The Benefits of Hiring a Third-Party Process Expert to Support Modern Tool Solutions

01/18/2023

Brandy Taylor, IpX VP of Services & Thomas Miller, IpX Director of Enterprise Systems and Processes 

Even though modern tool solutions are designed to be transparent and simple to use, due to the complexity of operations and the need for certain configuration and optimization, it is crucial to have a process expert on your team.

Understandably, many organizations struggle with the decision of whether or not to hire a third-party process expert. This role is often added as a bolt-on to an existing team that also has its hands full with immediate operational tasks and priorities. These team members usually lack either the time or a thorough understanding that a hired process expert provides - along with their proficiency to support an organization’s business process definition, requirements gathering and tool provider selection.

Besides getting to know the fundamentals of the out-of-the-box tool operations from the solution provider, partnering with a process expert allows you to gain guidance and expertise in optimal processes and ways of working. The tool provides a systematic workflow but does not define the business process and activities that must be accomplished efficiently and effectively behind each of the workflow steps. For example, consider the elements of product lifecycle management: requirements release and control, change process, BOM management, product release management, document control, options and variants, part numbering and naming, risk management, forecast and demand management, and planning for aftermarket and serviceability. These activities must have an efficient and effective process that will in turn produce data integrity. Along with all of the activities and decisions that need to be made to accommodate which data belongs in which tool, process experts can steer you towards a single source of truth, or master of data, and proper data ownership making these decisions robust through their guidance on industry standard best practices.

Incorporating external process and tool experts to your team can provide additional perspective and considerations such as:
  • Kick-starting a project with a portfolio of existing foundational sets of requirements from previous implementations.
  • Experience writing good requirements (not solutioning) and user acceptance criteria to guide the solution.
  • Experience with and knowledge of best practices across industry.
  • Ensuring equal voices across the business and a true organizational change management approach.
  • Preventing the key individuals who are running the day-to-day from also running a tool implementation.
  • Efficiently and effectively utilizing the knowledge of key stakeholders/SMEs in key decisions.
  • Capitalizing on the opportunity for process improvement and optimization now with the understanding that good data doesn’t come from automating bad processes.

Modern tools have the ability to integrate people, data, processes and systems providing a digital product information backbone for an enterprise-wide digital thread that spans the functional disciplines, teams, sites and business units of an organization. Decisions being made during the early phases of tool development are often very difficult to undo later. Being confident and efficient in the decisions you make is critical to the long-term use of the solution and resulting efficiency and effectiveness of your business.

IpX's Approach

The IpX discovery methodology draws its influence by focusing on Organizational Change Management instead of a siloed approach. IpX utilizes Six Sigma tools, led by a Certified Six Sigma Blackbelt, to interview, analyze, develop and implement a solution that efficiently drives organizations to a clear, concise, valid, and unified goal.

When the Six Sigma and IpX CM2 methodology are paired together, IpX process experts can map out the As-Is Process, conduct a gap analysis to define the To-Be process, and then define clear, concise and valid requirements within a matter of weeks, when organizations alone find this is almost impossible for them to complete.

For more information on how to get engaged with IpX Services for your next tool or transformation project, contact IpX Services at services@ipxhq.com.

Authors

Brandy Taylor is the VP of Services at IpX with over 20 years of experience in engineering and project management within the aerospace, civil, military and automotive industries. Brandy holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a CM2-Professional certification. Connect on LinkedIn

Thomas Miller s the Director of Enterprise Systems and Processes at IpX with more than 14 years of experience in enterprise systems, business processes, IT/Cyber Security, and software development within the aerospace, automotive and manufacturing industries. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree is Computer Technology with an applied area of manufacturing, a Six Sigma Black Belt for the North American region, and a CM2- Comprehensive certification. Connect on LinkedIn 

Always Evolve with IpX

IpX believes organizational sustainability, scalability and transformation are born from the continual evolution of people, processes, systems and data. Through our leading workforce development platform known as the IDEA Academy, our CM2 standard and certification courses, True North professional services, and digital solution advisement, we enable your organization to always evolve based on a functional blueprint for the ecosystem of tomorrow. Drive innovation, create a better customer experience, and enable your workforce as an organization built for change, speed, quality and resiliency. www.ipxhq.com


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