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Operations Management

Part 2: Building Industrial Competence - Creating World-Class Connected Ecosystems

Welcome to the second installment of our four-part blog series, “Building Industrial Competence.” In this article, we explore two organizational development frameworks and how they align with the Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division suite, to enable the delivery of world-class connected ecosystems. Our goal is to introduce these frameworks and demonstrate how they drive organizational alignment, integration and performance during the deployment of asset lifecycle intelligence technologies. 

The Connectivity Problem: Siloed and Tech-Centric Approaches  

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, connected solutions have the potential to revolutionize industries and unlock new levels of productivity and human development. However, many organizations paradoxically find themselves disconnected internally, struggling to effectively advance their connected ecosystem efforts. The number of failed or sluggish connected initiatives highlights the need for a more thoughtful and strategic approach to organizational alignment and solution design. 

The common challenges that organizations face include the lack of organizational alignment and the failed ability to deploy iterative and integrative design strategies. This results in a variety of disjointed and low-risk, low-value experiments across multiple autonomous areas. At the same time, you will see teams working toward similar problems using divergent goals, approaches and redundant efforts.

This lack of alignment leads to internal disconnection, confusion and silos rather than streams of united effort. Most importantly, disjointed approaches hinder the progress cycle by promoting missed opportunities for synergy resulting in watered-down transformation efforts. A strategic and aligned approach is crucial to overcome these challenges. 

The Connectivity Solution: Applying Organizational Development Models with Connected Technologies 

To address the challenges faced by organizations in implementing connected solutions, a strategic and holistic approach and effective change management are required. One effective solution is to apply organizational development models in conjunction with connected technologies. By adopting proven design frameworks, organizations can align their efforts, establish clear goals, and foster a collaborative and integrated approach to implementation. 

At the connected plant level, the Rummler-Brache framework (see Table 1) serves as a comprehensive guide for aligning and integrating connected plant ecosystems. This framework emphasizes crucial interdependencies, interactions and alignment across organizational levels.

By using the Rummler-Brache framework in conjunction with Hexagon's Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division suite, organizations can seamlessly align connected plant technologies with their goals, designs and management at all levels of the connected plant. 

Similarly, Gilbert’s behavior engineering model (BEM) (see Table 2) plays a pivotal role in the design of connected worker solutions. The BEM ensures that connected worker solutions address the six dimensions of work that drive human behavior and job performance. Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division suite offers comprehensive human performance support solutions that align with Gilbert’s model, empowering workers, enhancing their ability to excel in their roles, and improving their work experience. 

Designing Connected Plant Ecosystems 

The Rummler-Brache framework serves as a comprehensive guide for aligning and integrating connected plant ecosystems. It emphasizes crucial interdependencies, interactions and alignment across organizational levels. By embracing this model, organizations can maximize the potential capability of their organization, core processes and workforce.  

Let us explore how Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division suite seamlessly aligns with the Rummler-Brache model, driving the creation of connected plant ecosystems: 

  1. Organization Level: Hexagon’s SDx® product acts as the foundation for organizational data collection and management, enabling real-time analytics and visualization. SDx supports data-driven decision-making and workflow efficiency across the asset and enhances overall organizational performance. 
  2. Process Level: Hexagon’s PAS products ensure process and asset integrity through continuous monitoring of critical processes, systems, equipment and operations. These products provide accurate information, instrumentation and resources to optimize control systems, improve asset performance and instill confidence in workers. 
  3. Job Performer Level: Hexagon's j5 products and AcceleratorKMS complement the process and organizational level solutions, supporting individual and team performance. j5 products facilitate efficient day-to-day operation, process support, real-time incident and near-miss management. AcceleratorKMS acts as a centralized knowledge management system, delivering personalized on-demand, mobile learning experiences and job-related contextualized content tailored to workers’ specific needs. 

Gaining alignment and integration across all three levels is crucial for maximizing the potential of the workforce and enhancing operational safety, efficiency, and learning. The Rummler-Brache model offers a pragmatic and actionable framework that organizations can adopt to optimize their connected plant ecosystems and maximize performance across all levels. 

Designing Connected Worker Ecosystems 

Once organizational alignment is achieved, the focus shifts to the design of connected worker solutions. This is where Thomas F. Gilbert’s behavior engineering model (BEM) comes into play. Gilbert’s BEM model provides a framework for understanding the environmental and individual factors that drive human behavior and performance.

Gilbert’s model was originally developed in the 1970s, but its principles and practices are still widely applicable today. In fact, many contemporary performance improvement models and methodologies are based on Gilbert’s work.  

This section provides one or two examples of how Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division suite, comprising SDx, PAS, j5, and AcceleratorKMS, offer comprehensive solutions that optimize worker performance across each dimension of the behavior engineering model: 

  1. Performance Expectations and Feedback: With PAS InBound®, operators receive clear task instructions and performance standards in real-time. They are guided by tasks and receive immediate feedback on their progress, ensuring that they meet the expected standards. This feedback loop fosters a culture of continuous improvement and enables workers to perform consistently at their best. 
  2. Tools, Instrumentation, Data, and Resources: The Hexagon Suite offers a wealth of tools, instrumentation, data and resources to empower workers. For example, SDx provides a comprehensive digital twin that allows workers to visualize the entire system and make informed decisions. PAS Automation Integrity™ and the j5 Operations Management Suite provide the necessary instrumentation and data for efficient job performance. These resources equip workers with the right information and tools to excel in their roles. 
  3. Anatomy of Work[1]: Hexagon’s solutions seek to eliminate traditional frustrations in the work environment and incentivize workers to perform at their peak. SDx creates a collaborative and informed work environment in which workers can actively contribute to optimizing their asset performance. PAS InBound engages operators with a user-friendly interface, clear expectations, and real-time feedback, fostering motivation and a sense of ownership in their tasks. j5 Management of Change establishes a standardized and organized work environment that promotes efficiency and quality. 
  4. Skill Development and Knowledge Access: Hexagon’s suite focuses on empowering workers through skill development and knowledge access. j5 Work Instructions and j5 Operator Rounds provide step-by-step guidance, improving workers’ skills and ensuring consistency in task execution. PAS products, such as PAS AlarmManagement™, deliver real-time information that enables workers to make informed decisions. AcceleratorKMS acts as a centralized knowledge management system, delivering personalized and engaging learning experiences. These solutions equip workers with the real-time knowledge and skills they need to excel in their roles. 
  5. Human Capacity to Perform (Quality, Productivity and Safety): The suite of Hexagon products leverages the power of automation to enhance human capacity, allowing workers to achieve higher levels of quality and productivity. Solutions like j5 Shift Handover, j5 Incident Management and j5 Permit to Work reduce the workload on workers, enabling them to focus on more challenging and critical tasks or learn new skills. SDx provides real-time analytics and visualization, empowering workers to optimize asset performance and ensure top-quartile quality. By freeing time and providing critical path information, these solutions elevate the capacity of workers to perform both cognitive and physical tasks as they also develop their skills in working in collaboration with advanced technologies. 
  6. Human Motivation to Perform: Hexagon’s suite creates a highly motivated workforce. PAS InBound offers a user-friendly interface that engages and motivates operators, giving them a sense of purpose and direction in their tasks. j5 Incident Management promotes a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging workers to prioritize safety and quality in their work. AcceleratorKMS delivers personalized learning experiences, fostering motivation and thirst for knowledge among workers. These solutions tap into workers’ intrinsic motivation, which results in higher levels of workforce engagement. 

Conclusion

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, the potential for connected solutions to revolutionize industries and unlock new levels of organizational and human performance is undeniable. However, many large organizations struggle to implement connected ecosystems effectively, facing challenges such as organizational misalignment and a lack of clear implementation strategies. The failure of many connected solutions highlights the pressing need for a more strategic and aligned implementation approach. Especially if organizations intend to keep pace with opportunity.  

By adopting a strategic approach that leverages organizational development models, such as the Rummler-Brache framework and Gilbert’s BEM, along with the implementation of Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division suite, organizations can overcome the challenges of siloed and tech-centric approaches in connected ecosystem design. These frameworks and technologies work together to deliver the promises of alignment and connectivity. Promises in terms of assets, processes, and workers working seamlessly in harmonious ways to drive operational efficiency, unlock new and greater levels of industrial competence, and promote a new era of worker skill development and improved job experience. 

In the next installation of our blog series, we will explore what an actual competence framework for implementing connected plant ecosystems might look like leveraging the concepts that introduce the first two blog series articles. Thus, stay tuned for more insights and practical guidance on building competence to thrive in the era of connected industries. 


More content in this series:


References

 1. In terms of Connected Worker solutions, Anatomy of Work refers to how well-connected solutions support the work environment in terms of incentivizing the worker to perform at their best (rework, delays, redundancies, and removing other factors that disincentivize and disengage workers).

About the Author

Brent Kedzierski is an award-winning thought leader and innovator in the fields of Human Performance, Human-Centered Connected Worker Ecosystems, and the future of Industry. Throughout his career, he has consistently delivered groundbreaking insights and transformative contributions. Brent's expertise has earned recognition from respected publications like Harvard Business Press, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Workforce.com, BBC News, and more. His webinars have been featured as "editor's picks of the year," and his podcast appearances consistently rank as "top-listened to" in the industry. Prior to becoming the Principle Industrial Strategist at Hexagon ($HXGBY), Brent spent nearly 25 years as Shell's veteran Global HR transformation strategist. Brent is a passionate advocate for advancing a set of progressive ideas for creating a more human centered approach to industry, human development, well-being, and sustainability.

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