Extending Technological Horizons
To create a mental image of this third and last phase in a Digital Workforce Journey (DWJ), think of a river. We begin at the source, a mere trickle of water where a simple business process is chosen in the START phase and developed into a pilot RPA project. The stream is narrow and fast flowing at first until sooner or later it becomes a deep, wide watercourse that runs through the land, picking up new process automations and projects like tributaries on the way, as in the SCALE phase.
Now imagine that river becoming a delta, that fans out across the landscape delivering nutrients and life to the area as it reaches the sea. This is the EXPAND phase – the point at which all the experience, knowledge and structural organisation acquired during the journey so far really begins to show its worth as the Centre of Excellence (CoE) leverages the best of RPA and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. It’s the moment when the CoE ‘graduates with honours’, so to speak, and can now go on to create new automations independently and indefinitely.
This stage of course still involves ongoing advice and support from the team at Ciphix. Although the CoE may become ‘independent’ or is on its way to being so, there are always areas of consulting, technical and governance support that our years of experience and knowledge can help resolve both in the short and long term.
The organisation may also be at different stages of the journey, with progress in the area of consulting entering the EXPAND Phase, whilst on the issue of governance or technical capabilities, the enterprise still needs more time in the SCALE phase.
Nevertheless, there are a number of key steps required when entering the EXPAND phase that will enable the organisation to scale the impact of automation by continuously improving the solutions and the way of working, whilst at the same time focusing on implementing new technologies.
One step is to evaluate and expand the CoE, though Ciphix hosted workshops aimed at the entire stakeholder group and designed to review the way the business and automation teams work together and look for areas of improvement. The aim of the step is to create an ‘operational playbook’ that will serve as a reference guide for everyone involved in the process.
The hyperautomation pilot, rolled out earlier in the SCALE phase, also needs to be reviewed and put into production, in order to increase the scope of automation across the enterprise and allow for the development of new cognitive and communicative automation opportunities using AI.
All this must of course be accompanied by the creation of a way of working so that maintenance requirements can be defined and carried out, both scheduled and unscheduled (should it be necessary). This will establish a system of ongoing performance management that ensures automations will continuously improve and offer high-quality solutions.
Another excellent way to improve ways of working is by sharing experiences with others and learning from them. For this we have created the Ciphix Community – a way for our clients to connect with RPA teams from other organisations and industries, and gain insight into automation best practices through a series of events with presentations that are followed by informal opportunities to network and compare stories.