Best Practices and Benchmarks V5.0 final release

By Eric Schaefer posted 03-27-2018 13:04


It’s here, the revisions are done, the pilots are complete and the feedback has been incorporated – Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual Version 5.0 is ready for its final release later this month. It’s been a long journey but a worthwhile one. One of the best practices in any endeavor is a continuous review and improvement process, and CSIA’s Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual is no different. Many people put in a lot of hours and were instrumental in the revisions and new material development, notably the members of the Best Practices Committee, the auditors, our vendor partners and our clients.  Once V5.0 is released later this month, the team will begin the process of looking for additional improvements, reviewing feedback and monitoring our members’ needs as our businesses and markets change.

The manual has been updated to reflect new material in a number sections and includes an entirely new section on cyber security. The entire manual was reviewed for organization, clarity and compliance with a more global relevance. The new material includes significant additional material in the sections titled Marketing and Sales, Environmental Responsibility and Health and Wellness, along with Information Systems and Cyber Security.

One of the top benefits of being a CSIA member is the availability of the Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual. Very few organizations provide such a comprehensive resource manual. It is a manual of the collective intelligence of many successful members throughout the years. It covers every aspect of the System Integration business. It’s no novel, but it is a good read.

Many people ask, “How do you use the manual?” There are many ways to tackle the use of it. The first step is to take some time to read through the manual and understand its contents. Once that is done, you would be prepared to take the next step, to assign an owner to an area where you have higher risk, lots of opportunity to improve, or you have someone with a passion to implement change. Have the owner assess the current state, compared to the target desired state. Review the assessment with management to determine the value of improving. Once you are ready to move forward, develop a roadmap of actions to achieve the desired state, monitoring progress and re-assessing along the way.

Another common question is, “Do you use it only if you are preparing for Certification?” The answer is absolutely not. The manual is a great reference for the day-to-day running of your company, regardless of your final objective. It is your board of consultants, sitting on the shelf and ready to help. Not everyone will take the journey to Certification, but like all things worthwhile, the work it takes to achieve the objective is well worth the investment.

CSIA’s greatest asset is our members and their willingness to share and help others. If you have questions on either Best Practices or Certification, please reach out and ask someone!