I recently wrote about the importance of RPA and IA vendors to embed best practice guard-rails into their products to move operating models away from document-based materials in a bid to shift the industry towards the concept of software-driven operating models.
Having worked with hundreds of individuals of a vendor, partner and client mix - one of the underpinning factors of a successful implementation of process automation is about being clear about what you’re automating. Whilst organisations are able to work in an ‘Agile’ way, when operating at scale or operating in areas of regulation it is important to have a clear definition of what the digital workers should do and how to measure their success.
With the emergence of RPA delivery methodologies, the Process Definition Document (the PDD) was born - a term that is known by the industry which can be related to a hybrid statement of work come low-level step by step, click by click process work instruction. For the experienced automation designer, this critical document packs in all the information they need to teach their digital workers how to execute processes successfully.
As the scale and volume of automation deployments increase however, it becomes hard to keep track of all the details that are contained in each document. Unfortunately, although automation CoEs start with the very best of intentions, these templated Microsoft Word documents are rarely updated and they live out their days gathering digital dust on a SharePoint or some other unnamed repository, never to be seen again.
Of course these materials only become urgent at the point there’s an issue and so being able to relate to the process detail when a digital worker goes off the rails is a time sensitive task - more so, the accuracy of the contained information is paramount.
Imagine a world where this information could be flipped out of an orphaned document, into the very interface the digital workers operate within - acting as a collaboration tool for business analysts and subject matter experts alike - it’s this very approach that Thoughtonomy have taken with Process Capture, a feature to support the management of the automation lifecycle.
In an industry where vendors compete on the addressable use cases their digital workers can support either directly or through the ecosystem – ease of use and best practice alignment must be given equal weighting in order to help organisations scale from their first digital employee to their hundredth.
Note: Automation Lifecycle Management is an initiative pioneered by Thoughtonomy as part of its software-driven operating model (#sdom) practice. Using the tools provided to act as best practice and quality guard-rails, it enables end users new to automation to ensure they stay on the right track and design for scale from day one.