As digital transformation has been partially adopted by several companies in different industries, a common factor still characterizes most of their digitization programs: the approach to digitization has been isolated to particular use cases that were in the spotlight, in order to ensure a high return on the investment.
Wishing to take a broader approach by embracing all available technologies, and impacting all of the company’s departments, our client, an Italian refinery on the Mediterranean Sea, asked for our help.
beNIMBL proposed to leverage its Industry 4.0 Transition methodology, which aims at identifying the most valuable set of digital initiatives starting from business user real pains and needs, kickstarting a high return digital transformation program, taking advantage of the increase in business processes efficiency introduced by state-of-the-art technologies, and leveraging European fiscal incentives to innovate company within the I4.0 framework.
Industry 4.0 Transition
To embrace digital transformation with a 360 degrees approach it is fundamental to take into account all innovative and exponential technologies; this doesn’t necessarily mean that all technologies will organically fit into your final plan, but that all technologies will have been properly evaluated in relation to the relevant business context.
The Industry 4.0 Transition methodology has been ideated to efficiently address this challenge since the very first steps of its application. Furthermore, the methodology perfectly copes with the physiological need to involve several company functions and departments during the span of an organization-wide digital transformation campaign.
First, we worked shoulder-to-shoulder with our client ICT department to pin down the objective and to assess the business and technological scenario. It was crucial to initially understand the current application landscape and the technological infrastructure behind it. During this initial phase, we also helped our client to select all key actors of the campaign, namely the Digital Transformation leaders and the business champions, and finally, we defined together with the client a suitable workshop calendar.
The first methodological step to be carried out aims at gaining the best involvement possible from business people: the Technology Onboarding. This event is one of the cornerstones of beNIMBL’s methodologies, and a key success factor for any initiative, since it allows to create a common baseline of understanding of the potential benefits and business added value for each one of the technologies. The workshop was covered in a full day, with beNIMBL Advisors and Technology Experts alternating in the presentation of the technology to business users in a “by examples” fashion.
In fact, an onboarding presentation aims at showing to business people what technologies can do, rather than how they technically work, as it showcases examples of how a technology has been applied in similar industrial contexts in order to spur lateral thinking in the audience.
After the presentation of each onboarding deck, we asked business users to write down their own ideas on how to apply technology in their day-by-day work, in order to mitigate their own business pains. At the end of the Technology Onboarding session, hundreds of preliminary ideas had been collected into sticky notes.
Following the Technology Onboarding, we ran a set of Ideas Development sessions, which are aimed at refining the preliminary ideas by leveraging Design Thinking based exercises, tailored to address every single aspect of the technology application in the context of the client’s business. The result of this session was a collection of opportunities, which were classified by value and effort.
It is worth mentioning how we approached the team partition in order to tackle the Ideas Development sessions: we carefully created cross-functional teams, based on specific aspects of the client business and internal organization, in order to ensure that any cross-functional business pain or need was completely understood from the point of view of all actors who were interacting to achieve a specific business objective. The results, as expected, were a set of digitization opportunities spanning across functions, each one of them being the best fit to create value for the company in the different business areas and for the set of technologies analyzed.
The entire collection of opportunities was then evaluated by beNIMBL, with support from our client’s ICT referents. As some opportunities were not at the right level of maturity for being correctly evaluated and estimated, they became the object of focused Design Thinking sessions, aimed at identifying the Minimum Valuable Product that was addressing the business pain, giving to us a deeper understanding of the requirements which, in turn, also gave the information needed for the correct characterization in terms of effort and value.
When all the opportunities were characterized, we collected them into a Prioritization Matrix, a visual tool that helps to visualize the opportunities that bring the best value when implemented.
After an active discussion of each opportunity with our client’s Digital and ICT Teams based on the Priority Matrix, the shortlisted opportunities were declined as initiative proposals and organized into an implementation program chart, which became part of the final document set we delivered.
beNIMBL’s Industry 4.0 Transition, one of our People Centric Approaches, is an innovative and cutting edge methodology that ensures companies are gaining the maximum value, through the best opportunities, from a digital transition program.
The key benefits given by Industry 4.0 Transition are: