Archive for August, 2017

The Importance of Engineering Work Ethic

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

How much “overhead” does your company require of its professionals chartered with inventing the future?  Does your company manage to keep overhead below 50%?  Historical figures indicate “other responsibilities” took almost 65% of the work day.

 

Add Personal Freedoms To Structural Overhead

What about personal activities that get juggled during the work day at a much greater rate than in the 20th Century, now that everyone has cell phones and personal devices in the 21st Century?  Are professionals working longer hours to compensate for the personal time they take during the work day (Figure 1)?

Figure 1

Focused Work vs. Unfocused Work

Does multitasking further infringe on productivity, just as repeated set ups and tear downs used to infringe on manufacturing productivity?  The act of switching tasks requires mental time to regain one’s previous train of thought.  How many times does switching occur each day?  Certainly there is more switching during a work day today than in any time in human history.  How many times can one switch tasks each day without incurring overall mental fatigue that affects all work, and one’s personal life?

Is anyone paying attention?  Or, is this topic now considered an infringement on people’s freedoms – even though their employer is paying them for a full work day?  Is it heresy to even bring up the subject in this day and age?  Many would say yes!  It is heresy!

 

Little Picture vs. Big Picture

The preceding paragraphs address the trials and tribulations of individuals in the workplace during a typical work day.  But, there is more to it.  Company cultures have impacts.  Country cultures have impacts?  And, these impacts accumulate over time.

In the next ten years there will be a rearrangement of the top industrialized countries as measured by Gross Domestic Product.  Do the countries that are forecast to become the dominant economic players of the future permit such daily workplace freedoms?  Likely not.  Are any of the industrialized nations that lead the world today currently forecast to rise in global rankings?  None that I am aware of.

What then is the impact of employer overhead?  What is the impact of personal daily freedoms in mature industrialized economies, that are now considered to be almost a human’s right, on the ranking of countries and their prosperity a decade from now?  Will dropping productivity trends reverse their course?  No they won’t, not unless something changes.

 

Living In Reality

Once rights or benefits have been granted or assumed, it is hard to reverse course.  Certainly no one wants to go backwards.  But, it seems that as we have moved forward on an individual level in the little picture that it is having a non-positive impact on the big picture –  which will play out in the not too distant future.

The Importance of an Engineering Work Ethic [Machine Design – August 2017] makes the case that both employers and employees may benefit if a bit more attention is paid to structural overhead and personal multitasking during the work day.

 

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MOON-ON-A-STICK

INNOVATION MASTERCLASS

Measuring Product Development Productivity & Performance

October 3-4, 2017

The Moller Centre

University of Cambridge

UK

BROCHURE

 

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140-character summaries of good articles in trade publications,

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@GoldenseGroup

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Metrics for IoT-Enabled Products

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Metrics lag the introduction of new processes and new technologies by several years.  There are many reasons.  New business processes take years to evolve and become the new normal. Then, new measures get adopted. The infrastructure behind metrics is complex. People have to change what they track and record, then IT has to put it into a system. Management is uncomfortable with new metrics that do not have several years of past data. Few choose to recreate that data; rather they wait several years for it to accumulate and then they place the new metric into service. As well, R&D and product development are among the least understood major business functions. Business leaders hesitate to change measures in areas where they did not have direct experience on their way to the top of the corporate ladder.  Metrics for IoT-enabled products, processes, and technologies will be no different.

 

Risk Being Wrong

However, the IoT has been around for a few years now.  Some companies are in their third generation of IoT-enabled products and have some initial metrics in place.  Other companies are just warming up.  Given the almost unlimited scope of what the internet makes available, and thereby enables for all companies, picking one’s spots will be critical.

Discussions about appropriate metrics should probably begin sooner then they have historically begun.  Focusing on what to measure will spur the refinement of strategy and thinking on competitive positioning.

 

Get Organized

While there will be many new metrics, GGI estimates roughly fifty will be tried and will subsequently sort-out to a handful that will become widely adopted across industry, it will be best not to wait to see what others measure.  The playing field is nearly unlimited.  The generally adopted metrics may not yield the specific strategic advantages that most companies will seek.  Don’t sit back and wait to copy what others have done.

Over time, metrics will generally sort-out to four major categories:  Corporate Metrics, Project/Product Metrics, Functional/Technical Metrics, and Improvement Metrics.  A corporate brainstorming session might begin with these four areas for thought, and then seek input from participants using these general buckets to organize ideas.

 

Turn Over Rocks

At the next level of thinking, metrics for the IIoT and IoT will be different than many other corporate initiatives that have occurred over the years.  For example, take Open Innovation.  Whether a product originated organically or openly, the same measures capture customer experience.  This will not be the same for IIoT- and IoT-Enabled products. Data generated internally within a company’s IIoT may have some utility for customers.  Data acquired externally through the IoT, and/or a customer’s use of a product, may have some utility for the company that originally created the product – to enhance it, perhaps in real time.

These data may also be selectively packaged to create new “soft products,” that may or may not have anything to do with the value offering of the original product, that could produce incremental revenues and profits.  Few can see this far ahead.  It will take time for big data to accumulate to know for sure the assets one has, or has access to, but forge ahead with the thinking.

Thinking through these four areas will result in generating ideas that may then be subsequently refined to become Corporate Metrics, Project/Product Metrics, Functional/Technical Metrics, and Improvement Metrics.

 

Metrics for IoT-Enabled Products [Machine Design – July 2017] builds on these frameworks and suggests several specific metrics that may some day become generally adopted by industry – such as “Sensors Per Product.”

 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

MOON-ON-A-STICK

INNOVATION MASTERCLASS

Measuring Product Development Productivity & Performance

October 3-4, 2017

The Moller Centre

University of Cambridge

UK

BROCHURE

 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

GGI on TWITTER

GGI Tweets content from our primary and secondary research,

140-character summaries of good articles in trade publications,

and announcements and recaps of GGI events and presentations.

@GoldenseGroup

Please consider following GGI on Twitter.

 

 

 

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