By Pravinraj Panicker
In Industry 4.0

“In life there are no guarantees, only opportunities” – General Patton

This is so true and in the context of an organization, and the opportunity here is the option to act. This call for action needs decision(s) and there are always two options available one is to act and the other is to choose to not act!! Many times the second option seems the simplest and easily opt-out.

This does not happen here!!!

Many would tend to disagree that there is indecision in their organizations. Many times it is not that there are no decisions taken but that the decisions taken invariably turn out to be as good as no action taken.

Let us look at one of our customer scenarios that clarify it. The customer wants to be in a position to make a decision if the machine needs to be stopped temporarily or is it gearing up for an impending servicing. Traditionally both these decisions would be left to the person in charge to decide if the machinery continues to work despite reaching the cutoff temperature and if the maintenance should be scheduled for this machine yet.

In both cases, the decision to stop the machinery or schedule maintenance may get procrastinated in the want or intent of keeping the production going – which may not be a right decision or informed decision and hence would be as good as no decision taken!!!

The question is could this decision have been taken in a timely and effective manner?

Hyper Decision Making

This term was coined by Ted Marra and refers to the ability of an organization to make faster and better decisions, especially at the strategic level. One of the components in this ecosystem is what is called “sensing systems” which essentially in today’s context would be a decision intelligence system instead of a decision support system, which is aware of the operating environment. Hyper Decision Making is kind of a maturity model for the decision making capability of an organization.

The scope of the model is much wider and the essence that is subscribed to here is the outcome – making the organization more agile by changing the decision making process to a faster and effective activity.

How will IoT help in Hyper Decision Making?

Internet of Things (IoT) brings into the picture, a lot of visibility with the data getting churned along with the processes that are executing. The raw data will not help and will need to go through a certain amount of connecting, massaging, slicing, dicing, etc to make it into groups of relevant data which starts making sense together and is no longer in isolation but a logical group possibly a time snapshot of the subsystems and processes involved.

There may be more Data analytics that gets applied on this data map or graph for multidimensional analysis to provide a possible trend and eventuality. Thus we would now be able to conclude and forecast if the process arteries are starting to clog rather than wait to detect high blood pressure and conclude the possible clogging.

Some possibilities like, If there is regular costly maintenance that is in place for a critical piece of machinery, one can easily take a decision in terms of optimally scheduling maintenance based on the data as to if there is a need for one now and not do it because of standard operating procedure. One would be able to optimize and do things in a more timely manner because now we would have sufficient data and information for taking the call or decision to do things or not.

Consider the customer scenario cited, the solution that we are working upon is that of enabling the customer to use IoT data and using an IoT device viz. a smart temperature sensor to record the temperatures sensed and if the temperature sustains beyond a threshold range, sends a signal to cut off the engine and send a message to the relevant stakeholders of this decision taken. Likewise, a vibration sensor to detect the vibrations of the machinery to take a decision as to whether the maintenance needs to be scheduled for the machinery and notifying the maintenance in charge and the production-in-charge of the decision. These are hyper decisions taken – no longer subjective. These decisions can be even more augmented by adding more intelligence.

Information is power and more information is going to be even more power!!

With the advent of IoT cloud-based systems, even governance models, as well as the decision making triggers, are going to change. The need for decision making is going to also become more judicial. Simple decisions that could be taken based on the data available are no longer going to wait for human intervention. The trigger for human intervention will now become more strategic and possibly tactical than at the hardcore operational level. Machine-to-machine communication and simple reasoning would come to play to change the work environment slowly, surely and completely.

IoT technology will bring in a lot of visibility into what is happening and will give us that inside data we have been missing to make decisions with more confidence and speed for sure and enabling Hyper Decisions…!!

Learn more about how Hyper Decisions can lead to improved efficiencies and performances in this article…… How does organization-wide KPI improve through use of IoT?. You can read more about the future of IoT and its impact in our blogs

Feel free to connect with us: if you want to discuss or share your ideas. We provide IoT services as well as IoT solutions based on our ISaE framework.

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