that each project has a clear reasonTHE RIgHT TIME for existing. It must be determined that the present time and situation are rightProjects are always desirable and generally someone is always pushing for them for the project and whether the existence of this project might effect the successto happen immediately. The key is to examine whether the project is right for of another. IT Vendors: want to get your message out? Want to publish your latest news and technology updates where they’ll be seen? ISSUE 2 • SUMMER 2011 Looking for the best place to showcase your best solutions? Piecing the IT jigsaw together Why not join AircraftIT MRO? • EA: the beating heart of the business • MRO IT Project Management: keeping How long did that take? capturing Measuring electrical load man-hours the plan Using and keeping information with CMS White Papers: ICF • AeroSoft • EnvelopeAPN Case Studies: Lufthansa Technik Philippines • Host Live Software Demo Webinars or receive Private Demos • Marshall Aerospace Aircraft IT MRO V1.2 June-July 2011.indd 1 12/07/2011 09:04 • Educate the aviation IT world about your products Click here to find out how to join AircraftIT
  5. 5. SUMMER 2011 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | WHITE PAPER: ENVELOPE APM | 39 CLICK HERE fOR fULL SOfTwARE dETAILS And fOR A dEMOTHE PROJECT MAnAgER – THE RIgHT PERSOn fOR THE JObOne of the major factors in predicting success for any project is selecting theright project manager. Project management is both a science and an art. It ismore than planning and project execution, involving maintenance of schedulesand budgets plus requiring considerable project management skills. This is wherethe project manager comes into play. For a project to be successful, the projectmanager must have the backing and support of upper management, and thatcan sometimes be tough. If the project manager wants to please everyone, he/she is not the right person for the role. The project manager ensures that thedeliverables are met regardless of whose toes he/she needs to step on to get thejob done.UPPER MAnAgEMEnTUpper management cannot afford a loose involvement but must be activelyinvolved during the implementation process. Support from top managementwill allow for a more seamless implementation because they are responsible askey stakeholders and so should play a pivotal role at the initiation stage. Shouldthey be only partially involved or not involved at all, their lack of involvementwill lead to delays and eventually, to a failure of the implementation. With thebacking of top management, quick decisions will mean less delay, ensuring asmooth implementation process.COSTSAnother important aspect to consider is project resources, specifically costs.Project resources should be adequate to complete the project. Too often whenresources are being allocated, the true costs are not accurately calculated missingthe hidden costs. Hidden costs, when not taken into account, will lead to out ofcontrol finances which, in turn, can mean project failure.PEOPLEInsufficient resources and an insufficient number of team members will alsoplay a major role in the project’s success. A lack of resources or insufficientresources required for the MRO software implementation will lead to failure orserious problems in achieving the project objectives and milestones. The systemneeds proper infrastructure and resources for its successful implementation. Toavoid errors in implementation and to ensure a smooth process, there shouldbe sufficient resources available. Choosing the right people and the right teamis a key contributor to success. Team members must all possess the necessaryskills and must be willing to be involved in the project. A project will not workwith team members who do not want to be involved or do not see the longterm value of the new MRO software. The right people will be enthusiasticabout the project. No matter how enthusiastic a team may be, it is generally notpossible for members of teams to carry on with their day to day activities whilealso implementing the new MRO software so additional internal or externalresources are usually required. Once a project starts to fail because of lack of manpower, it is difficult tonegotiate for the additional time and money which will be necessary to ensuresuccess. A commitment to enough manpower resources must be settled uponbefore starting the project implementation. A complete resource analysis shouldbe carried out in the initial phase to justify the expenditure and need. With respect to the implementation and possible success of your project, youmay additionally need to identify other external resources such as facilities,equipment and managerial staff. These resources are a major cost and willimpact the budget. Failure to identify outside resource costs could place aconsiderable burden on the project; however utilization of outside specialists orconsultants may reduce this risk.LACK Of UndERSTAndIngOver a decade working with MRO software projects, I have found that oneof the most difficult challenges for implementation is the lack of educationand understanding of MRO software. The other main challenge is a limitedknowledge of the true scale of a product implementation from operators andupper management.dEvELOPMEnT Of METHOdOLOgIESThere are several ways for assuring project realization and success. We can dothis with the development of methodologies and quality processes that are nowconsidered standard. Despite the existence of standard methodologies, projects
  6. 6. 40 | WHITE PAPER: ENVELOPE APM | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | SUMMER 2011 to learn; when we look at training programs we must look at the benefits, advantages and value of trained and knowledgeable staff, as they are the foundation for MRO software implementation and future operations. For the greatest return on your investment with your system, users must fully understand the software capabilities. Training must focus on technical and non-technical aspects. Training programs should be defined for each level of user. For example, senior managers may need training on a broader level compared with an operator who may need training on analytics and reporting aspects of the system. Different training approaches and styles may need to be made available as not all individuals learn the same way. The best approach for training delivery is a rolled- out approach over a specific period of time. This allows for comprehensive learning without overly taxing the students. Also, use the latest technologies available for delivery; available technologies include video blog, web based, and computer based. Other training styles include classroom, web application format, printed materials, on the job, and e-Courses. One of the most important factors for continuedstill fail because companies do not have them PROJECT fAILURE successful use of the MRO IT software should bein place in the organization as policy. You must Often companies that implement MRO IT systems continual long term training. Over time, most usersset in place your company project management have only a vague notion of what deliverables they will develop short cuts with the program; they willmethodologies. Without them, projects undertaken want to see from implementation of a new system, tend to find the shortcomings of the application andin your organization simply have no foundation for and this is really where companies should focus their create ‘work arounds’. These short cuts and ‘worksuccess. attention. With this, we should look at project failure arounds’, in my experience, can mean dropping over and how to overcome improper management and 25% of the systems features and functions. AnotherSELECTIng MRO IT execution. Most aviation software implementations issue is that many users tend not to look outside theImplementing an MRO solution is a difficult have a terrible implementation record as do software module in which they work and are simply unawarepractice. It is important that the organization makes implementations generally for that matter. A study of the secondary effects that short cuts may causethe correct decisions when selecting the best MRO by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) concluded that within other modules of the program. A blendedIT for their purposes. Consideration must be given “half of all projects fail, and only 2.5% of corporations training approach will, over time, provide studentsto projected growth, geographical locations, long consistently meet their targets for scope, time and with the appropriate information in the bestterm abilities and the investigative factors when cost goals for all types of projects” - www.pwc.com. environment to comprehensively absorb the widerselecting the MRO IT package. This practice is Why do software implementation projects fail? functionality of the system and will also exposedifficult for typical MRO facilities that simply have There are lots of reasons such as poor sponsorship, students to the best learning styles for them.limited exposure and knowledge about the MRO IT weak reporting and communication and a lack When planning your training program, rememberenvironment selection process and bench marking of management leading to improper control of to review the following questions: Who will be thethe required deliverables. the project. Other reasons for which projects fail audience? What type of training deliveries will be Whether you are working with a consultant or include poorly defined objectives, poor planning, used? If using classroom training or workshops, willyour internal PMO or simply the engineering continued utilization of old technologies, lack the training be held at the head office environment,department heads, the more detailed an idea you of project management methodologies and or will the trainees come to a specific training centerhave going into application selection and then utilizing poorly trained or inexperienced staff with on-site or will they be required to travel regionallyimplementation, the more likely you are to choose insufficient levels of knowledge. The number one or internationally? Will the training roadmap bethe best application for your purposes and to have reason for failure is that project managers often completed internally or via the MRO softwarethat application configured to fit your specific needs fail to set a clear direction for the project. Without company? Who will be responsible for the deliverytoday and in the future. a clear direction, their projects suffer scope creep, of web based training options? Will the software cost overruns and delays. company develop the initial training materialsEXCESS CUSTOMIzATIOn including the manuals and e-learning courses?Excess customization and multi-location TRAInIng Will there be any score card for the training? Willimplementation can have an effect on the system. Extensive training programs need to be given to students be required to undertake examinations?Many modern MRO systems allow for some users to overcome implementation troubles. Thecustomization, however too many alterations to users of a newly implemented MRO IT software CHAngE MAnAgEMEnTsuit the requirements of the business outside of the must be given sufficient time to understand the new Change is difficult for most people and companiesinitial intended use can and will cause issues if the system and get used to it. They should be allowed and it must be managed; but it is inevitable and soproduct is customized to fit the organization and more time to learn the system logically as well as staff must be flexible. The software company andnot the organization to fit the product. The risk being provided with opportunities to work through the software itself will often introduce changes,is that the software will have too many alterations complete system workflows perhaps with small including to roles, responsibilities, procedureswhich can change the software totally and result in workshop scenarios prior to the ‘go live’ phase. The and processes. Your management team mustproject failure. A little customization is helpful but initial investment of time and support for new users be able to deal with these changes, adapt andtoo much can lead to errors in the implementation. will give greater returns into the future operation of continue to control the project. This can be doneInitially, it is best to allow the software to the system. Allowing department heads and users to with continued education and management, asoperate off the shelf; then, only after running-in, be involved with the workshop scenario creation will well as communication. Where there is a lack ofproduction and a gap analyses, implement the allow for local users to become ‘Super Users’. information, there will be lack of control overrequired customizations. The new system should be made as easy as possible the change. Remember, to overcome resistance to
  7. 7. SUMMER 2011 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | WHITE PAPER: ENVELOPE APM | 41change is to give clear communicationand education. Resistance usuallycomes from fear so educating the “Where there is a lack of information,employees will reduce this. Some there will be lack of control over thepeople will resist change and will haveadjustment issues and some employees change. Remember, to overcomewill simply have anxieties during these resistance to change is to give cleartransition periods. These employeesshould be supported. Management communication and education.”needs to be supportive. Specialtraining programs may be required. People and departments will begreatly affected because of theimplementation of a new MRO ITsystem. Some individuals may loseconsiderable power that they currently implementation could occur if care is not taken. wES PARfITThold within the old system and will Implementation takes investment meaning time Wes Parfitt, PMP® is CEO andresist change as much as possible. If and budget investment, resource investment and founder of EnvelopeAPM Inc. andthe employee refuses to cooperate, upper management investment. Regardless of all Global Aviation Audits. He hasa more forceful approach may be that, if the new software is not implemented the more than 10 years’ experience inrequired. In such cases, the employee right way from the initial phases, you will have long aerospace project management,will be offered an incentive to leave term and continual loss on that investment, more audits and MRO software implementation -the company with either buyout than likely for the life of the software. It is therefore having inducted over 30 MRO M&E systemsoptions or perhaps retirement options; important to consider all possible risks to ensure in 20+ countries in the past decade. Basedor perhaps be internally transferred. that the software is implemented successfully. It is first in Australia and now Canada, and withFor the successful implementation also important to have as much control as possible broad aviation software and technical recordsof an MRO software package, you to produce as few errors as possible. knowledge, Wesley has worked with highcannot allow resistance from those profile, fixed-wing and helicopter operators andin current positions of power. As a MROs across the world.last resort, forceful coercion tacticscan be used. Management can AbOUT THE COMPAnyexplicitly or implicitly force employees EnvelopeAPM Inc. provides Aviation Projectinto accepting change. Successful Management advice and technical servicesimplementation depends on making to clients around the world, specializing init clear that resistance to change can Aviation Project Management. The principal ofand will lead to jobs losses, dismissals, EnvelopeAPM Inc. has worked with customersemployee transfers or loss of on-site in over 20 countries; from airlines topromotion opportunities. Unpleasant helicopter operators, regional airlines, touristas that may seem, the success of the operations and governments.project could depend on it. Their consultants are certified project managers, with (PMP)® credentials, the world’sOTHER ISSUES most important industry recognized certificationOther issues that can occur are that Fig 2: A We have covered some of the points that will need for project managers. Along with aviation Gant Chartthe system may not work in the to track to be considered for successful implementation of an backgrounds, EnvelopeAPM Inc. approach everyway that was planned. To overcome progress MRO IT product plus possible problems that aviation software implementation from theMRO IT implementation troubles, a in each operators may encounter if project management stand point of helping companies with best element ofcontingency plan must be developed the project principles are not followed. In order to achieve a business practices and meeting their criticalat the beginning of the project. successful implementation, one that is running with business requirements. They have worked withStrategies should be established in the desired deliverables and in which the users are MRO software implementations, continualdetail in order to avoid any errors. satisfied with the improvements to their day to day project management and MRO systems auditing Make sure that proper research about work, it is recommended that project management programs in Asia-Pacific, Australasia, Norththe software has been completed. principles be followed. A successful MRO IT America and Europe.The selected MRO software package implementation will provide a good return onshould be suitable for the company investment. ASK THE EXPERTand the selection of the software In addition to being available now to answervendor should be done only after any questions you have arising from this Whiteproper research has been undertaken Paper, Wesley Parfitt is available all year roundincluding an evaluation of internal for one-to-one consultancies via the Ask Theprocesses, and talking and meeting “The users of a newly implemented MRO IT Expert feature at www.aircraftIT.com. He willwith actual users and/or current software must be given sufficient time to be happy to assist you with your queries.customers of the short listed softwarevendors. Request onsite customer understand the new system and get used to it. InTERACTIvE They should be allowed more time to learn the ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTIOnvisits and involve your own internal CLICK HERE TO LEAvE yOUR QUESTIOnusers. Your internal users of the system logically as well as being provided withcurrent legacy system are the oneswho know the environment best. opportunities to work through complete system InTERACTIvE JOIn THE dEbATE Some of the factors that lead workflows.” CLICK HERE TO LEAvE yOUR fEEdbACK AbOUT THIS ARTICLE And START OR JOIn A dISCUSSIOnto errors with MRO software