Leveraged Application Work Groups

The leveraged application work group is responsible for capturing the business benefits that accrue across multiple manufacturing sites during the definition, development, and deployment of an application. The work group is composed of representatives from each business or site that derives benefit from the application, as well as a project engineer or analyst and a sponsor from the corporate staff function that is held accountable for the success of the program.

The work group is formed soon after an individual business unit or site requests development of a new manufacturing application. Additional sites and business units are solicited for membership in the work group by distributing a brief description of the application and anticipated benefits from deployment across multiple sites. A project engineer or analyst is assigned to draft a detailed specification that is then reviewed and upgraded by the work group. Upon reconciliation of all the requested modifications to the specification, the document is reviewed with the application supplier. The supplier provides a proposal for developing the application (functional design concepts, cost, and schedule).

Funding from each site and business unit for the development of the application is a key component in the success of leveraging software. Funding from multiple sources reduces the cost for each individual site.

Upon delivery of the application analysis and detailed design documents from the supplier, the application work group reviews the design and decides what modifications or scope changes are required. The work group is responsible for making certain that the final design will bring the maximum benefit across the different sites.

The application work group decides which site is appropriate for piloting the application. Selection of the first site is important because the lessons learned at this site will be the basis for deployment at additional sites. After installation at several sites, the work group compiles all the installation lessons and benefit information. A best practices/implementation guide is compiled for rollout at multiple sites.

A communications bulletin is distributed to all the business units and sites for potential reuse of the application. This communication alerts sites considering development of a similar or redundant application.

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