I believe that especially now, in these times of hybrid and remote work, it is more important than ever to incorporate the automation undertaking as part of a larger program within an organization. You need to have direction and motivation as well as resource and budgetary commitment and these are all things a wider program can assist with.
When members of a team do not work in then same location all the time, they still need to find ways to remain focused and to work towards the same goals. It thus really helps to have automation as part of a larger program as when that happens, the whole undertaking becomes a lot more transparent.
And that is important, because I think transparency makes a massive difference in whatever is being executed. That is not to say one cannot achieve transparency with an independent exercise, but when it comes to an organization-wide undertaking, such as a digital transformation program, you can really standardize the program way of working and benefit for example from the efficiencies of a standardized rollout method for the new way of working with digital colleagues. Through this everyone who wants to get involved with RPA can be made aware of the steps to take, whether carrying these out remotely or onsite.
I once experienced an automation program as an independent exercise, not a company-wide program – at least to start with. When I compare it to the one where it was part of a digital transformation program from the get-go, the latter was of course more efficient. This digital transformation program gives you – amongst other things – a platform from which to advertise what you are doing.
In the case where automation was not a part of a program, every single time we turned up somewhere to tell people about RPA we had to start with the basics and explain what RPA is and what it can do. On the other hand, in the digital transformation program everybody was being kept informed of the basics through the various communications channels incorporated into the program. So, in there we had a platform through which we could communicate and spread the message of automation.
This is crucial for creating ambassadorship because you really need to have ambassadors all the way up to the executive level in the company who believe in automation being the way to go and who are willing to spread the word within the organization. And like with all other things in life, seeing is believing and with automation this is maybe even more so the case, because if you haven’t seen software robots at work it’s hard to imagine what they can and cannot do. It is thus for us humans to show what the bots can do and that is one of the ways to get more buy-in and commitment for the program.
However, even if automation is included in a digital transformation program or any kind of a larger undertaking in an organization, it is not to be taken for granted that it will happen just because of that. Change management still plays a vital role in making sure people are on board, see the benefits and understand this as a new way of working, not a threat because at the end of the day the digital transformation program is bringing about a change to the ways in which people work.
Finally, when you have targets, direction, budget and commitment, it makes no difference whether you are delivering online or onsite. It all comes down to looking after our fellow human colleagues and keeping them motivated and driven, independent of the location they work in. Because after all, our software Bot colleagues cannot speak for themselves so it is up to us human employees to spread the message of automation.
Sanna Koivu is Senior Customer Success Manager at UiPath