Work 4.0 roadmap for the design of digitized work environments.

Work 4.0 roadmap

Initial situation and project objective

Progressive digitization is revolutionizing the work environment. Meanwhile, though, it remains unclear how the spread of digitization will affect the interplay between humans, technology and organizations, which benefits can be expected from digitized work and how this potential can be exploited. The transfer project therefore aims to elucidate and structure the thematic field of Work 4.0 for BENTELER Automotive, as well as to identify and leverage the corresponding potential. The task at hand is hence to create an organization development roadmap for the design of digital work environments.

Solution and customer benefits

The developed Work 4.0 roadmap outlines 30 concrete measures for the design of digitized work environments and in doing so brings structure to the thematic field. The measures aim to bring sustainable improvements to processes and structures, as well as to the acquisition of competency among the relevant stakeholders within the wider framework of digitization. The first step in developing the roadmap was to identify nine promising scenarios for digitized work and the stakeholders involved. A Work 4.0 canvas was prepared in interdisciplinary workshops to determine the impacts of the scenarios on the interplay between humans, organizations and technology. Besides the relevant departments, representatives of the works council were also involved in the workshops. The workshop results were used to obtain insight and infer conclusions, which were then transferred into actions. The actions with the highest priority were used to define four concrete project ideas and to initiate suitable follow-on projects.

Benteler Automotive benefits from the findings in three ways. Firstly, the project introduces the human and the organizational factor to the discussion of industry 4.0 transformation, which until now has been conducted with a clear bias toward technology. Broadening the technology-driven perspective in this way enables a sustainable implementation of digital technologies in the corresponding work environments. It also yielded valuable insight into qualification requirements. The Work 4.0 canvas allows faster identification of implications for employees stemming from future digitization trends and enables more suitable responses. Barriers can be lowered as well: The project findings help overcome prejudices toward transformations in the work environment.