Science Friction: Businesses’ Reluctant Acceptance of Advanced Automation

Science Friction: Businesses’ Reluctant Acceptance of Advanced Automation

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Science Friction: Businesses’ Reluctant Acceptance of Advanced Automation

Times are changing.

According to research conducted by Accenture, intelligent automation is already leaving its mark on several industries around the world.

From the report:

“Customers at Singapore’s Timbre restaurant will notice something is different. Instead of waiters carrying dishes to and from the kitchen, autonomous drones now fly dirty dishes off customer tables. Visitors to Siemens’ so-called ‘lights out’ manufacturing plant will notice a change, too, as Siemens has automated some of its production lines to the point where they can run unsupervised for several weeks.”

Work is becoming less and less dependent on the human element, and this has many people concerned about mass job losses in the very near future. And sure, robots are replacing people, and organizations are altering the ways they operate, but change has always been critical to success in business.

Here’s a surprising revelation – automation has always been the goal. It’s at the very core of Six Sigma and Business Process Management (BPM), and we’re right on schedule.

Defining Business Process Management

BPM is a holistic management methodology that seeks to strengthen processes and operations by implementing automation and aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of consumers. It can be broken down into a five-step model called DMEMO.

  • Design – pinpoint an existing problem and start sketching out process-based solutions
  • Modeling – while the design is still in the early phases, start experimenting with its different variables to see if you can create an even better outcome
  • Execution – once the model is in place, execute on it and bring it to life
  • Monitoring – measure the performance of the new process
  • Optimization – while studying the new process, look for opportunities for reduction and improvement

This is happening all over the world, in almost every industry. And, it has created positive change for thousands of organizations.

Change Acceleration Process

So why does this change – the one with fully-automated AI solutions – seem so hard to swallow for so many people?

Honestly, there’s no specific answer. The closest we can get is this: change is hard for everyone.

Why? Because it hurts. It interrupts our habits and routines, and it makes us awfully uncomfortable. That’s why, in the 1990s, General Electric CEO Jack Welch helped develop a system for embracing change.

It involved two parts:

  • The Technical Strategy – which was the change itself
  • The Cultural Strategy – which focused on communication and teambuilding to help guide people through the change

Welch called it the Change Acceleration Process, and there isn’t anything fancy about it. Implement a change, and then give people all the resources and sympathetic ears they need to follow through with the change.

Simple. Straightforward. But largely overlooked when the stressors of change make people frightened, irritable and unreasonable.

Automation means change. It’s here. It’s scary. But it’s worth remembering that change is an uninflected word – it’s neither good nor bad. The presence of artificial intelligence and advanced automation may take jobs from people, but it will create new jobs too.

There’s give and take. Positive and negative. And things tend to turn out fine.

Because they always have.

The post Science Friction: Businesses’ Reluctant Acceptance of Advanced Automation appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: September 20, 2017, 1:43 pm

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