MOM Chronicles: ISA95 Best Practices

MOM Chronicles: ISA95 Best Practices

I feel I should apologize for my last post about new MESA International information. I just tried to clean up the press releases I received rather than make sense of them.

There are two aspects to what MESA was announcing: white papers and training.

White Papers

The MESA technical committee (of which I am a member) develops and publishes white papers to members informing members about technology advances and implementations to help the practitioner-members understand and obtain the greatest value from their manufacturing execution systems (MES). White papers are generally available only to members. Contact MESA for more information.

The two white papers referenced in the press releases were derived from a book edited by long-time MES leader Charlie Gifford, “The MOM Chronicles: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 3.0.” This book is an ideal starting place for managers, IT professionals and engineers who wish to organize manufacturing enterprise workflows in such a manner as to improve success when implementing any of the various MES technologies. I recommend the book (and I receive no financial reward for the recommendation).


I think that the most valuable service MESA is providing these days is training. It has been offering two courses. Now, as a result of the merger with WBF (formerly World Batch Forum), a course training how to use B2MML (business to manufacturing markup language, part of ISA 95) has been developed. This is a valuable set of XML schemas that help map data into various applications.

Think first

IBM taught me in the first IT class I took many years ago to think first before implementing a digital solution. Hate to say it, but that was 35 years ago. The problem remains. We buy some software. Dump it on a computer. Tell people to use it. It’s not easy to use–or it forces us to change the way we work in order to exploit its benefits. Either case is a recipe for disuse at best or organizational disaster at worst.

It’s the same thing that your first writing teachers taught you about outlining first before you write. Or (at least when I learned) to do a flow chart of the system first then start programming.

Software marketers

For my many marketing readers–a postscript with a tip or two. I gather that the new style of writing press releases is first to set a context, next to use many buzz words to explain what “benefits” will accrue to the user, next throw in an executive quote, then, at long and painful last, sort of explain the product.

Why not state in plain statements what the product is. Then who will use it. Maybe you could state the problem first. But that should be no more than two sentences. Better is one sentence. Let us know quickly and forcefully what it is. Don’t be embarrassed and hide behind fuzzy words and general quotes.

To discuss in greater depth, attend the ISA Marketing & Sales Summit this September in New Orleans.

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