Helena Jochberger

Helena Jochberger

Vice-President, Global Industry Lead, Manufacturing

Did you know? Several studies have estimated that as much as 80% of all data-driven programs don't succeed1. In my previous blogs, I discuss the numerous proven benefits of becoming a data-driving manufacturing organization. Given the apparent advantages, why do so many initiatives fail?

Manufacturers today have no shortage of data—quite the opposite, in fact. But simply having access to data isn't enough. Achieving success as a data-driven organization requires not only the right technology and data infrastructure but also a culture that is ready and willing to use data to make informed decisions that drive business value.

Organizational readiness is the key differentiator to initiate success.

What is organizational readiness, and why is it so important in a data-driven organization?

Organizational readiness refers to the degree to which an organization is prepared and equipped to use data effectively to drive operations and decision-making processes. A data-driven organization has a culture that values data, a workforce with the skills to analyze it, and systems and processes to ensure data is accessible, secure and governed. Last, but not least, such an organization is led by leaders who understand the importance of organizational readiness and its critical role in becoming truly data-driven.

One of the key reasons data-driven programs and transformations stall is that organizations don't exhibit the "qualities" that enable success. Lack of alignment, differing objectives, unwillingness to participate in the necessary data hygiene, or the perception that engaging in a new data program adds another layer of "work," can all hinder data success. Particularly within manufacturing, there may also be a fear of digital transformation and data initiatives impacting livelihoods. These are all valid concerns that should not be ignored but instead embraced as part of change management.

How can you achieve organizational readiness?

Transforming into a data-driven organization requires a shared vision and roadmap to develop collective data-first behaviors. Here are some key considerations for attributes to adopt in your journey.

Be human-centric: Successful transformational change relies upon the buy-in and input from all levels of your organization. As a first step, consider everyone's views during the strategy stage. This ensures concerns are heard early on, and those who will be impacted can better understand what's in it for them. In addition, multiple perspectives encourage active participation and clarity of objectives and ensure diversity of thought, increased creativity and faster problem-solving. This is not only about improving efficiency; it's about being truly human-centric.

Demonstrate value: Encourage everyone to use data to make insight-led decisions. By clearly seeing the benefits and value, employees are more likely to become "data ambassadors." Providing employees with training and resources and rewarding and recognizing those who use data effectively is a great way to motivate them.

Identify supporting tools and technologies: Having the right technology and infrastructure in place, including data management tools, analytics software and secure cloud computing platforms, can help employees work more harmoniously together and support better organizational efficiencies.

Build data skills sets and literacy: Access to talent with the right skill sets is typically difficult in manufacturing—an industry that is not traditionally viewed as "cool" or "hip" by the best data scientists graduating from university. Supplementing hiring new talent with upskilling existing employees will help address the challenge. Data literacy is also key. A bigger emphasis on data calls for a proportional amount of effort in developing clear policies and processes to ensure data is secure, accessible and governed, including data privacy, management and security.

A cultural blueprint for success

With so many aspects to consider, building cultural blueprints for organizational readiness is crucial. A cultural blueprint defines the values, behaviors and beliefs that are expected and encouraged within an organization. It sets the tone for how employees interact with each other, with customers and with data.

In a data-driven organization, a cultural blueprint should emphasize the importance of data and its role in decision-making. This means fostering a culture that values data literacy, transparency and accountability. The blueprint should also encourage employees to take an evidence-based approach to decision-making and problem-solving and to use data to drive innovation and improvement.

Additionally, the blueprint should outline the processes and systems in place to ensure data is secure and governed and provide guidelines for the ethical use of data. This includes establishing clear data privacy policies and practices and guidelines for data sharing and collaboration.

A cultural blueprint can be a powerful tool for helping organizations close the gap between the current and future desired culture. Setting clear expectations for employee behavior and defining the values and beliefs that drive the organization helps to ensure everyone is aligned and working toward the same goals.

Leading by example

Leadership is a critical aspect of organizational readiness in a data-driven organization, and leaders need to set the right example to foster such behaviors and mindsets. I believe there are a few key qualities that set the standard for a data-driven leader:

  • Clear vision of how data will be used to drive the organization's success and the ability to communicate this vision to employees.
  • Innovative mindset and a willingness to embrace change and be open to new ways of working. Leaders must be comfortable with uncertainty and be ready to take risks to drive innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Invests in people to develop their skills and expertise, particularly in areas such as data analysis, data visualization and data management. Setting a good example by continually learning and developing their own skills can help pave the way.
  • Builds partnerships by fostering collaboration between departments, teams and stakeholders. This helps ensure that data is used effectively across the organization and that everyone works toward the same goals.
  • Accountable for their actions and decisions and ensuring the ethical and responsible use of data.

A data-first mindset is critical to building trust and ensuring ROI on your data investment. Whether it is a small initiative or a large transformation program, a structured approach will help effectively manage the human side of change. As change is a constant process and not an event, this mindset needs to be fully integrated; from start to finish and back again!

How are you getting your people ready for your data-driven transformation? Contact me to discuss how we can help you on this journey.


About this author

Helena Jochberger

Helena Jochberger

Vice-President, Global Industry Lead, Manufacturing

As the Global Industry Lead for manufacturing, Helena Jochberger is responsible for the strategic design, development and direction of CGI’s global manufacturing portfolio.