In my last post I discussed the tone to set in rolling out supply chain technology on a global scale, that the implementation team must have an ingrained sense of the OODA loop in order to develop and build roll-out momentum that is positive and successful. Although the global design that the technology will conform to and the global leadership that initiates the global design must essentially remain consistent, at the regional or local level implementation teams and their traditional methods of operation will vary widely. This is true for both the vendor and client, and I believe an ingrained OODA loop discipline builds bridges to bring these regional or local pieces into synch as a global technology deployment progresses.
In order to create the right tools for a global IT roll-out template, the team developing such a template must take to heart three key principles:
- Never assume, always verify because...
- The assumptions you make locally or regionally can kill you globally.
- The assumptions you make globally can kill you locally or regionally.
Anyone who has worked on global projects likely understands these principles and has probably either met a local manager who assumes the global team has the wrong approach for their country or perhaps a global manager who assumes the local team works by the same practices established in headquarters.
It is virtually impossible to avoid making assumptions, but an ingrained sense of the OODA loop allows us to catch ourselves making the most detrimental assumptions. Most importantly, the global implementation team is responsible for doing the due diligence required to sufficiently understand the local or regional environment and be able to bridge the local or regional implementation teams to the global template. At this point, the local or regional implementation teams are responsible for maintaining this alignment with the global template and, as a result, the global design and implementation strategy.
Since problems will most certainly arise if this alignment is not in place by the time the roll-out project is kicked-off locally or regionally, the global team must be proactive in providing the information and tools necessary weeks in advance of any local or regional interaction with the client. Likewise, the local or regional leadership must never make assumptions regarding the project prior to synch-up with the global team. I can confidently say from experience that failure to do the above will result in issues that, although not necessarily irreversable, will negatively impact the roll-out and the teams' views of each other in advancing forward.
The pieces I will talk about in future posts--rule sets and implementation tools--are the pieces that both govern the development of an OODA loop-driven mindset and allow implementation teams around the globe to successfully work from a global IT roll-out template. But it is important to remember that going into a global roll-out with the wrong set of principles will make rules and tools meaningless.