P is for Playbook | Process Mapping | Program Lead | Process Mining | Programmer | PR | POC | Process Orchestration | People | Partner | PMO

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P is for Playbook | Process Mapping | Program Lead | Process Mining | Programmer | PR | POC | Process Orchestration | People | Partner | PMO

P is for Playbook | Process Mapping | Program Lead | Process Mining | Programmer | PR | POC | Process Orchestration | People | Partner | PMO

Welcome to the SIXTEENTH part of a 26 part series. This article highlights some things relating to intelligent automation and digital transformation beginning with the letter “P”. There are many ‘P’s’ organisations need to consider but what ‘P’ do you think is the most important?

Playbook: Every organisation needs a map to deliver their automation journey.

“In order to scale RPA to deliver exceptional ROI value you need a playbook, great use cases; a cost effective vendor license model and an excellent consulting partners skill to get to the other side of the RPA rainbow.”

Ty Schmatz Digital Transformation | Enterprise RPA & ML Leader

Process mapping or mining: Organisations can save a large amount of time of manual effort if they select a suitable process mining and mapping tool. Use process mapping tools to both identify suitable process candidates for automation and automatically create process documentation to hand to a developer.

“Don’t build bots but automate carefully selected and sufficiently discovered business processes. Digital transformation is not in the business of bot building. It is in the business of bringing your business to a desired future. Make sure to build bots which conform to a well documented and well managed business process. The bots enable a process to reach a future with automated and intelligent functions.”

Roger Berkely, Automation Company Founder

Source: Everest Process Mining Peak Matrix 2020

“Milton Glaser said : There are three responses to a piece of design – Yes , No and WOW !. Wow is the one to aim for… Same applies for Process Mapping and Mining. This initial process makes the AUTOMATION design look WOW. Business SME’s often mention to RPA teams ” Explaining the process is not a challenge but you just wouldn’t understand it as its complex for You “. We have process mining tools now which being empowered with AI engines. These tools can now identify repetitive, non value added steps and suggests lean workflows or a process for overhaul.”

Shrippad Mhaddalkar Robotic Process Automation Consultant

Program Lead: Organisations should not leave their digital transformation programs to chance. It is exciting to create a digital strategy but the real work only begins when this is signed off. Digital transformation takes time. Robotic process automation, intelligent automation, data analytics and artificial intelligence are long term plays. Organisation digital and automation muscle is built up over time.

“An exceptional program lead (experienced, resilient, story teller, cultural ambassador, technologist, strategist, etc) who can successfully orchestrate a successful digital transformation program is worth his/her weight in gold. A plan is only as good as how well it is executed. Whatever it costs to get the right person in place; pay that money; as your ROI will more than cover their salary. Failing to hire the right transformation lead usually results in failure’.

Harrison Goode, RPA, AI, DA, IA Specialist Recruiter.

Programmer: There are 3 types of developer; a citizen developer (i.e. a domain expert or subject matter expert who is not a typical IT user); an RPA developer (experienced and or certified in one or more RPA tool) and a programmer (years of hard fought experience in using one or more programming languages such as C#, VBA, dot net, python, etc).

Whilst much is made of low-code; no-code tools and the increasing need NOT to have coding skills; organisations can quickly run out of runway when it comes to completing automation through click, point and record RPA platforms. Organisations, that want to scale automation programs, need to invest in a programmer who can deliver code solutions to have any chance of success.

“When it comes to code development, the devil is even more in the detail. Good developers must optimise code performance and resilience “by design”. It is crucial to ensure that developers build highly maintainable and expandable bots, and not just “Toy” bots.”

Ralph Aboujaoude Diaz, Director, Core Tech

To become an excellent programmer an individual needs many skills (e.g. a logical mind; documentation and copy-writing skills to write excellent specifications; problem solving skills; a willingness to develop other coders; high attention to detail; excellent communication, interpersonal and influencing skills; patience, empathy and laser focused on customer and employee experience; an understanding of data security, environmental variances, application processing exceptions, scalability, code re-usability, experience; etc.).

In fact, that skill set may not be one person. Often a collection of such skills can only be sound in a team of people.

“Any good developer needs to be able to understand the challenges and risks associated with any process build. However the very best developers will tie that in with an ability to problem solve, and therefore not just ignore, but mitigate any associated challenges. This mix of challenge identification and problem solving capabilities is key to being an expert RPA developer.”

Wayne Butterfield, Automation Expert

Hire programmers and provide them with the right tooling, time and money to do a great job, not a fast job.

“Good code looks good to me. Great code looks good to you”

Jeremiah Cose, RPA Director at Kaiser Permanente

PR: Every organisation has limited resources, be that people, time, capital or energy. Whilst it would be optimal for the best ideas to seamlessly surface, this is not the reality of modern enterprises. Teams and business units must compete for attention to get executive sponsorship and funds to begin Intelligent Automation (IA), Data Analytics (DA), Artificial Intelligent (AI) or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) programs.

Yet getting initial attention and funding is only the start of your journey. Once funds have been secured, a comprehensive PR or communications program needs to be played out to win and retain the hearts and minds of the organisations. If a program is not a top 5 strategic initiative or if a program loses the attention of the top, then it is potentially doomed to failure in the near or medium term.

“There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.” PR has it’s own importance when it comes to projecting an organisations story, idea, product, services and accomplishments. Being transparent about what is happening in a workspace gives an enormous visibility. That level of transparency can get the needed expertise and necessary monetary resources into a program. This particularly applies to programs related to Intelligent Automation (IA), Data Analytics (DA), Artificial Intelligent (AI) or Robotic Process Automation (RPA). As these technologies are still evolving they definitely need the support and collaboration of many others.”

Sharath Raju – Founder of Excelcult and RPA Evangelist

Proof Of Concept (POC) | Proof of Value (POV): Many businesses are intrigued by the idea of starting an enterprise-wide robotic process automation (RPA) program but struggle to take the first step. For some, an RPA proof of concept (POC) or a proof of value (POV) is the right catalyst to begin. It is the test bed to ensure that RPA ‘works’ in a specific environment. A POC | POV allows a team to observe an automation solution working with an organisation’s existing applications, risk and governance frameworks and processes in a live environment. The beauty of a POC | POV is that it proves whether a solution will or won’t work in the confines of an organisations unique environment.

“So why have a proof of concept? Why potentially spend thousands before you “dive in and do”? My answer is what I call the Forrest Gump effect … “life is like a box of chocolates ……” You will not know how your RPA tool will behave with your applications until you try the tool with your business application. Some applications are a joy to automate, and others, well, are not nice to deal with. That said, different RPA tools have different strong points, it’s well worth while to experiment!”

Dermott Caroll, RPA and IA Consultant

Process Orchestration: End to end processes that utilise AI, DA, RPA, and IA need orchestrated; these technologies do not work in isolation. To get the right tune out of an organisation its technology instruments and people must be orchestrated to work in harmony. Workflow technologies; program management; digital KPIs; technology strategy; a digital playbook; a program management office and more besides must be coordinated to seamless integrated people and technology to ensure the organisation has a rhythm to what is it doing.

“RPA solutions have done a great job helping organisations achieve positive ROI from task automation. This has enabled enterprises to automate processes and get themselves into a position where they can take their automation strategy to the next level (i.e. automate complex processes that involve a lot of human interaction and subjective decision making).

Augmenting humans with real time data insight, can empower organisations to make faster and more accurate decisions. For example, an insurance provider may want to achieve ‘first call resolution’. By automatically providing the agent with the right data at the right time during the call flow, using orchestration tooling, the operator is better able to make a decision at the right time. This ‘first call resolution’ model can bring significant benefit to the organisation, the agent and the customers (e.g. reduced process operating costs, improved agent experience and higher customer NPS scores).”

Ivan Ibis – Enterprise Lead, Banking and Finance

People: In the rush to digitise and automate, organisations often forget to engage their most important asset of all i.e. their people. Whilst robots, AI, DA, RPA etc. are important tools to enable an organisation to execute its business strategy; it is the creativity, strategic and emotional intelligence of an organisations workforce that makes the organisation work. People deal with people. Organisations must remember to involve, invest in, listen to and empower their people as they progress a digital transformation journey. Focus on the people and the technology not just the tech.

“Automation has never been about technology. It is about people. I marvel at the fact that so many initiatives that are really about change management, are still run as IT projects. Why? The technology is a tool, not the change itself. Tech is there to support people so that we can focus on what we do best and are motivated by. To really succeed with RPA or any other change, you need a motivated and skilled team. I assure you that you already have the people you need in your organisation, you just need to find them and empower them.

You also need the support (read: funding and courage) from your senior management, otherwise your RPA/automation initiative is very likely to perish after the first pilot. But do not ever forget to get the end users onboard. They have crucial knowledge about the processes, and they will obstruct you if they fear that the automation will risk their jobs. Being able to enthuse people on all levels in an organisation is a lot more pivotal than selecting the perfect software.”

Anna Lagerhed, RPA Lead at SSAB.

Partner: Organisations should seek out great partner relationships. Your partner relationship and negotiations result in a win-win situation for you and the vendor. This is a much more sustainable, less conflictual model, over the longer term. Both of you need to make money, so work together to create sustainable businesses.

“The most successful automation journeys are a partnership between customer and vendor. Make sure your chosen vendor wants to make you a success story and is in it for the duration, not just the first sale!”

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

PMO: Setting up a Project Management Office will enable the management of the overall delivery of your RPA projects. Analysing the development pipeline should facilitate the identification of efficiencies to be gained by avoiding duplication of work. Many large organisations will be automating multiple processes for a given business unit. For example, in banking the mortgages area is a rich hunting ground for the provision of automation and digital transformation. The mortgage processes are often complex with multiple different business processes interacting with the same business applications and screens for slightly different purposes. With careful project management techniques, duplication of effort and teams getting in each other’s way can be avoided. New common objects can be identified, and when combined with critical path analysis a high-level plan can be crafted which will benefit in efficient, robust and reliable delivery of all RPA initiatives for that business area.

Dermott Caroll, RPA and IA Consultant

This article highlighted some things relating to intelligent automation and digital transformation beginning with the letter “P”.

There are many ‘P’s’ organisations need to consider when digitally transforming but what ‘P’ do you think is the most important?

#intelligentautomation #bots #rpaworks #digitaltransformation#roboticprocessautomation #rpa #cognitiveautomation #digitaldisruption#digitalworkforce #processautomation #digitalfuture #digitalstrategy

Other articles: 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. The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success
  4. 40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform

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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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