By Harriet Hansen, Business Architecture Graduate at QualiWare
Too often decisions are made based on gut feelings – the intangible sum of an executive’s experiences. Sometimes it goes well – other times it goes poorly. A Digital Twin of the Organization, or strategically chosen parts of the organization and its assets, provides executives and managers with tangible information about the state of the organization. The digital twin can help alleviate lack of situational awareness on multiple levels across the organization by utilizing previously untapped knowledge, making the intangible tangible and solutions visible.
The concept of a digital twin has previously, for the most parts, concerned machinery. It was defined as a virtual representation of a physical asset, including design, materials, behavior and performance. The Digital Twin of the Organization is a variation of this concept. Click here if you want to know more about the what, why, when and how of the Digital Twin of an Organization.
While the potential level of details of digital twins are unlimited, greater detail does not necessarily mean greater benefits. In this blog post you will learn four steps for implementing a Digital Twin of your Organization and how to utilize a great deal of the benefits that it offers.
The four steps are:
- Define your goals
- Specify what data you need to meet your goal
- Pair the data with existing business intelligence
- Create KPIs and monitor them
Read on to learn more about these four steps.
Step 1: Define your goals
To attain ideal benefits when merging the virtual with the physical, you must target your efforts towards the areas that have the greatest need or the greatest potential for benefits once improved. This could for example be too many slipped project deadlines, dissatisfied customers, or lack of control over company assets such as machinery and technology. Two questions you would want to answer are:
- What are the most urgent or persistent challenges your organization is facing?
- What are the areas where a competitive edge can give you a significant market advantage?
To answer answer these questions, you need to look at your operating model, your existing KPIs and your documented performance over time. Remember, you must have your operating model documented. This includes the roles, processes, skills, structures, technologies and assets that enable your organization to achieve its goals. The information should ideally be collected in the same system, so that it can easily be updated.
The goals you set for the Digital Twin of your Organization can be everything from predictive maintenance and improved customer experience to determining digital opportunities and areas for mass customization. Remember, prioritize your efforts and start small. The goals can expand over time.
Step 2: Specify what data you need to meet your goal
Ensure that you utilize your organization’s existing data. You may already have the needed data available in several systems but need to extract it for analysis.
Depending on your goal, this can be information about system error counts, failure rates, abrasions on assets, positive or negative outliers or product structures. The information can then be utilized for unpacking complexities and discovering areas suitable for mass customization.
Unless you have a detailed documentation of your organization’s data structure, you need to involve stakeholders who together know the different data that is processed and stored in your organization. Together you can determine what data you have that is useful for achieving your goals.
Step 3: Pair the data with existing business intelligence
Once you have your data, you must make it available to your business operating system, so it can be paired with the business intelligence. This is where the Digital Twin of the Organization is truly utilized.
Before you set up your business operating system to analyze the specific data, you should determine how often you need to update the data to reach your goals. Should it be updated continuously (real-time or near real-time), hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? What would be the necessary frequency and what would be the optimal frequency? The answer to this question will depend on what your goals are and how quickly you must be able to act on the analyzed data.
When pairing your data with the intelligence from your organization’s digital twin, there must be a one-to-one alignment between it and your organization. This means that the relevant areas of your organization must be represented in its digital twin. Depending on your goals, your one-to-one alignment may have varying levels of detail within different areas. The one-to-one alignments may for example consist of your organization’s:
- Business operating model
- Asset management documentation
- Process models
- Customer journey maps
- Strategy models
- Infrastructure diagrams
- Data management
- Business ecosystem
All this information should already be available in your business operating system. If there are areas that are not documented sufficiently for you to attain your goals, you should ensure that the information is updated.
Step 4: Create KPIs and monitor them
The final step to implementing a Digital Twin of your Organization consists of monitoring and analyzing the data it receives. KPIs for monitoring your areas of interest should be specified and their effectiveness should be verified. The KPIs should consider the newly imported data, the business intelligence from your business operating system, and the new information created by merging the two.
With a Digital Twin of your Organization, you can analyze specific sets of data (such as an assets availability, failure rate and productivity) and compare it with your organization’s resource utilization, compliance rates, capacity utilization, revenue growth, monthly sales, net profit, customer satisfaction and much more.
Based on the data added to the Digital Twin of your Organization, analysis of otherwise fragmented information can be made available to the organization’s decision makers. This enables them to get a higher degree of situational awareness and a clearer view of which solutions may be best, both in the long and the short run.
If you are curious about how QualiWare can provide you with the business operating system you need to implement a Digital Twin of your Organization, you can request a demo here.