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The 15 problems to avoid on your digital transformation journey

April 9, 2018
David Berger says avoid these common pitfalls when you begin an asset management IIoT project.

There is much hype these days extolling the virtues of the IIoT (industrial internet of things), thanks to many industrial vendors of automation, communications, and CMMS or other software systems. Although many of you have extensive experience in implementing these systems, some find the latest wave of the IIoT quite daunting, despite the obvious benefits to decision-making capability. The growing quantity and complexity of data requiring integration and compilation for a diverse audience presents many challenges alongside the benefits.

10. Poor communication to all stakeholders throughout implementation – You are rarely accused of giving too much open and honest communication. The most effective communication with workers comes from face-to-face interaction with front-line supervisors, from the project’s start until about 3-6 months after installation. Also, don’t overlook other communication tools, such as town hall meetings, newsletters, video briefings, and so on.

11. Poorly articulated goals and objectives – IIoT should fit into a master plan, such as your asset management and/or overall strategy. If you asked a random sample of workers and managers, would they have a consistent explanation of what the project will accomplish?

12. Insufficient rewards/consequences for project success/failure – Clearly defined rewards, monetary or otherwise, will increase the likelihood of success when the project meets or exceeds clearly defined expectations. Senior management must be prepared to carry through on consequences for those people that attempt to shirk their responsibilities.

13. No formal process for issues resolution – Every project requires a simple and efficient way of solving problems. This can involve keeping a formal log of issues, assigning ownership to problems, conducting regular management meetings, etc.

14. Inadequate process design – Business need drives process redesign, which will in turn push out the IIoT specifications, not the reverse. In addition, because procedures change, job functions may change. Therefore, job descriptions may have to be redefined, and user training may be extensive.

15. Inadequate testing – Any system should be subjected to rigorous user acceptance testing prior to implementation to determine whether specifications are adequately met and whether the system is secure.

About the Author

David Berger | P.Eng. (AB), MBA, president of The Lamus Group Inc.

David Berger, P.Eng. (AB), MBA, is president of The Lamus Group Inc., a consulting firm that provides advice and training to extract maximum performance, quality and value from your physical assets, processes, information systems and organizational design. Based in Toronto, Berger has held senior positions in industry, including for two large manufacturers, and senior roles in consulting. He has written more than 450 articles on a variety of topics such as asset management, operations management, information technology, e-commerce, organizational design, and strategy. Contact him at [email protected].

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