SmartPlant Instrumentation®
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Beacon RankIt Express®

The SPTUF website has been designed to enable the Intergraph SmartPlant User community to Rank Change Request ideas. Dennis Cooley LTUF Co-Chair of the Canadian SPI LTUF designed, developed, and implemented a Ranking Application known as RankIt Express. RankIt Express is the backbone behind this Website. The web application has been designed to enable both the SPI and SPEL User Communities worldwide to get involved in the process of Making Change Happen.

Specifically RankIt Express will enable the following:

  1. Meaningful Ranking Results:
    1. Simple Ranking Selection:
      Each idea will be ranked based on the following criteria:
      Strongly Agree (0/10) Agree Consider Disagree Abstain
    2. Tie Breakers: The number of Votes will act as the tie breaker when ideas have the same Ranking.
  2. Ranking Time Savings - Respecting the End User's Time: It is anticipated that over time there will be dozens if not hundreds of ideas. So RankIt Express has been designed to take this into consideration, most importantly it takes into consideration the time commitment of the User Community to Rank ideas. The system enables users to define Company and or individual user preferences. The preferences will influence (filter) what ideas are put forward to them for Ranking. e.g. If I work for an EPC I may not have any interest in Ranking a idea specific to an Operating Owner database. Users can also adjust their preferences so that they are only exposed to ideas that they have not already Ranked.
  3. Providing Meaningful Input Back to Intergraph and the Client Companies: This powerful application can be exploited to the benefit of both Intergraph and the clients themselves. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Overall Top Ranked Ideas, Per Company, Per Region, and or Globally: Intergraph and or the User Community could ask to see the top Ranked ideas across the entire SP application, whether it be for a specific Module e.g. Instrument Datasheets, or a specific Function e.g. Revision Management, or Foundation Fieldbus.
      1. High Value Ideas for Each Client: Clients can solicit input from within their own companies by having a number of stakeholders within their company contributing to the Ranking of the ideas. The client can then produce a Ranking Report that captures the high value ideas of specific interest to their company. Note Intergraph would also see the benefits of this.
    2. Niche Areas Can be Assessed on their own basis: The system has been developed to enable Intergraph and the User Community to look at each of these niche areas individually and not get watered down by the rest of the SP ideas. For instance Intergraph will be able to ask to see the top Ranked Owner Operator ideas, or Foundation Fieldbus ideas, or Process Module ideas, etc.
    3. Enables Ideas to Be Circulated Quickly: The web based approach to sharing ideas with the Community enables Rankings to happen immediately. This is important as some LTUFs only get together once a year or even less.
    4. Ideas can be Ranked based on Merit versus its ability to be Circulated within the User Community: The current method used works well for ideas that are widely circulated or for petitions pertaining to functionality that has been removed. E.g. Many ideas were submitted pertaining to being able to see all Users Connected to the Database via SPI Admin Interface. This idea was submitted by a large number of Users; the thing to note here is that this was functionality that was removed in more recent versions of SPI. As a result the idea was submitted by a number of Companies. The current method did not work well with great ideas if the general user community was not aware of it. It is unrealistic to expect Many Individuals to independently come up with a New idea and have the drive to capture it properly for Peer review. RankIt Express enables one user to put forward the idea to the entire user community at once. The idea can be Ranked based on its perceived merit versus its ability to be circulated and recognized.
  4. Quick Tabulation of Rankings: RankIt Express enables the valuable rankings to be sliced and sorted many different ways. Best of all the tabulation of the Rankings is done on the fly by RankIt Express. This can significantly reduce the time it takes to compile and tally the Ranking results. Of course the results are available for printing on a ‘Printable Summary Report’.
  5. User Community Comments Recorded: The users will have an opportunity to voice their thoughts on each idea. RankIt Express captures Blogs per idea. It is anticipated that the blogs will enable a good idea to become and excellent idea. As obtaining input from a number of sophisticated users on a subject will better ensure the idea meets the needs of the greater user community.
  6. Identification of Intergraph Business Opportunities: RankIt Express realizes that the ideas put forward should also take into consideration the business benefit to Intergraph. As such it encourages the idea submitters to select one or more business benefits that the idea will have for Intergraph and / or the User community.
  7. Intergraph Feed Back to User Community: The application enables Intergraph to provide comments back to the User community efficiently. The application has its own Intergraph Control Panel. The Control Panel is only accessible to key Intergraph personnel e.g. Alex Koifman. The Control Panel has an Internal Review commenting section and then ultimately a Public section. The Internal section has been setup to enable Intergraph to assign the idea to key people within Intergraph for review. Their comments are recorded but not made public. Intergraph can also use this interface to further define the impact of the change and the number of hours it would take to implement the idea.
    1. Idea Submitters Get Feedback: Each Submitter of an idea of course has a keen interest in how their idea has been received by the User Community and Intergraph. To facilitate this RankIt Express has provided the following tools:
      1. Submitter Panel To View His/Her Ideas: The user has access to this information with just a click of a button away in his or her own Interface Panel. Each user will be able to see their ideas separate from all of the other ideas in the System.
      2. Preference To Be Informed When Comments have been Added to His/Her Idea: RankIt Express has a preference to enable the Submitter to be emailed when anyone adds a comment to their idea. – Note this preference will be available in the next release of RankIt Express, currently all comments are automatically emailed to the Submitter.
  8. Opens The Door To Greater Community Involvement: The Web based approach lends itself to enabling greater community involvement:
    1. Better Representation of Interests within Companies: No longer do all of the users need to funnel their thoughts, ideas etc. via a central point within their company. (And hope the representative understands their position enough to stand up for it). Note the website is an enabler for this. If a company chooses to funnel the ideas they can continue to do this.
    2. Geography is No Longer a Hindrance for Participation: End users from around the world can all provide their thoughts, etc. in this forum. So if an end user is not able to get their company to pay for travel to a remote location for a meeting, the user still has the ability to participate in the idea Ranking process.
If you would like to see other Applications Ranked using this software or if you have any questions about RankIt Express, and or have ideas for the Web Application itself please contact Dennis Cooley.

Dennis Cooley
Canadian LTUF Co-Chair

Cell. (403) 975-9797