Automation Pathfinder Program

Stories of Scale from our Q4 User Groups

  • 24 January 2023
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Stories of Scale from our Q4 User Groups
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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 Q4 2022 round of these community gatherings:

Theme: Just. Start.

This is one we hear A LOT. And it’s still a conversation highlight in User Group meeting after User Group meeting. Start small, but start. Don’t stall. Our speaker, Jim Frost, Lead Engagement Partner at R-Path Automation, refined the thought, sharing that: “For anyone in their initiation stages of their automation program, don’t try to do the most complicated thing straight out of the gate. Do something small yet meaningful, get the quick win and get the train moving. In another group, Bonnie Dallum, Global Intelligent COE Lead at Cargill agreed: “Think big, but start small. Don’t boil the ocean right away. Carve out something small in the beginning and bring the use case to your partners to show achievements and how you can then increase that.”

Theme: Think Like a Bot

Foundational concepts are still the most important. “Look at the quality of the code,” shared Anna Debolt, TIAA, Program Manager Lead - IT. “ What are you doing and how can we help you do it better?”. She recommended code reviews as one way to get it done. Another way? Implement a process early on to make sure you use automation when it’ll produce the biggest benefit to your organization. Sounds simple but it’s another fundamental to keep top of mind when starting (and scaling) an automation program. Just ask Grif Newcomb, Manager of Automation, Quality & Configuration Controls, who contributed the reminder that automation opportunities can reduce repetitive tasks. So, when in doubt if automation is the answer, go back to the manual process for a gut check.

Theme: You CAN Measure Automation Success

This concept never fails to come up. While HOW to do it varies organization by organization, many of our User Group meeting attendees agree on sharing instances where automation is:

  • Freeing people up from mundane tasks
  • Helping the company do more with existing staff

“Freeing up human capital is by far biggest, getting financial return is another big one,” Jim Frost also shared.

Bonnie Dallum, Global Intelligent COE Lead at Cargill, shared similar thoughts: “Other priorities are customer and partner satisfaction, speed and how fast issues can be resolved, employee learning, data quality, data accuracy, and compliance from a supply chain perspective,” she said.


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