Digital Twin Hub Editorial – Learning to Succeed and Succeeding to Learn. 3 Core Lessons

Digital Twin Hub > Articles & Publications > Digital Twin Hub Editorial – Learning to Succeed and Succeeding to Learn. 3 Core Lessons

Learning to Succeed and Succeeding to Learn. 3 Core Lessons

The Digital Twin Hub’s ethos from the start has been one of openness; and learning from the collective successes and failures of the community. In order to make this a part of our collective behaviour I think it is essential that we ‘practice as we preach’ and as such, since we are rapidly approaching the end of the 2nd month since we launched the Digital Twin Hub I feel this give us an excellent opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made and some of the lessons we have learnt along the way. This will then provide some context to the activities we have planned for the coming months to strive towards a Hub that truly delivers to its’ community. 


The industry is collectively having to learn, adapt and evolve in an unprecedented manner because of the COVID-19 epidemic that has been sweeping both the United Kingdom and across the globe. It would be unfair for us to claim that we have been unaffected by this, but I think it important to reflect that its effects on the Hub are both unexpected and insightful. The core ‘stay home, stay safe’ message from the Government has moved the majority of our members into a new default of working from home. This has increased our dependence on Digital mechanisms to maintain communications; and awareness of activities outside of our standard roles. 

At the outset of the epidemic we were understandably concerned about the impact that this would have on the growth of the Hub and the subsequent engagement from the community. However, we have seen continued growth in the membership level of the community growing from a core of just a dozen members to in excess of almost 200 members in just under two months. This has translated to our Digital Twin talks consistently achieving over 70 views and nearly 50 people tuning in to listen to our first ever live Digital Round table. 

My personal sense is that a significant proportion of this engagement is as a result of the importance placed on the development of Digital Twins and if anything, this has only increased in light of the current situation. 

Lesson 1: If a need truly exists it will continue to exist irrespective of changing circumstances. We should instead focus on how to continue delivering value within the new constraints.

Changing Behaviours

Behavioural change is going to be a fundamental component on the journey towards realising Digital Twins as both the management of the assets change but also the manner in which we all interact with the assets around us. This necessity for change is also a fundamental component of enabling the Digital Twin Hub to satisfy both the needs of the community and in turn also the value outcomes. As the Hub goes through its formation process this an area that is proving especially complex and difficult to achieve. 

This difficultly exists in my mind for two core reasons: providing a sufficiently compelling offering to justify people dedicating the necessary time to the Hub and reaching a point of critical mass in which the majority of content and value is community generated.

Although the events and activities we have run so far have produced extremely promising levels of interest, these do not always result in continued engagement following. We have therefore taken the decision going forward to drive more crucial activities from the National Digital Twin Programme and related activities onto the Hub to provide the community with the opportunity to be an even greater part of the discussion. 

Lesson 2: Tipping the balance of self-generated to member-generated content will deliver a sustainable and more valuable prospect.

Meeting the Demand

When we first launched the Hub, we never imagined that two months in and we would have 200 registered and approved members with a further 300 pending registrations. This demand includes not just core asset owners and suppliers but also international, academic, public bodies and more. 

Although, these groups were communities we hoped to be able to include as part of the Hubs activities in future we had not anticipated this level of interest at such an early point in time. We are therefore actively undertaking steps to allow us to include as many groups as possible as soon as possible whilst maintaining security. 

Whilst we work to confirm and grow the Hub’s community we are trying to make as many of the activities we host as open as possible to include as many voices as we can. 

Lesson 3: Never underestimate the value people place on significant change especially where the value of success is so exponentially beneficial. 

Looking Forward

As we step into the next phase of the Hub, we are filled with anticipation for where the next part of the journey will take us.  Stay tuned for a number of activities that you will be able to engage with:

1.    Digital Twin Talks (Series 2) – Connecting or Connected Digital Twins? 2.    A Digital Twin Organisational Maturity Survey.  3.    The National Digital Twin Pathway to the Information Management Framework Webinar 4.    Digital Twins – A Foundational Guide 5.    More yet to be announced

Samuel A Chorlton  Chair, DT Hub Steering Group  29th May 2020  

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