Considerations when implementing IT/OT projects to make them succeed

Oct 16, 2019 2:19:00 PM . Maryanne Steidinger

 Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, RAD Platforms---these are technologies that are transformational, requiring both a culture change (ie, the people using them) as well as a process change (the systems they may interact with).  They require internal readiness to be sure that the project outlines are well established, and have an internal champion make sure that the original project goals are understood and met.

Depending upon a specific technology to solve all of your problems--such as machine learning or artificial intelligence--without understanding the underlying processes and people involved may lead to more complexity, not less.  You have to understand why you are bringing this technology into your company.  Is it to solve a particular problem--like a line shut down or product quality issue--or is it brought in under the auspice of a 'skunkworks' project, just for evaluation, but with no clear goals for use cases, deployment, or infrastructure?

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Focusing on a specific issue--and making sure your technology vendor has documented use cases that reflect your specific challenges--will help your project success, because you'll be able to see the clear outcome of your project.

Another aspect of IT/OT projects are the people that need to be involved.  Is it a large team, or a core group of Subject Matter Experts that are required? Can you simply communicate the goals and objectives of the project, or is it open ended, with no clear conclusions expected?  What about a timeline? Having a project plan in place, with participant roles and milestones, will ensure that the project stays on track and your objectives met.

At the end of the day, it's all about internal discipline.  Do you have the right people involved? Is there a clear goal for the project, with timelines and milestones? Do you have contingency plans in place, in case the project isn't tracking to your expected conclusion?  Do you have strong project sponsorship, access to the right resources, equipment, processes and budget?   These will all lead you to a successful project.