Our User Group meetings are always lively and chock full of ideas, ways to overcome challenges, shared goals and so much more. Haven’t attended one yet? Here’s your chance to eavesdrop on the best of what we’ve seen come out of our most recent round of these community gatherings:
Theme: Meet our Meta Bot!
One customer, a global retailer, shared information about their own automation journey and how they leverage a “Meta Bot” to achieve demonstrable ROI. What’s a Meta Bot? We thought you’d never ask. A “Meta Bot” is a piece of effective, reusable code that, with only a few tweaks, can have multiple applications to automate a range of business processes. Having a “template” bot not only reduces developer time and effort to iterate offshoots, it also blows open the door to opportunities for new use cases, quick wins, and big hour savings. This concept has the power to shift an organization’s mindset of what can be achieved with an automation program.
Theme: Work smarter, not harder.
There was a ton of talk about this concept, which everyone felt deeply about. Specifically, about one common experience. That is, that oftentimes, when a business unit approaches the CoE with a request for automation, they present the end goal. For instance, they want <<insert outcome here>> to be accomplished with automation. The CoE can then work backwards to determine and develop the simplest pathway to the ultimate solution. You can think about this approach in the same way you might solve a math equation. If you know the solution to the problem is 2, you’re likely to start with the simplest equation which would be 1+1, instead of, say, 1−eiπ. The conversation didn’t end there. The group identified a few other indicators that your automation team is mature enough to move to the next phase of automation.
- Even if your initial CoE team is lean, ideally you will have at least a strategist, a business analyst, and a tech person. This trio of mind- and skill-sets understands business problems holistically and can create bots that solve the big picture business problems.
- This is in contrast to building a bot from a list of symptomatic requirements that may not necessarily align with the wide-view business needs.
If you can relate to these folks, you may be ready to tackle complex use cases and accomplish “smart,” end-to-end digital transformation.
Theme: Woo away mistrust and misnomers.
There was consensus in one user group: the biggest barrier to entry for any new automation program is mistrust: fear of trading digital workers for human counterparts, and fear of an attended or unattended automation making errors and having security implications. One of our customers who successfully integrated digital workers into their organization stressed how automation was largely frowned upon in their industry (banking). But they also shared a few key steps for establishing trust and creating automation-envy across their organization. Their advice? When it comes to proving a brand new automation program’s value worthiness, begin by first defining exactly what it is, what a digital worker is, what it does, and how it helps the business by feeing up time (not by eliminating jobs). Other advice shared included:
- First, allow enough time to pass that your developers are now highly skilled and understand systematic capabilities better than ever before.
- Second, share the tangible results of your small scale automation efforts and demonstrate through story how automation is no longer just about back office automation processes.
- Finally, focus on achieving buy-in across your organization for your Automation Program. When a critical mass of users have shifted their judgment from “automation is scary” to “automation is liberating,” and there is sweeping acknowledgment that it is secure, you've made it.
The bottom line? Once you demonstrate success with your early automation wins, you can begin communicating with other lines of business who will surely want to reap similar benefits of automation. This will be the catalyst for slowly building automation envy, or automation “FOMO” across your entire organization.
We can't wait to connect with your local peers by joining the User Group program. Register for an upcoming event. If you aren't able to attend this quarter, please feel free to complete the registration to be notified regarding upcoming events near you.