Chapter 6:

Project Prioritization

How do we decide which projects to proceed with, and in what order?

A Comprehensive Guide for Manufacturers

Use this step-by-step book as your guide to a successful digital manufacturing journey.

Now that you’ve chosen some candidate digital projects, the next task is to decide which to take on first.

Tech Readiness

We suggest evaluating them according to these three criteria:

Tech Readiness

It’s worth reiterating that success will be elusive if you select projects that greatly exceed the technical foundation you have in place. The timeframe, resources, and investment required for preparation may likely be too great to sustain, and the initiative can collapse under its own weight well before implementation. Or else critical technical gaps may only become evident during rollout, which is too late. Hopefully, the previous steps of this tutorial will have helped you avoid any such scenarios.

Momentum

Momentum

In the beginning, we highly recommend choosing use cases that will generate real value in a short timeframe. Every organization has doubters, and we find that when initial efforts move slowly, skeptics only become more skeptical. Select early-stage projects for rapid deployment. Quick wins strengthen confidence, shore up the initiative, and build sponsorship and support for the substantial investments you’ll need later on.

Financial impact

Financial impact

To know which projects will deliver the most bang for the buck — and how soon — you have to quantify the impact of manufacturing production improvements on corporate profitability. Plant managers naturally focus on productivity, but conventional productivity metrics don’t readily convert to dollars. What’s required is a universal and consistent method to do that.

Sight MachineSight Machine has developed a productivity metric, the Manufacturing Performance Index (MPI), that lets you translate performance improvements into output gains and dollars generated.

We recommend using the MPI, and our tool for calculating it, to evaluate and compare the profitability impacts of a range of possible digital projects. Our white paper will show you how.