Migrations Are Emotional Events, So Work to Minimize the Pain

Even if the technology being used is important, the success of any control system migration will be mainly people-related. Plan for disruption and try to minimize that.

Even if the technology being used is important, the success of any control system migration will be mainly people-related. Plan for disruption and try to minimize that.

Operators, technicians and everyone else directly touched by a migration will be upset. Regardless of the benefits, nobody is going to like it. Just accept this. When you are explaining the new equipment, do not exaggerate or misstate anything because everyone will only remember the thing you said it could do, but it turns out it can't.

It is mandatory to conduct an extensive upfront study to identify and clearly define the implementation strategy and the potential consequences to production. Involve operations, maintenance and management teams so that the suggested transition will be "blessed" by all. Making the transition as smooth as possible will require the cooperation of all involved.

Structure your team to include both seasoned personnel who are the old-system's experts (and know how it really works) and relatively new personnel who are competent enough to learn, but not already ingrained with the old system. The newer people will pick up the new system more easily, while the more-experienced people will be able to stop you from doing something stupid.

 

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