JUL-AUG 2017

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INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2017 7 ISA INTECH STAFF CHIEF EDITOR Bill Lydon PUBLISHER Susan Colwell PRODUCTION EDITOR Lynne Franke ART DIRECTOR Colleen Casper SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pam King GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lisa Starck CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Charley Robinson ISA PRESIDENT Steven W. Pflantz PUBLICATIONS VICE PRESIDENT James F. Tatera EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN Steve Valdez GE Sensing Joseph S. Alford Ph.D., P.E., CAP Eli Lilly (retired) Joao Miguel Bassa Independent Consultant Eoin Ó Riain Read-out, Ireland Vitor S. Finkel, CAP Finkel Engineers & Consultants Guilherme Rocha Lovisi Bayer Technology Services David W. Spitzer, P.E. Spitzer and Boyes, LLC Dean Ford, CAP Westin Engineering David Hobart Hobart Automation Engineering Allan Kern, P.E. Tesoro Corporation Perspectives from the Editor | talk to me reating new, innovative, and ef fective solutions should be one of the goals of automation pro- fessionals in addition to solving day-to- day problems. It is easy for problems to consume all our time, but it is important to consciously spend time creatively think- ing. Innovative ideas can come from one person, but more often they come from a collaboration of people from different functional areas. I suggest that automa- tion professionals are in a good position to initiate creative innovation discussions, since automation and controls touch all parts of the manufacturing process, or chestrating and controlling operations. Innovative ideas often challenge exist- ing paradigms, including methods, pro- cesses, and procedures. This is why it is useful to list our assumptions and men- tal ly "kick hard" against current meth- ods, processes, and procedures to gain new insights. There are many processes to help groups create new ideas. One I learned when trained as a group facilitator at the University of Buffalo Creative Education Foundation may be useful: FPISA. This is very effective when you have a group of people working together. F – Fact finding List all the facts about the area you want to improve. It is usually good to target a broad area first and narrow it down into specific target areas later. It is really im- portant to stretch your mind to identify a wide range of associated facts that might not be initially obvious. P – Problem/opportunity finding It is easy to jump to conclusions when thinking what the problem or opportuni- ty might be, so it is good to create many statements around this topic. Spend time completing this question: "In what ways might we ______?" Generate a large number of these questions, and when you think you are finished, stretch your mind and define some more, even if they appear silly or impractical. This is really an important part of the pro - cess to dig deep, because we are con- ditioned by our environment to hold on to assumptions and established ways of doing things. I – Idea finding More commonly known as brainstorm- ing, in this process you use the "In what ways might we" questions to focus on a challenge and then brainstorm for new ideas. Do this for a number of the prob- lem/opportunity statements, and brain - storm ideas for each one of them. You may be surprised what insights this gives you by broadening your focus. S – Solution finding After developing a field of ideas, develop some criteria to measure potential solu- tions and new ideas to rate them to get down to the best few. At this point, it is important to narrow the field of things that the group believes are valuable. A – Acceptance finding New ideas, processes, and methods can be intimidating, so it is important to think about how to sell them into the or- ganization in a way that will be accept- able to others. Think about the benefits for all stakeholders. During this process, you may think of new ideas or flaws in your plans, and this can be an opportu- nity to rethink them using the FPISA pro- cess. This is a very important step, since an innovative idea is not helpful to an organization unless it is accepted and implemented. Innovation is a collaborative process by which organizations abandon old para- digms and make significant advances. n What is your innovation process? By Bill Lydon, InTech, Chief Editor C

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