More than 50% of societies around the world face difficulties in transitioning to digital transformation because the technologies used in them have already expired. In Russia already during 2017-2018 63% of the companies went to this path. In industry it is particularly difficult: the introduction as such of complex IT-products in companies in the mining sector represents one of the most difficult processes, since the sector is conservative. Three secrets will help a manager to successfully carry out a project taking as an example the introduction and increase of productivity in one of the Russian companies.
Competent work with pictures
There are several special purpose groups or stakeholders of digital transformation: shareholders (originator), senior manager, other company employees. Each group has its interests and objectives that do not coincide. It is necessary to show the shareholders the product in function, to the top manager it is necessary to demonstrate its efficiency, and to the employees it is necessary to teach them to use the product. In turn, opinions on the degree of digital activity among superiors also differ: in 2018 as such, 40% of managers were sure that everything was in order, and 35% of senior managers had doubts about this.
The manager who is dedicated to introducing IT-products must work intensively with immediate superiors and their subordinates, and not with the management of the company. It is important to train staff to use the capabilities of the product and collect the maximum amount of suggestion about its operation. This requires changing the work attitude of the specialists. Each member of the collective must have full knowledge of its functionality.
Here interacting only with senior officials and shareholders is a common mistake. Most of the managers who introduce IT-products work with the big bosses, satisfying their requirements. This leads to the failure of the project, and in the long term perspective to the purchase of the IT-product of a competitor. In the mining sector, a senior manager does not have sufficient competencies to take the product to industrial service.
In this way, when introducing products from the Zyfra company, our team in each company makes a presentation to all employees about the digital transformation of the business, about the internal algorithms of operation of our computer program. First, we help to analyze operational information, which allows making decisions during production in real time, in turn involving all company employees in the work with the new PI (Computer Software). The sense of the person’s participation in something new raises the degree of responsibility of the employees. This process on average takes several months. The specialists who work in the company may be far from automation and digital technologies, so it is important to select understandable terms and words.
The manager must change the approach to work that was developed over many years in the entire industry. It is necessary to convey to the staff the value of the new IP and the need for its use in the company, the importance of the automation of the processes for the work. For example, regulation circuit monitoring systems (SMCR) in production save energy resources by 10%, reduce technical maintenance costs by up to 10%, and increase labor productivity by 5%.
Increasing the qualification of personnel
Every manager who is dedicated to introducing IT-products must teach people to use them to increase work effectiveness. Train the user, immerse him in the details and possibilities of the product, and best of all, use it together with the same over the course of a certain time. In fact, creating a market of professionals with knowledge of the product of their society, since the lack of qualified cadres represents one of the key factors, stopping digital development according to the opinion of 33% of those surveyed by Deloitte. And according to data from a Veeam Software survey, 44% of respondents believe that lack of skills represents the main barrier on the road to digitization.
The main mistake is to stop training specialists in the use of a new IT-product, or to approach the most formal training. Most people do not recognize that they do not know how to use something new, as this can lead to administrative consequences or dismissal. And this despite the fact that in the area of raw material extraction the fear of losing one’s job is minimal, as reported by HeadHunter. The stability index, which ranges from -1 to 1, here constitutes 0.43.
However, only in exceptional cases are people willing to study the possibilities of the product and go to technical support for clarification. This has the consequence that it is impossible to effectively use the possibilities of the product and the risk of leading users to refuse it, since it does not satisfy their demands.
In one of the companies where the product of the Zyfra company was successfully introduced, almost within a year it became known that the employees used their possibilities only 25%, and the majority continued to resort to the old instruments. Out of 100 analytical reports and operational work tools, only 5 were constantly working. Naturally, this created a negative experience for users and company leaders. After carrying out repeated training, fully training some key specialists taken separately, we transferred all the production departments to work with our product, thereby increasing the productivity of the company by 10% in just one month. .
Constant work on the product
The collection of theoretical and practical data over the entire time of interaction with the product represents the longest and most important stage of its introduction. And here the mistake is to stop overcoming the difficulties, not to correct the problems of your IT-product, to leave it as the developers invented it. Not convincing the programmers and the management of your company of the need to carry out changes and improvements.
Managers who introduce an IT-product do not know the technological processes and cannot be experts in this sector. If all the proposed tasks are solved, the workers themselves will offer detailed information about the shortcomings of the product with which the programmers can later work. And it depends on the definitive elaboration of the IT-product that the employees wish to interact with it. This can be seen in the example of the introduction of CRM in the Sibur company: in January 2019, 347 entries were made to the system, and in May 2020 after its final elaboration for 1819.
In one of our projects that was introduced two years ago, it turned out that the system’s capabilities were only used in 15%, with it only the dispatchers interacted. No one complies with the internal provisions on the appointment of those responsible for different modules of the product. The company did not have a key user of the system or an end user, who could become familiar with its functionality and accept it in their work, or make objective observations. Communication was lacking between the planning and production department, the company’s employees did not know which of them would be responsible for filling in the product manuals. The important thing was that the senior manager accountable to the shareholders that the system was used 100%, which was not true.
The service of the system, control with the fulfillment of the internal provisions was assumed by our team, which in association with the end users prepared the necessary requirements for production for the system and sent them to the invention department. We participate in all production meetings, follow the life of the company, hold work meetings and experiment with the functionality of our product, involving those responsible for production. As a result, the client received not only a product, but also a new operational system that was profitable in one year, and the ordering party was forced to introduce the product into industrial service.
Regardless of the qualification of employees and the degree of their conservatism, complex new products can be introduced, successfully realize digital transformation. The fundamental thing is to establish long-term relationships. Changes in the philosophy of work are a long process, requiring considerable effort.
The checklist for entering an IT-product is:
- Define where the digital transformation is oriented, for whom the product is created and who is its user.
- Communicate your value to staff as clearly as possible.
- Continuously increase the qualification of employees to carry out the training of new possibilities.
- Put the product to the test, experience the functionality, and question all issues.