Vision, Organization & People: Ask Me Anything

By Lorena Seco de Herrera Ortega posted 07-20-2021 11:20


We were delighted to be joined by Blue Prism product experts Khatina Brunson, Emma Kirby-Kidd, Christopher Banks and Dominique Duquennoy for a Community AMA session on the topic of Vision, Organization & People.

With this AMA session we began our Ask Me Anything series as part of our Rom Essentials program. We've now compiled the key questions and answers all in one place here - but if you want to read the original thread here's a link: April 28th Ask Me Anything: Browser Migration


Q. My question is in regards to the vision. Do you have an example of some KPI´s you have set out to use when creating the vision? And how well did it serve you later on after implementation? Do you have some dos and don'ts?

A. In regards to your first question around examples of vision KPI's, there are no standard or set KPI's for vision for Automation. The purpose of the RPA Vision is to support and align with your organisation's vision.

So you would need to write your RPA vision to help the organisation achieve their vision, so if your organisation's vision is to reduce costs or to be more efficient then you would need to ensure your vision would be to automate to drive efficiency in the organisation. 

Many customers will set a vision at the beginning of their journey and fail to review it or adapt it as they grow and change. I have worked with several customers in re-writing and reviewing their visions at various points in their journey. The key here is set it over a set period of time (usually around 3-5 years it can be less if you wish) but to ensure you take time annually to ensure it's still relevant and aligns to your organisation's vision. A prime example of this is the current pandemic, many organisations have had to change their visions and priorities in order adapt to the new way of working and therefore RPA teams needed to follow suit. 

I have some questions you need to ask/ consider when writing your Vision - 

  1. Have you set a Vision?
  2. When did you set your Vision?
  3. How long does your Vision span for?
  4. Is it aligned to your organizational Vison?
  5. What are your objectives for your RPA capability and when do you expect to achieve these by?
  6. Please describe how your RPA Vision has been documented and communicated throughout your organization?
  7. Who are those responsible for owning, approving, and communicating the vision for RPA?
  8. How does RPA fit into your larger Digital Transformation initiatives?
  9. How frequently do you review your RPA Vision?
  10. Do you have any challenges with your current Vision and does this span into complementary technologies?

My do's and don't are - 

Make it achievable over an achievable timeline 
Review annually
Write as a team and get your sponsor onboard 
Communicate to the organisation (using the relevant language to the relevant audience) 

Set it and forget about it 
Over promise and under deliver 
Set more than 5 objectives   EK

Q. Who owns/should own the vision?

A. Head of RPA definitively !
They create and own the vision. Prior to any communication on it, he needs to validate it is agreed by the whole CoE supporting it and sponsored by the business senior management it will serve.   DD

Q. Any tips on ensuring alignment within the business around the vision? Should this be tied to metrics?

A. My response to this question is that you need to ensure that the RPA vision is written in collaboration with senior stakeholders and is ultimately signed off by the executive sponsor of RPA. By collaborating with senior stakeholder you will ensure that the vision will match their objectives, this will help you to gain their buy in for automation within the organisation. It is vital that the RPA vision is reviewed regularly to ensure alignment with any changes to the vision of the wider organisation.  CB

      Organisation & People

      Q. A lot of the ROM is designed for relatively large teams, with an ideal org structure and clear roles and responsibilities. How are you seeing smaller/newer teams structure their CoEs? 

      A. At first sight the ROM does appear to be designed for larger teams.  In reality this is not necessarily the case.  The roles mentioned within the people part of the ROM are roles and not individual people, this means that one individual can fulfil a number of different roles.  As an example it is not unusual for the roles of Developer and Solution designer to combined in smaller teams.  You will need to look at your own organisation to determine which roles can be combined based on your own operating model and any restriction which may be in place to ensure business separation (for example developers not allowed to access the Production environment).  This allows some organisations to start with relatively small teams or 3-4 people, as the team grows the responsibilities can then be separated.   CB

      Q. What are the different roles and their responsibilities that are needed in the CoE in order to cover the whole automation lifecycle?

      A. We have a list of roles, responsibilities and job descriptions on the Blue Prism portal here - Skills and Responsibilities | Blue Prism Portal
      There are many roles listed there but it's important to point out the Robotic Operating Model is here to serve you!! it's not a one size fits all methodology, you pick and choose the bits that work for you and your organisation. 
      The responsibilities in these roles can be combined into a few roles within your team and as the team grows you can grow the roles within your team. 
      The following roles are required at the beginning in order to make your RPA capability a success and to achieve an ever growing pipeline and speedy delivery lifecycle, these are - 
      Head of RPA
      Process Analyst
      Controller (this can be done by a developer in the very early days providing you have put a logical access model in place)

      There is also a list of personal skills required by role to help you find the right people for the right roles.   EK

      Q. Do you have any recommendations on how to upskill your team in RPA? How technical does it need to be & how to determine skills required for the people in the team?

      A. When it comes to upskill you team and the level of technicality, you need first to identify the role you want to upskill : upskilling an technical architect or a lead developer will not have the same level of technicality as an Analyst or a Solution Designer.

      The upskilling of the team needs to be defined with the roles in mind and also the different level of seniority . A typical team would see the following roles :
      Head of RPA Technical architect, Rom Architect, Analyst, Solution Designer, Developer ( and lead developer ) , Process Controler.

      For most of them you can follow the certification path available on our online university as an initial training, I would also recommend to consider mentoring by people delivering in the role currently as a next step.  DD

      Q. Any tips for succession planning within the RPA team?

      A. Here are some tips that we recommend for your team:
      • Allow senior team members to mentor new associates when they join the team.
      • Implement best practices that can be shared and communicated among the team members at all levels.
      • Learn about Blue Prism certifications and identify team members who are interested in upskilling to become certified.
      • Create and communicate clear career paths for each role, and outline how associates should prepare for promotion if desired.
      • Make sure that the team objectives align with company vision, so that everyone feels a strong purpose in the work they do.
      But most of all, involve all team members in taking charge of any issues that surface, and their own individual careers, by empowering them to take ownership and initiative in solving problems and contributing to the team's success.   KB


      We hope our answers help you better understand the foundations of the Robotic Operating Model around vision, organization and people:
      • The vision can be seen as the foundation for success and aligns your internal strategy with the business'
      • Your organization is about your RPA team's structure: identify goals, risks; be open to change; remember you need to acknowledge company structure and culture
      • And finally, people are key to your success with RPA as they need to embody your vision; consider both the roles and responsibilities but also the training and certification
      Thank you all for the questions, and to our experts for giving up their time to answer them on the Community.

      If you have any further questions on the topic
      - please post on our Robotic Operating Model (ROM) Community where community members will be ready to help you answer your queries.

      Many thanks.


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