Implementing digital technologies into the manufacturing process is extremely hard. It must be done quickly, robust and virtually without affecting the machine performance. Identifying the correct methodology to do so is a key decision that must be made with a deep understanding of several matters:
1 There are more unknowns unknowns that you can imagine.
Ok, this is a tricky one. on literally every implementation we have had many things come up. Being able to react to changes as the implementation moves on, is critical for the success of the project.
2. Clearly define what value is.
One of the main issues in implementing digital is the definition of value. Stakeholders must have a clear and unified definition of what value is and that this is more important than everything else in the project. This might sound like something super easy, but not doing this will become a major pain along the project.
3 Focus on value generation.
Agile methodologies are based on delivering value. This might even mean drastically changing the scope of the project or a major shift in the end result. Management must understand this, and be close to the project in order to understand pivots along the implementation process.
4 Value > Time
Technology projects differ from other projects due to the uncertainty of what will be found, but also because of the different paths technologies might take in order to solve a problem. Because of this, a single discovery in the implementation process might be extremely valuable but lengthy, companies must understand that across the project, many times this analysis will take place. Constantly the value VS time question will arise and must not be taken lightly.
There are many more key paradigms to brake and considerations to take. Implementing Agile in a manufacturing environment is not easy, top management must have a mindset shift and must be comfortable asking questions towards what’s the best possible action in order to generate the most value. While implementing digital technologies tend to change many old fashioned ways of doing things, keeping value as a clear Northstar will continue to be king.