This article is an excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to AR Pilots an eBook for Industrial Enterprise. This eBook is a free resource aimed at equipping industrial organizations with the knowledge to plan and run deployment-ready augmented and mixed reality pilot programs.
Selecting the right AR use case for your pilot program can be difficult. It’s a crucial step in planning an AR pilot and toward your organization’s adoption of this technology. If you begin using an AR solution in the wrong context, your ROI will be lackluster or impossible to measure with accuracy. This leads to a pilot that can’t be scaled.
Here are some helpful insights on how to select the right use case for your AR pilot program.
Before a use case can be selected, a pain point and its root cause must be identified. If you don’t already have an immediate problem in mind, take an inventory of specific pain points that impact your operations. Then, factoring in the root causes of these issues, identify the ones that could be solved using AR solutions. Look for process issues that impede the flow of operations.
Without an identified root cause for the pain points, pilots become very difficult to quantify to stakeholders, KPIs become harder to identify, and pilot scope becomes difficult to define and manage.
Start by asking:
After identifying the root cause of an issue that is causing your organization pain, focus on two to five repeatable, simple use cases where AR could improve outcomes. Narrowing your use case focus increases your chances of a successful pilot because results will be easier to monitor, measure, and will be ultimately more accurate.
Defining a SMART scope will help manage the expectations of all parties involved in the pilot, while keeping the project on track and ensuring it is within a predefined timeframe. This step is important as it also helps keep your pre-defined AR use cases measurable and prevents any late addition use cases that could complicate measurement.
Before launching an AR pilot, ensure each of the following is defined:
The scope of the pilot must be well-defined and identify a specific result to be achieved. When a result is defined, the desire to achieve that result increases.
What is being piloted? What will you be doing that wasn’t done before? What is the pilot intending to deliver, and in what way is it expected to solve the problem?
Defining the pilot’s specific deliverables and non-deliverables can help prevent scope creep, which is the unplanned growth of a project’s scope.
The impact of the pilot must be quantifiable. Is your pilot measurable? What KPIs can be recorded to demonstrate how the identified problem changes before, during, and after the pilot? You will need the metrics around the use case so the pilot can be later deployed at scale.
Pilot goals and scope must be attainable and realistically consider the available resources within your organization. Pilots with unrealistic goals, too many use cases, or too many end-users have been known to overcomplicate the process, resulting in poor outcomes.
Project managers must ensure that:
Explicitly defining a pilot’s relevance in relation to the broader organization helps refine the pilot scope and avoid errors or misguided efforts.
Your pilot must have a designated end date. If you’re doing phased implementations, these phases should also have defined timelines. Limiting the pilot to a specific timeframe contextualizes the data gathered and measured and manages expectations for all parties involved. How long is the pilot going to take? For industrial AR/MR pilots, we recommended dedicating:
Successful pilots have well defined KPIs tied to their use cases. Depending on the use case, multiple KPIs can be measured during a specific pilot. For example, equipment downtime and travel costs are two KPIs that can be tied to the same use case. It’s beneficial to measure KPIs that can be directly linked to dollar figures. This is especially useful when planning a post-pilot deployment.
Wherever possible, record less-tangible metrics like knowledge retention. Ensure that the infrastructure is in place to record your defined KPIs. For example, if your pilot is aimed at reducing downtime of a specific piece of equipment, confirm that you have the tools to accurately measure this KPI.
Once the KPIs have been defined, establish the baseline data.
How is your organization performing the use case now and what are the KPIs today? It’s likely that your organization is already gathering some of the required data, if not, you’ll need to put the tools in place to measure the KPI baseline. Remember to assign dollar values to all applicable baseline KPIs.
Baseline data will be later used to compare against your specific SMART goals to determine return on investment (ROI).
Remember to be critical of an AR solution’s strengths, weaknesses, and intended uses. Your use case must fit within the capabilities of the AR solution that is being piloted. For more insight into how to plan and run a deployment-ready AR pilot, download The Ultimate Guide to AR Pilots, the free eBook for the Industrial Enterprise.