Waste in Digital Transformation

Waste is any activity that consumes resources but does not add any economic value. All businesses to remain competitive and profitable must Identify and eliminate waste when delivering large scale digital transformation.

Taiichi Ohno who was one of the key influencers at Toyota identified seven wastes in production :

  1. Overproduction 

  2. Correction

  3. Movement of material

  4. Wasted human motion

  5. Waiting

  6. Inventory

  7. Unnecessary production

These can be applied directly to any physical production activities. However, can this be applied to large scale Digital transformation?

The value from any Digital transformation that the customers are likely to pull is delivered by the software, which is not a physical product anymore. In the early days of software, businesses may have used installer discs but cloud computing has made that irrelevant. Hence the quality of software, the value it delivers and its timely delivery are critical to the success of any digital transformation. Information Technology or IT function of the business is primarily responsible for developing and releasing software.  

IT in most businesses is a cost center or an expense. IT function does not incur profit directly. However, IT delivers value to customers by using software to deliver Features. 

The value and quality of Features will depend on the usable knowledge created and delivered by IT functions. IT functions with greater usable knowledge of large scale digital transformation are likely to deliver solutions in the shortest sustainable timescales compared to IT functions with less knowledge.

So wastes that incur during the delivery of large scale Digital transformation are wastes of knowledge and not physical production activities.

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