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Create a positive culture for intelligent automation

  • Ciara MacCooey
  • Feb 24, 2020

Successful Robotic Process Automation (RPA) projects are a combination of identifying the opportunities for business process automation, deployment of intelligent technologies and embracing cultural change.

Addressing each element is vital. 

Too often strategically planned projects using advanced transformative technologies have failed to address cultural change. Changing technology is easy, it is said, changing people can be difficult.

When it comes to RPA, understanding your workplace culture is as vital as identifying which processes are ready for automation. 

It starts by understanding the changes that will be needed to directly address how people will react to automation. 

The foundation for RPA success is communication of how and why the organisation is embracing positive cultural change as part of its automation strategy. 

Opportunity 

In 2020 companies looking to adopt RPA to optimize processes should begin with understanding their people.  

Workers who fear change may ask: Why should we buy into automation? 

It is best to address these fears directly. Cultural change begins with planned communication built around talking and listening. This will help employees fully understand why the organisation is embarking on its RPA journey. To get buy-in from staff, engagement which encourages sharing of concerns in an atmosphere of openness is vital.

"Successful cultural change for automation projects will be built around engagement with key stakeholders operating in RPA centres of excellence."

The answers can be found in clearly stated objectives around the building of an efficient 21st century workplace with a fully engaged and fulfilled workforce at its core. To help address this human+ has developed a set of proven methodologies for cultural change to drive worker engagement. 

Automation in the open

With an open dialogue companies have an opportunity to inform employees of what they can gain from participating in automation projects. 

This should be done in the context of RPA being presented as a catalyst for culture change where innovation and creativity are encouraged. Benefits worth highlighting include providing examples of proof of value in the reduction and removal of mundane repetitive tasks which will make staff workloads more manageable. 

It is also important to communicate how benefits such as the development of more interesting, higher value roles will automatically open up new career opportunities through training and upskilling in new technologies. 

Create RPA champions 

Successful cultural change for automation projects will be built around engagement with key stakeholders operating in RPA centres of excellence.

It is important to recognise the individuals who are adaptable to change and who will act to positively promote the benefits of RPA across the organisation.

“...work closely with the RPA implementation partner to ensure clearly defined delivery models and approaches….include defining the vision, the operating model and organisational roles.”

Centres of excellence should be places where ideas can cross pollinate. With the right approach experimental thinking in a culture of open communication across different divisions can be achieved. 

Consider how the project would benefit from the assignment of responsibilities to the correct people for each of following roles within an RPA project:

Senior Project Sponsor: Senior stakeholder with oversight of the project

Product Owner: Coordinates with internal stakeholders and IT to ensure compliance. Signs off the PDD

Subject Matter Expert: Someone from the business area with a deep knowledge of the task/s being automated

Technical Lead: Key point of contact within your IT department to provide advice on security and information governance requirements.

Companies should work closely with their RPA implementation partner to ensure clearly defined delivery models and approaches. This will include defining the vision, the operating model and organisational roles.

Leadership 

Today’s business leaders are tasked with implementing digital transformation strategies where process automation is key to strategic decision making.

At the heart of digital transformation is automation – specifically Robotics Process Automation.

"Staff will quickly see that using best practices embedded at the heart of the organisation will lead to seamless two-way workflows between humans and bots.”

Within commercial and public sector service organisations RPA should be promoted as the platform for the adoption of a new culture. By automating repetitive processes new approaches will open up which will deliver increased productivity and better customer service to today’s always connected consumer. It is important to promote RPA as a path to job security and a platform for business prosperity. Highlight how intelligent automation is driving the creation of new jobs and better employment prospects. 

Successful leaders and managers know they must make better decisions and instill a culture of continuous improvement. 

Culture, people and automated processes

RPA is about workplace transformation through creating a digital workforce. By embracing the cultural change needed, management and staff collaboration can be redesigned for continuous automation. Staff will quickly see that using best practices embedded at the heart of the organisation will lead to seamless two-way workflows between humans and bots.

An RPA culture is one which showcases success and empowers staff to identify further processes for automation across different parts of the enterprise. It starts with creating a culture where everyone is driving ongoing improvement by asking ‘can this process be automated?’

Contact us about how human+ combines industry leading RPA technology with positive cultural change making for happy workers and intelligent companies.

Ciara MacCooey

Ciara is our COO and has a natural ability to engage with stakeholders at all levels bringing transformational results.