D is for Developer | Digital | Data Scientists | Data | Data Analytics | Digitisation and Digital Transformation | Design Authority | Deep Learning |
D is not just for digital but a whole lot more. Welcome to the fourth part of our 26 part series charting the A – Z of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Automation (IA) and Digital Transformation (DT). Having looked at the letters A, B and C, today’s letter is the letter D.
Developer. Whilst the Head of Intelligent Automation is a keystone in your Intelligent Automation program; your RPA developers are its building blocks for success. Get this role right and you have the foundations you need to succeed; get this role wrong and you have built your intelligent automation foundations on sand.
“A great developer is paramount to any IT delivery, but never more so that in RPA. Many organisations have believed the hype that RPA is very easy and anyone can do it. This has led to automated processes being developed which are not tuned or maximised for performance. An experienced developer will always consider memory consumption, will try to maximise performance, and will ensure no wastage of resources. There is a programmer mindset that not all people have. I have seen business team members transition successfully into RPA centres of excellence. The successful ones have been supported, coached and mentored and assisted so that they are not only confident, but competent in what they do.”Dermot Carroll, RPA Consultant
Below is a link to an article that outlines the skills and attributes needed in RPA developer roles if they are to add bucket loads of value. Remember your organisation needs to determine which unique set of characteristics are most important for your strategy and business.
“Your success will depend on defining a clear direction of travel, ensuring the correct roles and people are in place to achieve this and that they feel safe to experiment, learn, adapt and evolve quickly. Be aware that there are no magic bullets, no quick wins for long term success…like everything else in life, the best results are achieved through consistent focus, application, assessment and re-evaluation. Great developers are pragmatic, comfortable with compromise, and focused on the objective. They understand that they are there to solve problems and deliver outcomes.”Paul Arnold, Head of Product and Development at Cortex Intelligent Automation
Digital. For some executives digital means ‘technology’. For others digital means ‘a new way of doing business’ or ‘new way of dealing with customers’. Whilst is it tempting to look for foundational definitions business leaders may be better served considering digital less of a thing and rethinking digital as ‘a way of being’.
‘Being digital’ requires business leaders to re-examine their entire way of ‘doing’ business. It is not about one way of working. Being, thinking and working digital necessitates organisations to implement better, faster, iterative ways of working. Decision making must be devolved to smaller, agile teams empowered with intelligent automation, analytics and intelligence (emotional and data). Business must seamlessly and creatively partner with an ecosystem of partners who effortlessly extend organisational competencies and capabilities.
“To create a true digital workforce, you need to have the same capabilities as a human; acting, thinking, analysing. Without cognitive and analytical capability, RPA is a little more than a macro, with limited use.”Edward Halsey, RPA Enterprise Account Manager
Data Scientists. Data scientists are an exceptional breed of analytical data experts. They have the technical skills to solve complex problems as well as the curiosity and wherewithal to explore what business problems need to be solved. Exceptional data scientists are part mathematician, part computer scientist, part business person and part trend-spotter. And, because they can successfully and seamlessly straddle the business, data and technology worlds, they’re highly sought after, exceptionally well-paid and worth every dollar.
Data. It is hard to imagine but data was once an afterthought left for a technology team to handle. However, data is now recognised as key information that requires analysis, creative curiosity and translation into data intelligence to enable an organisation to deliver value.
“If an organisations IT Hardware and networking systems are the heart and blood system , it follows that Data is the lifeblood of the organisation. RPA offers a brilliant opportunity to look at data from angles that maybe weren’t possible before. “Dermot Carroll, RPA Consultant
Organisations must become adept at bending and blending data from multiple online and offline channels into analytics and intelligence that provides near time insights of customer needs and behaviours. Organisations must work withing this dynamic content to deliver resonant messages and relevant offers customers in their context of choice. Real time automation is key to enable this to happen no matter the channel, time, language, context or device.
“As your organisation grows with digital automation, so too does the amount of data generated. Key is using this new data to help your organisation make better business decisions. .”Graham Lee, Pundit and RPA AI/ML Artist
Deep learning. Deep learning is a relatively new and hugely powerful analytical technique that involves a family of algorithms that processes information in deep “neural” networks where the output from one layer becomes the input for the next one. Deep learning algorithms have proved hugely successful in, for example, detecting cancerous cells or forecasting disease but with one huge caveat: there’s no way to identify which factors the deep learning program uses to reach its conclusion.
Documentation. Organisations are made of processes but in many, if not most, organisations process or value stream documentation has not kept pace with the changes to processes over time (e.g. process maps). Consequently, when it comes to transformation programs (digital or otherwise), firms often have to start documenting from scratch. This can delay the start of transformation programs as organisations struggle to fight agree the right way of doing things before they document and then transform processes. If organisations are to understand where they are to go, they must understand where they are at. Having processes documented and codified is the starting gun for any digital transformation program.
“Many tier one providers turn RPA projects into “documentation fests” … Wrongly so! The paradox that is a great Process Design Document (PDD), is that this document goes to click level detail, but should be as concise and short as possible. You don’t need the legacy sections such as background to the project, or other useless sections. Why not “Dive in and Do”, such as This process is…. This process works in the following way…. Use graphics, screen images, be parsimonious with words. This is supposed to be a useful document that will be used by technical people to create a brilliant solution. No one wants to be reading “the life and times of a snail”… why not cut to the chase? And say what is actually happens.”Dermot Carroll, RPA Consultant
Robotic Process Automation and Intelligent Automation are often sold as quick answers toward digital transformation. More often that not those initiating digital programs find they’ve to document processes from scratch before their programs can begin. One huge benefit from an RPA program is that processes are examined, agreed upon and documented for the first time in years (if not ever). Organisations should not waste this unique opportunity to stop processes or parts of processes that no longer contribute unique value or work toward the new strategic direction of the organisation.
Digitisation and Digital Transformation. Most organisations do not have the luxury of being ‘born digital’. Instead they must go through a cycle of awareness (i.e. recognising the need for digital), then digitisation (i.e. making existing processes faster using digital technology) before they go through digital transformation (i.e. delivering new value using digital technologies end to end on a highly componentised, expungeable, digital platform).
“A lucky organisation will have the right people in the right positions at the right time. It is a pity that most of these organisation don’t realise this until said people move onto pastures new.”Dermot Carroll, RPA Consultant
Design Authority. To identify, create and manage digital outcomes digital components must be built by many individuals and teams. A design authority is responsible and accountable for ensuring that sustainable, useful, cost effective, quality, valuable components are built to excellent company standards prior to being implemented in the live environment. The functionality and reusability of quality components must meet code, business, data and infrastructure standards that the company can rely upon to deliver upon the value the component needs to deliver i.e. profitable business outcomes
“To make use of the digital design, true governance will provide quick re-usable designs to scale faster. Saving on future cost in hours and £,$,€’s. Too many Vendors talk about Scale, yet personally never felt the Automation journey or even executed these simple processes let alone hyper-Automation.”Graham Lee, Pundit and RPA AI/ML Artist
This article highlighted all things relating to intelligent automation and digital transformation beginning with the letter ‘D‘. There are many D‘s organisations need to consider but what D‘s do you think are the most important?
- The A-Z of Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation
- How to build a business case for Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation
- 30 ways to build a pipeline of processes suitable for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA)
- I’ve met 100+ RPA developers but these are the 15 signs of an ‘exceptional’ RPA developer!
- 8 questions to ask to ensure you select the ‘right’ processes to automate using RPA | IA.
- 8 Key Roles in Your RPA Centre of Expertise
- 14 rules for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (AI) success
- If you are not willing to go all in, then don’t put on your RPA swimsuit.
- The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success
- 40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform
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Note: The views expressed in the articles above are my views and not those of my employer or the employers of the contributors.