Selecting Advanced Software Technology in Two Small Manufacturing Enterprises
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST
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Small manufacturing enterprises SMEs face a number of challenges when selecting and implementing advanced software technologies. These challenges may include the lack of awareness of the specific technologies and commercial products available, the lack of ability to select the appropriate product, and the lack of skill sets needed to utilize the selection techniques. This paper documents two small manufacturing enterprises SMEs efforts to select advanced software technologies for their business operations. While the two companies market spaces are completely different, each faced business and operational issues that are common to the broad SME community. Conducting both companies technology selection efforts concurrently allowed the Technology Insertion, Demonstration, and Execution Program to address a wide range of issues and better leverage the selection expense. The generic selection methodology used was a downsizing of the PECA methodology augmented by Analytic Hierarchy Process AHP decision support. PECA was developed by the National Research Council of Canada and the Carnegie Mellon trademark Software Engineering Institute SEI. The body of this report describes the companies, the process, the issues, and the lessons learned during the software selection. The lessons taught SEI how important it is for SMEs to understand their business and how the proposed software will support their firms growth strategy develop or use a process to assign tasks and involve stakeholders if necessary, involve specialists in decision support and technology adoption to help clarify issues and identify potential pitfalls and investigate vendors and their software offerings from a variety of perspectives.
- Administration and Management
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Computer Programming and Software