Common Tools Can Improve Performance

Tools and Improvement

I have seen companies go through great gyrations to improve the efficiency and effectively of their projects and as a result their organization. For large distributed companies or company subsidiaries, the ability to easily share information and details can save considerable time and trauma. One example is recounted in a story about the Airbus A380 but if that is not enough, I will share another recent example.

Connect the Team via Tools

Consider a vertically integrated company that is a company that has the supply chain integrated into one company. One part of the company provides sub assemblies to another part of the company that produces a final product for the customer. Think about how the configuration management or change management would be coordinated if the fundamental tools were the same – for example the requirements management information. If these different but connected parts of the company used a common requirement and change management tool. The decomposition and mapping of the requirements as well as any change to those over time are more readily found. With disparate systems or an ad hoc approach regarding requirements management, experience suggests, is who you know or about access to specific tool and data storage areas. Finding this out requires time and changes in one of the subsystems not articulated to the depending systems can cost plenty as we try to make this work.

Conclusion of Tools

We are not saying that tools solve all problems, but disparate collection of tools among team players is less helpful and coordinated an effort.  You need not take complicated measures to improve your company’s efficiency and effectively.  Start by getting past “we do it our way here” approach.  Converge on a product life cycle management tool in which the entire team, developers, testing, manufacturing and sales support can access.  Everybody can see how the parts will go together and changes that are coming.  Doing this manually takes time and invariably, experience suggests, will result in a mistake.

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