I had a conversation the other day, in which somebody made the comment “well there is the S95 standard, but it really doesn’t do anything for end users…” [I think I just heard screams of pain].
It is true that the ISA-95 Standard is, well a standard… as such, it is geared to bring commonality to the way that we do things. Furthermore it is broad to allow for flexibility within the space (because not all manufacturers are the same). As a standard it has been adopted [or used as a marketing point] for Vendors that sell/develop software products, which allow for open systems that can/should be able to communicate to other systems.
However, there are additional ways that end users can benefit or use the standard directly. First, make use of the Hierarchy Model outlined in Part 1. Use this model to determine ownership of systems and dividing lines between groups within your organization (such as Engineering and IT). Second, use the standard to help define user requirements for software design or specifications. The standard provides a good listing of all activities and definitions that can help identify what might be needed and in scope verses not needed [or needed yet]. In the next posts I will go deeper into each of these.
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