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DT Talks: Digital Twins in the Enterprise


Tammy Au
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Join us for the next video in our series on Tuesday. Kevin Reeves and the CDBB team will host a live chat session at 10.30. Bring your questions.

 

 
 
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Good Morning All,

Hope everyone is keeping safe and well.

Nice easy questions please as back from hols this week !

Kevin

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Welcome to the start of today’s Digital Twin Talk on The Integrated Enterprise and a big thank you to @KReevesDigi from Costain for joining us. We’re looking forward to your thoughts and questions related to Kevin's talk – and maybe posing one or two of our own.

As with all our Twin Talks Kevin is online from 10:30am to 11:30am to answer your questions. To join the discussion please add your thoughts by replying to the conversation thread.

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Hi Kevin. I loved your talk, my favorite slide is the water sector value chain.

To get the whole water sector engaged in the a common digital twin, have you come across any resistance, because player in the chain can't be conceived by the promised value? 

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To better understand maturity toward digital twins and the National Digital Twin programme CDBB have recently launched an extension to the Smart Infrastructure Index. This is open to DT Hub members from asset owning organisations. @KReevesDigi in your experience where are organisations typically most mature when it comes to digital twins and where do they benefit most from additional support?

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Hi Steven,

From experiences to date the water sector is very well engaged, we ran a workshop at the start of the year that incorporated UK Gov, academia and industry partners which was received really very well. Certainly client side the appetite is there though understanding where to start can be a challenge including how to frame the business case.

Engaging the wider supply chain is itself a mammoth task and takes time, however we are starting to see some small successes. A challenge for smaller businesses is the cost of developing their part of a digital twin so being client led, where potentially the client provides the platform / solutions, can make a real difference.

We have taken this approach on a highways project and it worked really well.

Overall I think clients leading the way is vital to success and I think most clients I talk too are behind Digital Twins, very exciting times !

Hope that answers your question.

Regards

Kevin

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Hi Kevin & DT Hub Team,

Thank you for the insightful talk and welcome back from holiday!

What approaches have you used – successfully and otherwise around cultural change for implementing new systems?

You talked about traditional ways of working being challenging to move away from and part of that could be linked to the lack of diversity in the sector. 

How have you worked with organisations to educate them and map the new skills they need with HR teams and job roles/rewards?  

Many thanks,

Katharine

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Hi Tom,

I am not sure there is a specific answer, most organisations I speak too are really strong in certain areas and less mature in others.

Water companies for example have extremely mature operational systems, with scaled telemetry and detailed twins of sites with real time / historical information, alarms, event management, analysis etc etc. I guess what limits the value is that these systems are often segregated, intentionally for resilience and security, however many water companies are starting to 'join the digital dots' to enable whole catchment optimisation rather than individual sites, which is amazing and hopefully represented in the presentation.

What is really encouraging is the recognition of the value to enterprise, Network Rail for example have a very ambitious plan to join the dots across their enterprise, with some excellent capability already being deployed. They see the value in using the information from across their business to aid strategic decision making, where as much of the insight today in many organisations is at the tactical level.

HS2 are another great example of a forward thinking enterprise who are developing some incredible digital twin capability and expanding their thinking all the time, such progression is very encouraging.

The sheer amount of progress with BIM as the foundation is really very impressive, I think as an industry we can be very self critical and sometimes miss the amazing work underway.

None of this could be done without collaboration and all clients are mature enough to ask for support where needed, this behaviour then feeds down into the supply chain. In alliances and JV's it is best person for the role and this works, makes sure the right expertise is available to drive the right outcomes.

Hope that helps !

Kevin

 

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@KReevesDigi your approach uses the Gemini Principles. Do you have any examples of how the Gemini Principles have helped Costain to be successful, and as a follow-up are there any examples where you’ve experienced push-back against any of the principles?

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Hi Katherine,

Our cultural journey within Costain started some 14 years ago, initially we employed some external consultants which certainly made a difference, however we felt that cultural change needed to come from within. We setup a team of behavioural science experts initially focused on health and safety which had been flat lining for a few years and results were seriously impressive.

Using behavioural science techniques to drive positive, rather than negative re-enforcement transformed our H&S performance and the initiative was so successful it turned into an award winning service. 

We now apply this same approach to technology blended with a mix of agile user engagement. We find that by getting the end users involved from day one, understanding their challenges and focusing on making their lives easier, ensures a smoother transition into BAU.  The iterative agile approach also means the end users are effectively trained in how to use the end solution as they have helped design it !!  

In terms of skills we have partnered with the CITB to help shape a new Digital Leadership programme feeding into the CITB's digital skills and competency framework, this provides structured learning and certification for key skills that suit all abilities. Early days however the CITB have been very impressive.

This is not to say cultural adoption has been solved, there are still many obstacles and there is no silver bullet, however these approaches have certainly helped us to date. 

I can put you in touch with the relevant people in Costain if you want to discuss in more detail,  we are always keen to learn from others as part of the ongoing cultural challenge.

Regards

Kevin

Edited by KReevesDigi
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An open question to all in the discussion. Has Kevin’s presentation reinforced, extended or perhaps changed any of your views on digital twins and the integrated enterprise? I would particularly like to hear from any guests (not yet a DT Hub member) who are online, what will you be taking away from the talk today?

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@KReevesDigi

Many thanks for the insights. Good to know the demand for digital twin has been driven by clients.  And there is proven model of working in various sectors, not only the water sector. 

If I may ask another question, from your experience:  when 'digital dots' are joined,  are there any whole-industry (cross-industry) level meta digital twin to enable independent digital twins to get connected? (I mean a top down approach) 

Or by joining the individual dot (digital twin), an ecosystem of digital twin representing the whole sector will emerge? (bottom up approach) 

Steven

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Hi Tom,

The Gemini Principles are effectively employed in all the digital work we undertake, good architectural practice promotes the same objectives.

Ensuring a clear purpose is so vitally important, with all the buzz around Digital Twin's it is easy for organisations to 'dive in' where a good starting point is to think about how Digital Twin's can help achieve strategic outcomes. Defining the purpose is key to unlocking value and delivering trust.

The A14 Integrated Delivery Team developed a digital twin of the production process and all partners learned from the journey. Initially people were somewhat reluctant to trust the insights being presented to them via dashboards, GIS and other apps. However after the first 6 months that trust started to build and the project team could see the value in the transparency the insights delivered. This has been so successful it is now being considered as a 'blueprint' by Highways England for their complex schemes.

Many organisations also have to go through a process of data cleansing or transformation to delivery trustworthy insight and this should not be underestimated. It also requires a consistent approach to information management and is best aligned to standard products or MMC's to deliver maximum value.

As a guiding set of rules and the start of a framework, the Gemini Principles are a solid foundation.

Regards

Kevin

Edited by KReevesDigi
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Hi Kevin, Tom & DT Hub Team,

Thank you for your reply Kevin.  

What I am taking away is that many of the techniques Kevin included are based on academic principles being adopted by industry - something we could all do more of!  

Now the challenge is influencing others to embrace these and include them in different levels of the organisation.

Many thanks for your time - I am finding the resources and talks incredibly valuable and insightful.

Katharine

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Hi Steven,

I think that the industry approach to Health & Safety is perhaps the best example of where we have 'done it before'. The processes, information and governance are all pretty much standard regardless of which company you work for.

This common approach and language has been instrumental to the significant improvements in H&S and something we can look to when assessing the value of scaled digital twins from a national perspective.

Imagine if other business functions aligned in the same way, the NDT will effectively become an industry black box enabling the entire value chain to continuously improve, in the same way Airlines use  'black boxes' to deliver improvements.  It would in effect move us towards a platform based industry, that evolves with the overall economy creating a level playing field for healthy competition.

Whilst difficult to see and even harder to articulate, the value from creating a National Digital Twin is pretty much limitless and requires top down approaches to ensure UK Gov, regulators and NGO's can deliver strategic outcomes, plus the bottom up approach to ensure tactical needs are met.

More needs to be done to enable cross organisational integration, though the IMF is starting to tackle this challenge and is a must do to enable industry transformation to take place.

Regards

Kevin

 

Edited by KReevesDigi
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Many thanks to @KReevesDigi and everybody on this chat for all your comments and questions.

We are now coming to the end of our live discussion, but we will keep this space open and available until the end of the day in case you have further thoughts or questions. We will continue to monitor the discussion during that time, but on a less frequent basis.

We will also add Kevin’s video, along with the videos from previous talks, to this page: https://digitaltwinhub.co.uk/digital-twin-talks/

Looking ahead, our next Digital Twin Talk: Digital Twins, Why Now? by @David McKee of Slingshot Simulations. We will post the video of David’s talk on Monday evening and David will join us for a live forum discussion on the 28th July between 10:30 and 11:30 am BST.

We are keen for as many people as possible to benefit from this excellent series of talks and discussions. Please share a link to the DT Hub with your contacts and let them know about the Twin Talks.

Thank you all very much again

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Hi Tom,

The open group site is without doubt the best resource. Being an open source framework many of the tools and information are free:

https://www.opengroup.org/togaf

There are also globally recognised accreditation's to demonstrate competency, making this a very valuable framework. 

This is not the only enterprise framework of course, Zachman, Kimbal and others are also globally recognised with robust industry standards.

Regards

Kevin

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Thanks Kevin, I really enjoyed the presentation, and covered a lot of the ground that we have been talking about in the Commons.  I hope that yourself, or Costain as an organiastion, will respond to the IMF Pathway consultation before the end of August. ☺️

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