Next Level Automation

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program graduate Ian Hrydziuszko discusses how the seperate stages of next level automation can be extremely useful to your organization.

Coming originally from a more traditional Integration Center of Excellence, I know the pitfalls in streamlining many processes for maximum benefit. Often, other teams would present a half-baked solution for the Integration Center to build, only to realize later that there were many exceptions unnoted or business processes further upstream that would have been better addressed. These situations usually end similarly: redesigns very late in the process or with solutions needing to function as initially intended fully. This left unhappy stakeholders who needed help understanding why their initial solution did not give the desired outcome.
Coming out of the SIG CIAP program, I am armed with the tools to explain in detail why more process mining, analysis of service delivery, and obtaining a more detailed view of the straight-through movement of data will result in more excellent outcomes for the organization. In the future, we will utilize Value Stream Mapping to develop SIPOCs and demonstrate how the process moves to identify these issues early on and generate a more appropriate solution.
Stakeholders gravitate towards more straightforward, tactical solutions where a bit more leg work up front might provide a better, more transformational strategic outcome. RPA is often seen merely as a headcount reduction method for cost-savings—just one of many tools such as outsourcing—while the more considerable potential of a more strategic approach goes untapped.
In my current role as a digitization consultant, I found the separate stages of automation extremely useful. It provides a valuable framework for analyzing an organization’s digitization journey and advising them on the next steps. Whether an organization is just starting its pilot or is on the cusp of complete Digitization, we can advise on the tools to reach the next phase in its development to go beyond simple RPA automation to real IPA. We can help them push forward where their COE may have stalled out due to lack of momentum after the initial cost savings benefits were realized and advise on how to avoid the pitfalls that can cause disappointment in leadership.
Within my organization, Digitization, to a large extent, sat siloed; there to assist where it could, but not fully integrated into other parts of the organization. I see that we should be working more closely with our Business Process Improvement team members to ensure IPA is considered from the outset and to ensure we are using standardized documents so that when a handoff occurs, there is no need to duplicate work that has already been accomplished.
These methods complement my Company’s Design Thinking emphasis. We can take the standard techniques of the Delivery Lifecycle Approach and align them with Design Thinking’s methodology of empathizing, Defining, ideating, Prototype, and Test to provide a broad standard across our offerings.
In addition to advising organizations on a more strategic approach, we should only partially brush aside tactical deployments. Some organizations will want to see cost savings from RPA without having the resources or executive buy-in to start and grow a program from a pilot to a fully realized Center of Excellence Automation can be a long, arduous journey. Companies need to be ready to change if they are to realize the full benefits of IPA.
For organizations needing more time to dive right in, we can offer them an upgrade to their current processes with some tactical automation that will not require them to rethink all their data journeys. This will provide them with up-front benefits that may set them up for future success as leadership realizes the ROI. This could result in executives investing in fully realized programs on a journey toward strategic automation and IPA.
Whether you are a COE team member, RPA consultant, or just investigating automation best practices, the SIG CIAP program offers a cohesive, holistic approach that automation professionals can utilize. The IPA best practices learned here provide a valuable context for helping to analyze where Programs are in their lifecycle and how we can push them to the next level.