Digital CI: Skills to Deliver Gains at Scale

In the last blog article we covered the idea that change is the only constant and how winning organisations adapt to change and avoid the Manufacturing Wack a Mole game! by adopting 4 principles. 

(These are 1. Align cross functional priorities, 2,. Engage local area ownership, 3. Develop Front Line Leader ability to coach, 4. Use Performance Management to manage the future not the past.)

Think of these principles as the first part of a code to a combination padlock. To spring the lock you need additional numbers.  Those numbers depend on the nature of the change.

For example, consider the "combination padlock" factors needed for successful adoption of advanced technology.  The World Economic Forum Research into the select group of leading manufacturers who are able to deploy advanced manufacturing at scale identify the following factors.

While conventional wisdom might presume that delivering gains requires a high levels of investment, leading organisations are achieving growth and higher productivity rates without the levels of costly investment which might have been required in the past.

The gains come from the improved connectivity provided by advanced technology. The outcomes include the creation of pragmatic workflows that refine wasteful legacy work routines historically needed to deal with complex coordination of manufacturing resources.  

The Digital CI Process Cycle

The Digitisation of manufacturing management transforms the very nature of day-to-day operations by improving communications, allowing direct and indirect workers to focus on problem root cause identification and resolution. That also transforms the way that Lean and TPM principles and techniques are applied as set out below in the Digital CI process.

Digital CI Logo

Figure 1 Digital CI Process


  • Quick iterations of the "Plan Do Study Act" process to bundle potential technology "Use Cases" into "Workplace Learning Cycles" for rapid learning and "Standardisation".
  • Formalised "Improvement Leader Networks" across all levels of the business to guide cross functional improvement teams to systematically eliminate OEE losses and Lean wastes.


  • Integration and alignment of data and analysis from existing systems and new technology to gain insight into how to stabilise "Normal Conditions" and use condition based "Notifications" to reduce "Accelerated wear", improve the "Quality Maintenance" and extend "Mean Time Between Intervention".
  • Formalising the "Plan For Every Asset" (PFEA) to align priorities, create a practical improvement glide path, provide transparency on progress, capture lessons learned, share insights and accelerate scale-up.


  • Collaborate with vendors, suppliers, customers and related specialists to refine "Best practices" across the value stream and reveal opportunities to release new value.
  • Engage users with customised learning programmes to support dynamic implementation needs, lock in gains and encourage curiosity about what is possible.

The combination of this with the principles that assure ability to adapt completes the combination lock code to release the full potential of advanced technology by providing:

  • Clarity of progress against "Use Case" stage gate standards for each workstream.
  • Embeded use of digital toolsets into new ways of working.
  • Digital twin glide path targets and objectives.
  • Tracking of measurable gains and lessons learned.

In addition to the business gains, outcomes include higher employee engagement, focused training, skill development and improved problem solving capabilities.

For more information about the factors involved and how to develop your advanced technology road map check out our half day on line course on Delivering Gains from Advanced Technology.