L is for Low Code | Learning and Developing | Lead time | Leadership | Languages (VBA, Python)

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L is for Low Code | Learning and Developing | Lead time | Leadership | Languages (VBA, Python)

L is for Low Code | Learning and Developing | Lead time | Leadership | Languages (VBA, Python)

Welcome to the TWELFTH part of a 26 part series charting the A – Z of Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation (DT). Today’s letter is the letter ‘L’.

Low Code No Code: No code | low-code platforms are great at democratizing automation. If a march begins with a single step; then imagine 1000 workers taking their first digital steps all at once.

With a low code platform, employees do not require specific or detailed knowledge about programming languages to build applications. Low code platforms, or development environments, enable ‘developers’ to identify, drag and drop various applications, and then connect them in order to create a process flow, or a mobile or a web app. Employees, without a software development background, can quickly create and test automations using a graphic interface to connect application interfaces together.

“There is a growing trend for all kinds of solutions to reduce the amount of coding required as much as possible. RPA is no exception. This is probably a reaction to customers’ fears about large ongoing costs and having to re-train people to use specialised technical equipment.

Low-code and no-code solutions can be used more intuitively and without the intervention of the IT department which makes them much faster to implement. RPA is adding in AI and voice recognition, so the days of asking the computer to do something may soon be upon us – perhaps faster than you think.”

Ian Hawkins, business technology writer and keynote speaker.

Learning and Developing: Workers increasingly need to possess a different set of skills than today (i.e. focus less on manual dexterity and more on cognitive, creative, emotionally intelligent ways of working). 

When organisations employ NLP | ML | Analytics | RPA | IA | APIs | Digital to alleviate mundane, repetitive, dull and boring tasks this leaves far greater time for people to do the things that excite them. But rather than replace humans in the workforce, intelligent automation technology, such as robotic process automation (RPA), can help create a ‘less robotic’ society.

“RPA is about removing the robot from the human rather than replacing humans all together.

Arif Khan, Customer Success Manager

And what better message to send to those displaced by automation than to offer them the opportunity to cross train and upskill in digital or RPA skills?

“It is interesting to note that in countries where BPO services are strongest, where you would expect the most disruption, we see some of the highest levels of people up-skilling in RPA to become part of the automation trend.”

Arif Khan, Customer Success Manager

One word of caution. Some of the very best RPA developers can be some of the worst team members. Skilled developers with multiple years’ experience are few and far between. Therefore, developers openness and willingness to both document and share that knowledge is key in growing a team’s collective capability.

“The most important output of any great developer is more great developers. Always be learning, always be teaching.”

Paul Arnold, Head of Product and Development at Cortex Intelligent Automation

Lead time. Lead Time is the time between the beginning of a process or project and the appearance of its results. Lead Time is an important factor for customer satisfaction.

Typically customers want goods or service as fast as possible with minimal effort. Reduced Lead Times can mean reduced time to delivery and potentially faster cash on hand for the businesses.

Leadership: They are very few great Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics or Intelligent Automation leaders with many, many years real world experience. That includes the bruises, scars, late nights, failed programs and hard fought learning that made them the exceptional leader they are now. Digital transformation is hard so hire a specialist system integrator or suitable expert to help you on their journey.

“A great leader can make a bad program come alive. A poor leader can break a great program. Dont skimp, spend the right money on the right advice.”

Kieran Gilmurray, Global Automation Lead

Languages (VBA, Python, C#): Coding is not required to use RPA. But whilst a great deal of attention is focused on RPA | Low Code and No Code; there is no substitute for someone who can code.

RPA screen scraping and in-built components can deliver tremendous value but it does not take long for firms to run out of ‘run way’ by just using out of the box tools.

Extending the functionality of any automation program by coding can drive up the number, range and outcomes of any automation program exponentially. For example, trying to manipulate data within an automation tool or trying to get RPA to manipulate data in Excel can be cumbersome and at times impossible. However, calling excel from RPA then launching VBA to manipulate the data with a sheet or sheets can work well.

Remember, it is always better to choose the right process than attempt to use code gym nasties to deliver value from a badly selected process.

This article highlighted things relating to intelligent automation and digital transformation beginning with the letter “L”. There are many ‘L’s’ organisations need to consider but what ‘L’ do you think is the most important?

If you like this article then you may find these articles of use too.

  1. How to build a business case for Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation
  2. 30 ways to build a pipeline of processes suitable for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA)
  3. I’ve met 100+ RPA developers but these are the 15 signs of an ‘exceptional’ RPA developer!
  4. 8 questions to ask to ensure you select the ‘right’ processes to automate using RPA | IA.
  5. 14 rules for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (AI) success
  6. The A-Z of Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation
  7. The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success
  8. 40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform

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Free to reuse: We are a community of RPA and Intelligent Automation experts with years of real world experience. We have stories to tell and the scars to show for it. We share our collective wisdom for free to simply provide as much value as we can to you. Therefore, if you want to post this article on your LinkedIn page then please feel free to do so. The more information we share within the RPA community the more likely businesses are to succeed with this excellent technology.

Further Help: If I can help you in any way please do reach out.

Note: The views expressed above are our views and not those of my employer or the employers of the contributing experts.

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