You’ve just completed a massive project – phew, you did it! Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor, right? Well, in a perfect world…no, actually. After investing so much time and money into a big project, let’s say a brand new warehouse design, before you can truly relax, it’s best to take on one more project: a Post Implementation Assessment. What is a Post Implementation Assessment, you ask? This is when you assess the quality of the implementation to determine what is working, what isn’t, and what needs to be addressed to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. It’s also a good opportunity to see if there are other benefits that can be realized with what has already been implemented.
When we conduct a Post Implementation Assessment, we create a report that is broken out into specific areas of the operation, listing what needs to be tackled as a specific task. This list should be managed weekly and diligently, until all issues are closed. There’s a lot to handle in a process like this, so here are the four steps needed for an effective Post Implementation Assessment.
Step 1: Determine when it’s time to review
While you need to conduct a review of your completed project, you also need to strike a perfect balance for when to perform the assessment. You want it to be early enough, so the project is fresh in everybody’s mind, but you want to ensure there is enough time after so that you have actual data to measure.
Step 2: Make a plan
No matter the size of the project, you need to create a plan for your review process, this will help ensure you don’t miss anything. Some common items to include are:
- Start by deciding how you want the review to be conducted
- Define the scope of the review process
- Review key project planning documents
- Collect clean data
Step 3: What to review
This step is a big one, and will vary greatly between projects and businesses. The most important aspect in this step is to be thorough. At Cornerstone Edge, we always start with a Gap Analysis, focusing on:
General operational analysis: We take a look at the operation as a whole, to identify how processes are unfolding. With this, you may find that personnel are circumventing certain processes, failing to communicate, or submitting incomplete paperwork.
General System observations: We explore how the entire system functions. With this, we can then provide a tactical recommendation for what needs to be addressed (if anything), that should be prioritized, assigned, and managed by a determined date.
Inventory Operations: We use data to identify if there are any errors in documenting and updating inventory data so we can ensure accuracy moving forward.
Inbound operations: We comb through inbound operations to improve master file inaccuracies and ensure that data transfers coming from different plants are accurate.
Outbound operations: This is where we can review how outbound workflows are being managed, like speed of loading, to ensure new workflows are being followed as designed.
This detailed gap analysis is what helps us discern whether the newly established system processes are achieving the goal of improving overall operations, or if they are resulting in a high level of errors, leading to higher labor costs.
Step 4: Report Findings
Once all the data is collected and analyzed, you can start putting it to use. Some questions to ask while reviewing the data are:
- Is any further development needed?
- If yes, we can make a technical recommendation based on that data. We can also take this opportunity to point out what solutions should NOT be used at this time.
- What were the lessons learned?
- Lessons are crucial in helping avoid mistakes down the line, and also in determining other changes that may be valuable to invest in in the future.
- Have project goals been met?
- This is the most important question of all, and the goal is for it to be a resounding yes. If not, however, this is when we make recommendations on what needs to be done to achieve said goal in as few steps as possible. More often than not, failure to meet a goal is usually due to personnel trying to combine outdated functional processes within the newly established system processes – a simple fix – training.
We don’t have to tell you twice, any new process implementation takes time, attention to detail, and a willingness to sift through the complicated details. After all that work, it’s important to take a minute to ensure what you’ve done is working the way it should, and that’s why we’re here. Whether you have a new WMS to implement or are in need of a technology roadmap, Cornerstone Edge can help you achieve that goal, and of course, we will always perform a post implementation assessment to make sure we reached our targets. Give us a call today, and let’s see if we can make your supply chain your differentiator.