and a team approach.
the issues of airborne molecular contamination (AMC),
equipment reliability, disaster recovery, and risk assessment/
safety. Despite the wide spectrum of topics, the fundamental
roadmap to success remains the same:
1. Develop the case for an ESD program
2. Get buy-in from upper management, including the C-suite
3. Establish a strong team
4. Carefully assess your facility and corporate needs
5. Develop the plan
6. Roll out the plan and gain buy-in
7. Develop and instill an ongoing training program
8. Develop a review and assessment program, leading to con-
“Where’s the beef?”—Developing a
The bottom line to remember is that an effective ESD
program must be comprehensive in its analysis and identifi-
cation of ESD impact, comprehensive in its development and
execution, and comprehensive in its training, effectiveness
assessment, and modification against future requirements.
Like any program of significance in today’s business world,
your first step is to develop the business case for an ESD control program. This step will lay the foundation for a more
in-depth assessment of your facility. But most importantly it
will set the stage with upper management, and may significantly impact your level of support—both in financial terms
and ensuring your program is mainstreamed into your organization and viewed as a critical component of your operations.
So do your job well.
Pull together data on losses attributed to ESD, past
incidents, vulnerable product and process points, and the
potential yield, along with financial and operations impacts
that a well-crafted ESD control program will deliver. To do
that you’ll need to determine the costs of ESD as accurately
as possible, so dig out records such as customer returns,
failure analyses, quality incidents, yield data, and any other
sources related to ESD issues. And if your process spans multiple locations—for example, when final assembly and test
is located offshore—be sure your analysis covers the entire
Then seek champions within the organization to review your
draft. Make adjustments and recruit those champions to informally
support the program. You will need them at your next milestone:
getting upper management (and potentially C-suite) buy-in.
Taking it to the top—Getting buy-in
The business world is littered with discarded ideas and necessary initiatives that were tossed aside or died a slow, quiet death
because of one defect: failure to get buy-in from key members
of management. You need to step into the ring, and you need to
lead with your most deadly punch—anticipated positive impact
to the bottom line.
The “who” you target depends on the structure and organization of your company. In a large corporation, it could be the
head of operations. In a small company it could be the CEO.
Or you may need to reverse the players in the two preceding
sentences. The advice here: know your organization, and know
the players who could impact both the funding/approval of
your ESD control program and the success of its execution.
You need to be sure to identify all influencers, and some are
not immediately apparent.
Once you reach the point of rolling out the plan, it will
be critical that top management visibly supports the effort.
Lobby to have the ESD control initiative included in employee
communications vehicles, including remarks from your top
Bench strength—Draft a strong team
There’s a reason the NFL puts significant time and resources
into their draft; a strong team makes or breaks success. Carefully
structure your team and spend the necessary time onboarding
your selections. Every member of your team needs to thoroughly understand the mission, objectives, and markers that
will define success. If one of your picks is lukewarm, drop them
from the lineup.
Consider that you can’t do it all. You will need to provide
strong leadership, oversight, and direction while guiding the
program through political waters and making course corrections for either substantive, financial, or political reasons.
For that reason you need a strong second-in-command who’s
committed to the program. Look to the military model and
select an XO (Executive Officer) to execute and deliver key
components like budget, project administration, and internal
consultancy. In civilian terms we’d label this key individual a
coordinator, but no matter which title you select, choose this
Remember that ESD issues impact and cross over many
functions, so make sure each impacted area has a role to play.
Don’t forget departments outside the manufacturing floor like
quality, internal communications, and training. Staff your team