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5 Reasons to Create a Joint Leadership Team for Process Automation

By James Howlett - 6 Aug 2019

IT and the processes it supported used to be strategically connected but often separated in practice. 

But in the age of Process Automation, the IT department is no longer there just to fix systems when they fall over. The rise of automation tools has changed all that. AI, IA and Robotic Process Automation all present ever-increasing opportunities for efficiency gains, process optimisation, workflow improvement and maintaining best practice.

To provide best service to the organisation, it is now necessary to have fully-collaborative joint leadership between IT and process owners. The joint responsibility for optimising processes make it much easier to plan, implement and troubleshoot together. Here are some of the key ways in which a Joint (IT and Processes) Leadership Team benefits organisations:

  1. Greater visibility and understanding of organisational expertise.
    Where an understanding of (current and future) process improvement strategy meets an understanding of (current) RPA skills and expertise available in the organisation, there is potential for planning to upskill ahead of time. The Joint Leadership Team can work together to ensure that RPA capability matches the expected project demands and complexity.
  2. Managing project demand. 
    The Joint Leadership Team can act as a committee for requests or proposals for automation deployments. As they gather information about the current costs/challenges and the potential project benefits, IT and process owners are likely to come to better implementation decisions together. This applies equally to ‘quick win’ RPA deployments and to much deeper automation projects.

  3. Effective project life-cycles. 
    The shifting need for Process Automation can be managed more effectively by a Joint Leadership Team, from deciding when to launch new RPA software robots to reprogramming, retiring or replacing aging ones. This also involves keeping abreast of new automation trends, which ultimately impact on the effectiveness and longevity of any project.

  4. Early warning and smooth management of systems incidents affecting automation workflows. 
    The performance of software robots for instance (especially those running 24/7) can be disrupted by anything from routine systems maintenance to major systems changes or upgrades. The Joint Leadership Team will be able to see this coming, plan for it and keep the impact on automation to a minimum. The organisation will preserve efficiency through ‘managed’ disruption as opposed to seemingly random outages.

  5. Communication strategy. 
    Whenever it is necessary to announce, launch and provide updates to wider audiences within the organisation about Process Automation initiatives, it is beneficial for those messages to come from a clear source. The Joint Leadership Team can appoint and work with that source to ensure that clear information – endorsed by both IT and the appropriate process owners – is shared.

When the process knowledge of process owners is teamed up with IT knowledge of technological capability, the result is a partnership with the potential to drastically change how processes are improved. The wide possibilities and challenges of process automation, maturity and optimisation fully justifies the creation of its own Leadership Team. 

As this ongoing collaboration strengthens, it serves to ensure that processes are ‘re-thought’ where necessary before leaping in with the automated solution. While putting this together, it may be useful to engage the expertise of Process Automation vendors such as DCS.

The resulting consultation process facilitates that co-operation, and reduces the likelihood of projects foundering.