Encouraging System-Adoption by Including Key Players

Avoid system sabotage

A recent article featured strategies to overcome employees’ resistance to change. Fear can lead employees to either actively or passively resist change. Our implementation team has heard stories of active resistance that include sabotaging equipment: tablets accidentally damaged or power sources mysteriously missing. In one instance, an IT department refused to support a system because the operations department did not include them in the selection process. This type of dysfunction can be avoided by

  1. Including key players from each department in the selection and design process and
  2. Selecting an effective champion to lead the implementation process.

During a past CAT Squared User Summit, one of our customer’s presentations featured their experience moving away from managing lab data on spreadsheets. Throughout the transition, our customer included key players in the design of their new LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) software. At the User Summit, our customer’s Technical Services Superintendent described her initial apprehension with the new system’s design and how she came to understand its logic and ultimately champion the system’s adoption.

“When I started, I was told that a LIMS system was being developed that would be flexible for multiple facility types, structured to prevent errors at the user level, and capable of data analysis,” said the Technical Services Superintendent. “When I was first introduced to the new system, my initial impression was that the structure was too rigid. The site must be set up before samples could be created, and only specific employees had permissions to do the set up. However, I came to realize that this structure was necessary.

“The set-up process enforces necessary communication that can prevent costly errors and keeps the testing between facilities consistent. Additionally, once we understood the process, we discovered that the functionality around inventory, equipment, and quality control was so flexible that we were able to design the data gathering and reporting around our company’s specific processes. This is a lab person’s dream come true!”

In her conclusion, the presenter explained, “After we transitioned through the initial set-up process, we found that very little labor is required from the end user compared to our testing processes prior to implementing LIMS. With our new LIMS system, we can:

  • Develop barcode sample labels.
  • Interface barcodes with lab equipment.
  • Interface with lab equipment.
  • Track and trend data.
  • Send emails when certain trends are identified.
  • Create a module to input, track, and report on corrective actions associated with lab errors, NRs, FSCARs, plant deviations, and audit findings.”

Including key players in the design process ensures the system is aligned with the organization’s processes and reduces training time because the end users understand the logical flow of data through the system. Inclusion in the process also gives end users a sense of ownership and pride in what they are creating.

If you would like to interact with other CAT Squared MES end-users, please consider attending the next CAT Squared User Summit. The Summit brings together our customers from around the world to share best practices and learn about new technology becoming available to the food processing industry. The next User Summit is scheduled for August 21-23, 2018 at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute atop Petit Jean Mountain.


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