Project management frameworks including Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban, and Agile vary in their implementation styles, but all embrace some form of waste reduction and continuous improvement. Waste reduction and process improvement are not typically measured in leaps and bounds; a 1% improvement can often have a substantial impact on an organization. Like project management outcomes, companies who pursue IoT – digital innovation aimed at addressing high-value business problems around asset uptime, advanced analytics, and predictive failure – should understand improvements won’t always come in large chunks. The iterative improvements and small recurring waste reductions stemming from an IoT solution will have significant positive effects when compounded over time and ultimately stressing the big picture importance of delayed gratification.

Agile goal: Faster delivery and iterative improvements with close engagement from the end user
In heavy-duty trucking, uptime is critical to the operator’s livelihood. When a class-8 truck experiences a mechanical issue, a properly designed IoT solution can take the diagnostic guesswork away from the operator and guide them to the best solution. Diagnostic applications can leverage the trucks communications unit and inform him/her almost instantaneously of what the potential issue is and where, when, and how to remediate the problem. In the case of false positives, it can save them a trip to the repair center all together. Maximizing uptime with IoT can lead to less time in the shop and more time on the road.

IoT in the digital oil field.

Kanban goal: Focus on the right type of work
Oil & Gas field technicians know not all well sites function the same way. Rather than focusing on the performance of a singular location or asset, leveraging IoT removes ambiguity by enabling companies to harness, analyze, and act on large data sets from all the assets employed in the field. Data analytics and predictive tools are able to identify anomalous trends sooner so that issues can be addressed before production is impacted or failures occur. Being in the right place at the right time is no longer a coincidence.

Scrum goal: Remove ambiguity with constant communication
Utility providers who leverage IoT capabilities can gain much-needed visibility and control into their distribution networks when they are in constant contact with devices in the field. This allows them to pinpoint and address power outages faster and more accurately. This increases grid availability, improves the efficiency of field crews, reduces costs associated with multiple truck rolls, and at the same time increases customer satisfaction when power is restored promptly.

So the next time you’re in a daily Scrum meeting or project planning session, take a step back and see if the principles guiding your project management framework are being embraced by other areas of your organization. Striving for incremental waste reductions and process improvements is an investment worth making and finding the right IoT solution can help lead the way.