Most graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in factories were designed by engineers based on what that engineer wanted to see. They share way too much information, and often the wrong information. We call this the Trivial Many. Many pieces of information, most of them irrelevant to the person using the GUI. Liquid Consulting’s approach is completely different. We design GUIs based on personas. That is, we actually build a detailed profile of every different type of user, which then gives our engineers a deep understanding of how each personna’s needs different from the others. We then design a different interface for each personna, and each interface only displays the information that individual actually needs. We call this the Vital Few. Everything on that screen is vitally important for that person when doing his or her job. Our interfaces work differently depending on who is using it: the operator, a maintenance engineer, the plant manager, or the top executive. It hides information that would be distracting to the operator and simplifies the work of a maintenance worker… who has a completely different goal than the operator. The Vital Few vs. the Trivial Many illustrates a key truth about technology. You don’t achieve great performance levels merely by digitizing your operations. You also need to apply a strategy that leverages digitalization to better empower each individual and business unit.
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