A digital transformation can drastically change how an organization operates and create major efficiencies over time, but how can an organization identify value early? Digital transformation initiatives can set your organization up for success and address many of the pain points or issues you may already face in operations. By taking a step toward access, adoption, accountability, adaption, and aggregation, you can ensure that your organization is taking full advantage of everything a digital knowledge management system has to offer.
When a field worker accesses content, they typically flip through a binder trying to find a section of pages for a procedure. This antiquated way of doing work is not only inefficient, but has the potential to be hazardous for the operation and its workforce. In the journey to digital transformation, changing the way field workers access content is first step to creating operational efficiencies, while improving safety.
Implementing a Component Content Management System (CCMS) can assist in this initiative, by providing workers with unprecedented immediate access to the content they need with the touch of a screen. A CCMS within a digital knowledge management solution can allow content and procedures to be tailored to a worker’s specific role or piece of equipment for viewing on a mobile phone in an interface which is similar to the software they use in their personal lives.
This content is restructured and automatically formatted in the CCMS system, ensuring that work instructions are clear, and objectives are obvious to field workers. Providing content in a way which is familiar and makes sense to workers has the potential to increase competency and likeliness to use procedures.
When your operation begins its digital transformation, you will want to know how the solution addresses your initial pain points, in addition to how change management will play a part in its implementation. You may have difficulty meeting audit requirements, or perhaps it is hard to maintain talent due to workplace safety issues and rising insurance premiums. Organizations should seek a digital transformation experts who are committed to working with customers on their pain points, ensuring that they are addressed through implementation of a digital solution.
Part of this will be breaking through the “highway hypnosis” many organizations have when going digital. At first, a customer may want to simply transfer their existing procedures to a digital format, however, they may not realize the bigger implications this can have on change management and usability. Old procedures using “wall of words” storytelling can be ineffective and confusing when turned digital. The new view of content can reveal issues in procedures which can have a huge impact in the field, potentially making work instructions hazardous to use. Blending governance, strategy, elegant design, the latest computing technology, and tested best practices based on decades of applied research is key to creating digital content which keeps workers safe and productive.
To have an effective digital ecosystem which addresses pain points, procedures may need to be rewritten for standardization and consistency to make it obvious what workers need to do, when they need to do it, and how. Not all procedures are equal, but all procedures must be carefully analyzed to determine the impact they have on operations as a whole. Knowledge management experts can be effective in identifying these issues and can empowers customers to learn best practices in human factors, content authoring, and more.
Addressing change management is important to ensure the way workers use the system is in line with the work they do every day. While giving an entire workforce tablets for use in the field may seem like a good idea, it may be difficult for workers to carry one around all day depending on their role or the procedure they are using. Furthermore, some roles may face hazardous procedures which may require the use of an intrinsically safe mobile device. Working with knowledge management experts to understand the way your workforce operates is key to effective change management when implementing a digital knowledge management solution.
With a digital ecosystem in place, accountability across operations can be greatly improved. Digital content and procedures can’t be misplaced by workers because they’re available immediately on their mobile device. Going beyond the benefit of worker visibility, organizations can also take advantage of the real-time monitoring and feedback capabilities of a digital knowledge management solution.
Real-time monitoring is like having human sensors on your entire workforce. Within a digital knowledge management system, procedure and training progress can be tracked and monitored in real-time, to ensure competency or identify areas for potential improvement. The solution tells you who did the work, when it was done, and how it was done. If a worker needs retraining on a specific piece of equipment, it will easily be realized through that workers’ data.
Feedback capabilities of this system also help keep management accountable and competent. Field workers can easily leave comments on a piece of content with an error using their mobile device. This triggers the feedback workflow, alerting management that a piece of content needs to be reviewed and updated. The solution makes it evident if content is not updated, and alerts management when work instructions become expired. This feedback and review process can be tracked, and previous versions of that content can be viewed in the event that a correction needs to be retracted.
Once a digital knowledge management system is in place, it’s important for operations to adapt to using the system in a way which brings recurring value over time. You have new capabilities, but what are you going to do with them? Organizations must analyze the way they work. Will your workforce operate the same as before but with tablets? Will content reviews continue as a manual process?
It’s important to re-evaluate how the solution’s capabilities once again address pain points you see day-to-day. For example, if you are having competency issues, the best way to address them may be to use real-time monitoring or generate a report on what procedures are being used in the field and how often. Similarly, you might have a scenario where a board operator must check with a field worker on a radio multiple times to confirm procedure steps are being completed. The solution to this might be to encourage the board operator to check the field worker’s procedure progress via a mobile phone. Using operational faults to determine how a digital knowledge management system can create efficiencies in problematic processes is crucial to streamlining operations and increasing overall productivity.
Organizations can further address problematic processes through learning in the flow of work. Learning in the flow of work allows field workers to immediately access rich digital training content while interacting with digital procedures. This capability can improve onboarding by enabling new hires to learn while contributing to the bottom line and can move workers away from problematic processes as they learn the “new way of doing things” while perfectly completing procedures.
Now that a digital ecosystem is in place, organizations can look towards the future. Using data and reporting tools within a digital knowledge management system gives organizations a way to supplement operations. Organizations can generate reports and analyze human data to find opportunities for training or procedural improvements. In addition, data can be used to fuel new operations as organizations realize value in how improving human factors affects operations.
As data becomes rich, it can be connected to other existing systems within operations to bring operational and human performance data together. With this in place, organizations can see a new value realization through the connection of the digital triplet (human performance) to the digital twin (asset performance management).
Daily, organizations can see and analyze data related to what content is being used and updated, in addition to things such as captured equipment temperatures over a specified amount of time. With an in-depth look into operations, organizations can always ensure competency, safety, and a job well done.
Ready to go through the key phases of digital transformation? Let Innovatia Accelerator's knowledge management experts set your organization up for success today.