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Industrie 4.0

Being agile is easier said than done

Only one out of three companies is actually working to dismantle rigid hierarchies, though everyone is looking for agility. The reason: Decision-makers are still too much attached to the analog world. This is shown in a study by Sopra Steria and the FAZ-Institut.

02 May. 2018
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Being agile is easier said than done (photo: Sopra Steria )

More than 300 business CEOs, board members, and executives from manufacturing, public administration, energy providers, financial services and telecom companies were interviewed for the “Agile Decision” Potential Analysis . Accordingly, eight out of ten managers consider the introduction of appropriate methods and structures to be sensible. But only 14% have already made the transition to an agile organization. In 28% of the companies, the management model is still classically hierarchical, with another 19% cultivating a participatory leadership style. Only 30% of the surveyed managers are currently working on the dismantling of hierarchies.

Reasons for the desired change to more agility are a faster response to customer needs, the preservation of competitiveness, and the strengthening of innovation. Instead of technology and data, the decisions of nine out of ten respondents are still heavily based on experience and intuition. A more consistent rethinking is needed here according to the consultants.

In addition, the use of agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban is not widespread according to another result of the study. An alternative is the Japanese work and life philosophy, Kaizen , which describes a continuous improvement process. For Andreas Skuin of the Kaizen Institute , the combination of Industry 4.0 and Kaizen offers a good chance of securing competitiveness in the future as well.