Friday, January 18, 2019

Its still about people!

Is it technology or people that are driving digital transformation? Both I suppose, its people that can make this change and transformation, but they are also the ones blocking it sometimes. I was  reading the article "Why Most Digital Transformations Will Fail" and speculated why we may be surprised that the key to transformation is people. It is in nearly every single article about digital transformation and also a central component of Pharma 4.0.

The article states "...such digital transformations are far from trivial to undertake, in great part because it requires changing both infrastructure and culture within an organization". This is no revelation, its not the first or last transformation in history and this statement is universally applicable.  What is astounding is that, we see it as a challenge unique to the digital transformation. Let's not re-invent anything here and see how we have dealt with it in the past. There are so many examples and to sum them all up, if that is possible, I would say it takes leadership!

In order to drive transformation people need to believe the change is good, they need to understand that it will bring improvements and that they can have a hand in making the change. Therefore the first question to ask is why is it so important to digitally transform? Is it because we need to keep with the times - no its the promise of increased productivity, the promise of being able to do more with less, to do it smarter. I have for many years pondered this topic - hence the name of my blog "Intelligence in Manufacturing". When I was doing research the theme was Intelligent Manufacturing and we would joke that what we did until then was unintelligent manufacturing. Are we becoming more intelligent? Well I hope so in general and we are in fact continuously learning and with that improving. This time around we are doing it smarter, hence Smart Manufacturing.

Back to the topic of people, it obvious that with us non of this would work and yes it is us driving the change, us the people. The article I mentioned goes in length to describe the hesitation that people have to change. It is the same problem that we face any is a revolution (or change, or big change...) like the manufacturing digital transformation aka Industry 4.0. Hesitancy and resistance to change is always there, in every corner of an organization. Every time I present a new technology to manufacturing organizations, it rears its ugly head, Oh no its new technology hide! However I believe that this transformation introduces technologies that are focused on us the people, not automating processes but helping, augmenting, supporting us in how we work. Instead of year long implementations with weeks of training and months of ramp up it will be as simple as using an app - you know like the ones on your mobile phone. That is why its revolutionary.

Image result for the change monster

The change monster :-)

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Thanks @swathi, more posts are on there way!
- Gilad

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