Overseeing the implementation of new software can be like herding cats – many moving parts that can leave you scarred and take bites out of your productivity. Those bites result in rework, conflict, busted schedules, and cost overruns. Sure, implementation is hard work, but there are guidelines that can take a lot of the pain out of the process. We asked David Wolfe, world-renowned Plant 3D expert and Applied Software Director of Manufacturing Technology Services, for advice he would give firms looking to implement AutoCAD Plant 3D.
Following are David’s recommendations:
- Internal project management – With large implementations, schedules and technologies must be coordinated among IT, vendors and design groups. Designating a project manager for internal activities will help keep teams on task and contributing to your implementation.
- Start early – Don’t wait until you have a project deadline to start implementing software. In the rush to get work out, many times people choose the easy way instead of the right way. Long term, doing things the easy way can mean reworking project standards and entering tags multiple times for an entire project – all of which increase the internal pressure on performance.
- Pilot project – The best implementation scenario allows users to work with the software on a dry run. Sample projects start with a couple of P&IDs, existing equipment data sheets and pre-defined structural buildings. Having designers put together familiar designs allows them to focus on the new software process and de-emphasizes design requirements.
- Training schedule – Every user should have training before using the software on a time-sensitive project. Making use of basic training provides a framework and experience upon which advanced software skills can build. Jumping into an advanced class first is less efficient and won’t maximize a user’s productivity. Check out the Applied Software training schedule for classes to help build your framework and experience.
- Hands on – After basic training, users ideally will spend one to two weeks working in the software. Having some “drive time” on the product allows them to see where their preconceptions about the product differ from reality. Following up that time with one or two hours of Q&A with a trainer allows them to quickly move past issues that might arise and keeps the implementation moving along. Applied Software Partner Support Services can help you leverage your existing platforms and tools.
Don’t get stuck herding cats during your Plant 3D implementation. Sidestep the pain points and multiply your efforts using internal management, advance planning, training, and hands-on experience. Contact Applied Software to partner with you on solutions to support collaboration, supply chain integration and rapid prototyping.
If you’d like to learn more about using Plant 3D in the manufacturing industry, check out this interview with David Wolfe – Bridging the Gap: Trends in Plant 3D.