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How to accelerate the deployment, configuration and adoption by teams of an IoT solution?

Published on 17/11/2021

ou have decided to modernize your production to face the competition and prepare for the future. You have chosen an IoT solution in order to digitize the information flows of your production operations (geolocation, automatic production monitoring, wireless pick-to-light, etc.). How to guarantee the return on investment? That the new installation will be commissioned on time?

Observation: a need for involvement.

In all projects there are 2 types of stakeholders: the decision maker and the stakeholders. The decision-maker is mainly involved at the start and at the end of the project; he analyzes the proposed solutions, selects and confirms the result obtained; it is a steering function. The actors are the people who participate in the development of the project solution by providing knowledge of the “business”. They explain the reality on the ground, participate in working groups defining exactly how the solution works.

These are the ones that guarantee the success or failure of the project depending on their implications. A low level of involvement leads to the implementation of a solution that is unsuitable for the situation which ultimately is not used by the teams, or even circumvented.

To this main challenge must be added external factors such as the culture and history of the company; IT projects have left “bad” memories in many companies and we regularly meet suspicious looks in the field when announcing a project involving the information system.

IoT projects are special because they affect two universes: it is the meeting of hardware and software. For example, it is necessary to take into account the continuous movement of a trolley in the factory but also the corresponding information which is then displayed in the information system. This double dimension necessarily requires the joint work of people whose daily lives are very different in nature (field, CIO, management). The project will therefore be approached from very different angles.

Take, for example, the case of monitoring information much sought after by management but which forces the operator to stop his work in order to carry out the reporting in a dedicated tool; situation which will generate tensions on the outcome given to this request.

Problem: resistance to change.

The current answer to the problem of “implication” is the search for a motivation, for a common objective to the various stakeholders to want the success of the project.It is also necessary to take into account the resistance to changes that the actors may oppose; resistance which will be amplified by the fact that the project involves a group of heterogeneous actors.This resistance is a natural phenomenon in humans, it is an automatic and unconscious reaction to the announcement of a change in situation which creates uncertainty about the future. This uncertainty can be reinforced by the general context such as the absence of communication around the project and the economic environment of the company. The current Covid19 crisis is the perfect example. In a situation where people do not perceive the exact perimeter; who is affected and what is their precise purpose; the level of participation may be even lower.

To overcome this natural resistance is possible in our emotional state and the impact by each of the announced change; some will be able to overcome their worries while for others they will be too great.

This resistance will limit the level of commitment of people thus generating a typical self-fulfilling prophecy: low involvement => unsuitable project / not used => useless project ==> “I was right not to get involved!”

In short: motivate to pull towards the goal and provide a response to fears to limit their negative impacts.


Increase the levelof engagement in 5 steps.

Recognize that we want change: "the environment in which the company has to operate because of…, it is therefore necessary to adapt…"
Specify the objective: "connect equipment A B and C to save time on delivery…."
Be clear about the deliverables
Define clearly the roles of each actor.
Follow the evolution of the mind of the actors by asking the question "how do you feel?" and not "start progressing the project?".

A successful project.

The direction is clearly defined and the actors know what to expect, the decision-maker has an immediate recovery of points of resistance.

The monitoring of the minds of the actors shows the consideration of the decision maker for what lives the people involved in a change in their daily lives and ensures the involvement of everyone in the project.

In addition, a project management methodology adapted to this mixed reality linked to the IoT – virtual / real – in order to fully take into account the reality on the ground will ensure the success of the project: “bottom up” methodology.

This guarantees the ROI of the project and a stronger use of the solution by the teams.

What do you think ?

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Inapplicable Utopia or Effective Method? Any experiences / anecdotes to share?

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