Performance Management In A Digital World

Organisations that successfully embrace the improved connectivity of digital technology at scale see a step change in performance. Where many organisations fail is by adopting a mindset that characterises the future gains in terms of one off cost savings. This is a journey not a destination. A CI journey of matching pain points with relevant digital solutions, testing and adapting to establish the new ecosystem then using that new ecosystem to deliver and lock in the gains.

The gains come from the creation of slick workflows that link traditional work silos to improve collaboration across internal and external supply chains. This provides a foundation of data and analysis to "Close the gap" between the physical and digital worlds to reveal weaknesses that were previously thought unavoidable. That includes work arounds, rogue spreadsheets, time delays, frequent meetings and checks to check the checker. 

The new digital ecosystem enables better decisions where the value is added. This typically results in delegation of more day to day management and technical routines to front line teams. With the right leadership, that accelerates the pace of improvement and supports the evolution of a proactive improvement culture. The good news is that most successful organisations achieve that by augmenting and optimising existing infrastructure with minimal replacement of equipment. 

This isn't the plug and play transition that we would expect when upgrading modern technology. The creation of a new Digitised Ecosystem to "Close the gap" between the physical and digital worlds radically changes the current reality and with it roles, responsibilities and working relationships. In particular the roles of support functions and business leaders. 

Their role incorporates Project sponsorship, Project management and the use of Continuous improvement toolsets to tap into the knowledge, skills and experience of the full company team. To engage them, make them curious about the possibilities and provide timely leadership to guide them towards the Quality, Cost and Customer service gains the business needs to prosper. 

Known as Digital CI, that includes actions to

   
Encourage literacy about Digital technology options across the organisation Literacy about digital technology uses is important. That means more than just awareness. It involves making people curious about what could be done differently. That covers personal organisation as well as work processes. Finding out better ways of working through digitisation feeds the dissatisfaction needed to generate a creative pressure for change and the problem ownership. The essential foundations for delivering the gains from digitisation.
Customise data and analysis routines to support local decision making and multiple skill levels

What you do with the data is important. To capture value from the data, the organisations need to behave differently. This is a journey not a destination, the way data are used has to be flexible to levels of skill, experience and depth of insight.

That includes systematic release of day to day decisions to front line who are equipped with the knowledge and capability to take detailed decisions within limits.

Focus on the points where you add the most value Define the answers that matter and metrics to provide those answers. What does the business need to succeed.
Bring together functional teams Use practical projects to develop understanding and make people curious about what might be possible. Prime the pump with projects to get teams started on their journey. Don't overly focus on the technology.
Validate the new ecosystem Use comprehensive risk assessment and validation protocols to identify and head off unintended consequences