First a specification, with this post I am addressing the rollout of Model-Based Design in large corporations, e.g. companies with at least 5 divisions using the Model-Based Design methodologies. Information on rollouts for smaller companies can be found in the post on “group roll out” in the Model-Based Design roadmap.
The discussion of deploying Model-Based Design across a company requires reviewing the working groups and roles as well as how to maintain common tools and methods across the company.
Roles within the company
There are three roles to address:
- Model-Based Design Working Group (MBD-WG)
- Model-Based Design Tool and Support Group (MBD-TSG)
- Model-Based Design Director (MBD-D)
Model-Based Design Working Group
The MBD-WG is composed of technical and process experts from each division. In the initial company rollout, their role is to present their divisions best practices for MBD and, as a group, determine what the common best practices will be. Once the initial process is delivered their role is to
- Suggest improvements to the process
- Identify issues with common process for their division
- Act as point of contact for their division on MBD
Model-Based Design Tools & Support Group
The MBD-TSG role is to
- Provide the common infrastructure for Model-Based Design
- Provide training on the use of the Model-Based Design infrastructure
- Analyse changes to the MBD tool suite for desirable features
(e.g. review new releases of tools for features that will provide additional or missing functionality)
Model-Based Design Director
The director role is unique to larger corporations. Their role is to both arbitrate between groups and to set the overall vision of how Model-Based Design will be implemented within the company. To that end, there are several requirements for the person filling the role, both technical and managerial aspects.
1.) Understanding of traditional software development processes and Model-Based Design processes
The most obvious is an understanding of the fundamentals of traditional software development and Model-Based Design. In the role of Model-Based Design Director, they will be responsible for articulating the reasons for the transition to MBD. This leads to the second requirement.
2.) Experience arbitrating between competing objectives
It is common for different divisions to have developed different approaches to Model-Based Design. The role of MBD-D includes arbitration between the members of the Working Group to help develop the common infrastructure plan. In order to do this, the director needs to become familiar with the process and requirements of each division. This leads to the third requirement.
3.) Dedicated time to the Model-Based Design establishment effort
A common failure point in the establishment of a company-wide Model-Based Design process is having the director’s time split between multiple projects. During the first three to five years of the establishment effort having the director focused on the establishment of the MBD process is critical. This includes time to visit each division, meeting with the working group, attending conferences on Model-Based Design.
4.) Ability to articulate the Model-Based Design vision
The final role is to provide information to groups both inside and outside of the active divisions. Changing processes requires consistent commitment and having a person at the “top” who can articulate a vision greatly enhances the chance that the adoption will succeed.
The rollout across a large organization presents a number of unique challenges that smaller companies do not face. These challenges derive from the unique methodologies that each division may have developed during their implementation process. To minimize these issues the sooner a Model-Based Design Director and MBD-WG can be established the more effective the rollout will be.