为何数字转型需要精益思维?

Organizations can only reap the full benefits of modern technologies if they pair up their digitalization efforts with an enterprise-wide lean transformation.

组织只有通过在数字化上的努力和全公司范围内的精益转型配对结合,才能真正从现代技术中获得最大的收获。

本文作者为全球精益组织的专家,在巴西以及拉丁美洲各国有超过20年推行精益经验,目前正在积极帮助组织的进行数字化转型。

Companies are more and more interested in so-called “digital transformations”, be it for the opportunity to optimize and innovate business models or because they fear they will fall behind their competitors or the most disruptive players in the market.    

公司对所谓的“数字化转型”越来越感兴趣,就是为了有机会优化和创新商业模式,或者因为他们担心自己会落后于竞争对手或是市场上最具破坏力的玩家。

Changing customer expectations increasingly include products and service based on digital technologies, the use of mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, data analysis, and so on. This opens up many opportunities for organizations that have not yet been explored in their entirety.                                   

越来越多的客户期望包括基于数字技术的产品和服务、移动设备、物联网、云计算、数据分析等。这为尚未完全探索的组织打开了许多机会。

For us to tap into the full potential of digital technologies, however, we need to integrate lean into our strategic thinking, to ensure that our digital transformations actually help us to add value and eliminate waste. Disconnected technology-based initiatives that lack a clear purpose won’t go very far.                                                   

然而,要使我们充分利用数字技术的潜力,我们需要将精益融入我们的战略思维中,以确保我们的数字转换实际上有助于我们增值和消除浪费。不连续的基于技术的任何行动都会缺乏明确的目标,不会取得很大进展。

Every effort should begin with a strategic definition of what value it intends to offer customers – to go back to one of the basic principles of lean thinking.

每一项努力都应该从战略上定义它打算为顾客提供什么价值——回到精益思想的基本原则之一。

Many companies are heading in this direction, but we see that they often set goals for themselves that are rather generic in scope: “We want an app to communicate with the customer”, or “We should introduce more robots and automation in our processes”, or “We need to be more digital”. Others seek to incorporate concepts that have proved successful in startup companies (from design thinking to agile), but tend to focus only on isolated tools.

许多公司正朝着这个方向前进,但我们看到他们经常为自己设定目标,它们在范围上相当通用:“我们想要一个与客户沟通的应用程序”,或者“我们应该在我们的流程中引入更多的机器人和自动化”,或者“我们需要更多的数字”。其他人则试图将那些在初创企业中被证明成功的概念(从设计思维到敏捷)结合起来,但往往只关注孤立的工具。

For a real competitive leap to take place, a broader understanding of what a digital transformation is must be developed. Research and advisory company Forrester, for example, has an interesting definition: “digital businesses are those who gain, serve, and retain customers through the continuous creation and exploitation of digital resources, in order to deliver new value for customers and increase their operational agility.”

为了实现真正的竞争性飞跃,必须更广泛地理解数字转型是什么。例如,研究和咨询公司Forrester公司有一个有趣的定义:“数字企业是那些通过不断创造和开发数字资源而获得、用来服务和留住客户的企业,为客户提供新的价值,并提高他们的业务敏捷性。”

As it happens, this definition is quite aligned with lean thinking. From our experience supporting pioneering companies in this journey, we have come to realize that digital transformations must be integrated with lean transformations, with both oriented towards creating value for customers.

碰巧的是,这个定义与精益思想是一致的。从我们在这次支持先行公司的经验来看,我们已经认识到数字转换必须与精益转换结合起来,以面向客户创造价值为导向。

We believe that the following five points can be useful to those who are starting or evolving in their digital efforts:

我们认为以下五点对那些正在开始或正在进行数字努力的人是有用的:

1. START WITH A CLEAR PURPOSE

从明确的目的开始

Technologies offer great opportunities and we haven’t fully understood just how great they can be. It is therefore normal that the idea of initiating a technology-driven transformation fascinates business leaders and investors so much. Many, however, use vague phrases to describe their goals, such as “intensive use of technology”, which betrays a lack of clarity in their purpose. People from such organizations are more likely to over-invest, creating complex devices or apps without having a clear idea of how they’ll be used. They won’t see good results.

技术提供了巨大的机会,我们还没有完全理解它们有多棒。因此,启动技术驱动的转型让商业领袖和投资者的想法是多么让人心驰神往。然而,许多人用模糊的短语来描述他们的目标,如“技术的大量使用”,这就暴露了他们的目的缺乏明确性。来自这些组织的人更倾向于过度投资,创建复杂的设备或应用程序,而不清楚如何使用它们。他们不会看到好的结果。

Lean teaches us that improvement begins with a clear understanding of customer value and how each initiative is a reflection of the company’s strategy deployment (which in lean jargon, we call hoshin kanri). The use of technologies to innovate products, processes and business models must be driven by specific, clear goals. Experiments are the essence of lean, and they should certainly be used, but always with a well-defined target.

精益告诉我们,改进从理解客户价值开始,每一个计划都是公司战略部署的反映(这在精益术语,我们称 Hoshin Kanri,即方针管理)。使用技术创新产品、过程和业务模型必须以明确的、明确的目标为驱动。实验是精益的精髓,它们当然应该被使用,但始终要有明确的目标。

2. LEARN FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS

向客户学习

Understanding customer needs is always the first step in lean thinking. The greatest opportunities that new technologies bring are, without a doubt, tied to the possibility for companies to interact much more closely with their clients, making the dialogue with them quicker and more effective, which in turn generates faster learning cycles.

了解客户需求始终是精益思想的第一步。毫无疑问,新技术带来的最大机会与公司与客户之间更密切地互动的可能性联系在一起,使它们的对话更快、更有效,从而产生更快的学习周期。

For instance, the use of augmented reality to experiment with concepts and incorporating communication and intelligence into services and products (through mobile and IoT devices) generates a huge amount of information on customer preferences, habits, usage patterns, and needs. If well used, it can allow companies to constantly review their products, services, and business models.

例如,使用增强现实来进行概念的实验,将通信和智能融入到服务和产品中(通过移动和物联网设备)产生了大量关于客户偏好、习惯、使用模式和需求的信息。如果使用得当,它可以让公司不断地审查他们的产品、服务和业务模式。

Learning about the customer to create better products and services, through what we call reusable learning, should be the focus of a digital transformation, as it enables the continuous evolution of a company’s purpose in an agile way.

了解客户创造更好的产品和服务,通过我们称之为 可重用的学习,应该是一个数字化改造的重点,因为它使一个公司的宗旨以敏捷的方式不断演进。

3. REDESIGN COMPLETE VALUE STREAMS

重新设计完整价值流

This is sometimes the most visible part of a digital initiative. In industry, the discussions and applications of manufacturing 4.0, smart factory, industrial internet, and others have been growing exponentially. The convergence of technologies has enabled applications in several areas, generating greater efficiency and flexibility. Some examples of how these technologies are used include: redesign of information and programming flows, a connection between automated and robotized equipment, real-time management of material flow and maintenance of equipment, etc.

这有时是数字倡议中最明显的部分。在工业界,制造业4、智能工厂、工业互联网等的讨论和应用呈指数增长。技术的融合使应用在多个领域产生更大的效率和灵活性。一些例子,这些技术包括:信息和流程的重新设计,自动化和机器人化设备之间的连接,对设备材料流和维护实时管理,等等。

The connection with suppliers and the entire logistics chain also presents a number of exciting new possibilities, with advanced communication and tracking devices enabling intelligent monitoring, tuning, and fast decision-making.

与供应商和整个物流链的连接也带来了一些令人兴奋的新的可能性,先进的通信和跟踪设备使智能监控、调优和快速决策成为可能。

In services, there are new possibilities for automating transactional activities with new technologies of voice interaction, for example, through the application of artificial intelligence (AI).

在服务中,通过使用人工智能(ai)来实现与语音交互的新技术自动化事务活动有新的可能性。

Sometimes we see initiatives in production and administrative processes, but they are carried out in isolation. In order to avoid the great risk of automating waste, it is indispensable to do a previous analysis questioning each step in the process (which doesn’t always happen). Value stream mapping tools, well known to those who apply lean, should be used to map the whole client’s journey, a concept addressed by Jim Womack and Dan Jones in their book Lean Solutions. This idea was quite ahead of its time back then, but new technologies can really support its application.

有时我们看到生产和行政过程中的主动行动,但它们是孤立地进行的。为了避免浪费自动化的巨大风险,对过程中的每一步进行一次分析是必不可少的(这并不总是发生)。价值流图的工具,对于很多精益应用者来说并不陌生,应该用来映射整个客户旅程,这个概念,在Jim Womack和Dan Jones的书《精益解决方案》中提及过。这个想法在当时已经超前了,但是新技术确实能支持它的应用。

The connection between these changes and the way of performing operations by relying on sophisticated learning techniques and deepened knowledge of client needs will effectively enable leaps in complete value flows, operating in a pull, flexible way, adapting and responding promptly to the demands of the consumers.

将这些变化和依赖于先进学习技术来加深对客户需求的运营方式联系在一起将有效地推动完全价值流的飞跃,运营终将以一种拉动、灵活的方式运作,迅速适应和响应消费者的需求。

4. TRANSFORM THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION

转变整个组织

Digital transformations cannot be limited to certain areas within the company. While it is ok to only carry out initial experiments in a specific department or functional area, the ultimate goal must always to bring these efforts across the business.

数字转换不能局限于公司内部的某些领域。虽然只在特定的部门或功能领域进行初步的实验是可以的,但最终目标必须是将这些努力贯穿于整个业务领域。

A real evolution will occur when the changes impact the way everyone in the organization works, how they connect with customers, and how they continuously innovate and improve business processes. This requires changes in culture, leadership style, in the way people are developed, and in the organizational structure.

当这些变化影响到组织中每个人的工作方式、他们与客户的联系以及他们如何不断创新和改进业务流程时,就会发生真正的演变。这需要文化、领导风格、人的发展方式以及组织结构的变化。

5. INTEGRATE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INTO LEAN TRANSFORMATION

将数字转型和精益转型融合

All of the items described till now show that a digital transformation builds on and strengthens several pillars of the lean philosophy: customer value, waste elimination, flexibility, agility, and so on. They also show that the success of the digital transformation hinges on the lean transformation taking place in the five dimensions forming the Lean Transformation Framework: purpose, process, people capabilities, management and leadership style, and mental models.

迄今为止所描述的所有项目都表明,数字转换建立并强化了精益哲学的几个支柱:客户价值、消除浪费、灵活性、敏捷性等等。数字化转型的成功取决于精益转换在五个维度中形成的精益转换框架:目标、流程、人员能力、管理和领导风格以及心智模式。

If we understand that a lean transformation is a way to maximize the value to customers in order to achieve business goals, it is easy to see how effective digital transformations cannot take place unless they go hand in hand with a lean turnaround. In the same way, a lean organization can experience huge benefits in the customer experience it offers if it properly leverages the still under-explored capabilities of digital technologies.

如果我们理解精益转换是一种实现客户价值最大化以实现业务目标的方法,那么很容易看到数字转换是如何有效的,除非它们与精益转向齐头并进。同样,一个精干的组织如果能充分利用数字技术中尚未开发的功能,就能在其提供的客户体验中获得巨大的好处。

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