IIoT, digitization and industry 4.0 are hot topics in manufacturing these days. In this article, we share our experience of what you need to consider when setting up a proof of value. We focus on the evaluation stage of a new technology, not the decision of which technology to evaluate.

A “proof of value” is an experiment that should answer the following questions:

  • What value does the technology create for your company?
  • What is your return on investment?

But how do you set up a good experiment that answers the above questions?

Based on extensive experience with our customers, we have narrowed down the following four rules of thumb that can help you to improve your decision-making process:

  • Goal: Deploy fast! The faster you deploy a technology, the more time you have to test it and only real-life testing will provide you with the necessary information you need in order to make a good decision. Don’t waste your team’s time in endless meeting rooms – get your hands on the actual problem and channel the real-time feedback.
  • Involve future users: Every experiment should be as close to reality as possible and that includes the users. The people who run the processes today need to be involved in the evaluation process as early as possible. You not only want to benefit from their knowledge, you also want to get their buy-in. Any digital tool is only as good as its input.
  • Choose a real use case: Every decision to set up a proof of value should be triggered by a real use case. If the real-life use case does not exist, you will struggle to get the stakeholder value necessary to be successful.
  • Simplify: The more complex your initial setup is, the longer it will take to deploy and the lower the likelihood it will be successful. People have a tendency to add complexity to solve problems. Resist!

A proof of value doesn’t have to be a fully scalable setup. Most issues that arise moving a proof of value to a “real” implementation, are known tasks that require a distinct amount of work.

Following these criteria you will be able to run your proof of values more efficiently, i.e. you will be able to achieve a faster time-to-value.

These 4 criteria are simple, this article is brief and hopefully to the point like a good “Proof of value”!