Matt Juden-Bloomfield - our Head of RPA - takes you behind the scenes to introduce you to Blue Prism's very own Center of Excellence.
A center of excellence (CoE) is a team of skilled knowledge workers whose mission it is to provide and embed the organization they work for with best practices around a particular area of interest
A CoE is critical for the success of an RPA deployment, encouraging buy in, instilling best practice, and demonstrating tangible benefit back to the business.
For Blue Prism this journey started in earnest towards the end of 2018, much like many technology companies we were suffering from the effects of hypergrowth and trying to adapt to an ever growing and competitive market place. Crucially we lacked dedicated resources to drive our aim of realising efficiencies to life.
Blue Prism’s aim as a business is to enable everyone the ability to unleash the power of a digital workforce; and our CoE is the key to doing so: it's aim is to crucially underpin Blue Prism’s growth ambitions by providing the workforce that will allow us to become the undisputed global leader in RPA.
I was hired in July 2018 with the sole purpose of re-establishing and running our internal automation capability – our very own COE. No mean feat - I came in and effectively started our CoE from scratch again. I scrapped our existing approach as it wasn’t working for where we were on our journey.
We hired a team of process analysts, and were assigned both a ROM architect and one of our most experienced Product Consultants from our Professional Services team, who were able to guide and coach me through my RPA journey taking me from RPA novice to RPA expert in no time.
I wanted our COE to be thought of and treated as a customer of Blue Prism rather than another department
Our initial priority was to put in place the 7 foundations of an effective CoE capability as outlined in our ROM and start to build a dedicated team of internally focused developers, rather than ‘borrowing’ people from our Professional Services organisation.
Together we have built out our capability. Using our industry leading ROM documentation, we defined our delivery methodology, delivery best practices, built pipeline, set out governance structures across the business, including our very own Design Authority and designed and deployed completely new cloud based and industry leading environments.
We’re now moving from initialization to industrialization, having achieved a green in our latest ROM assessment and with a healthy pipeline sitting behind us, great company wide buy in and a strong social following via our intranet pages.
We've given our digital workers royalty-themed personas (Albert, Beatrice, and Charles) which has proven hugely effective in getting people talking about automation as a viable alternative to their current workflows and processes.
Additionally our Share Scheme Automation saved 2 weeks of our legal teams time (a big saving!) by creating and issuing share certificates for all eligible employees. An extension to this is has just gone live at the end of July – which will see an additional 2 weeks saved, by uploading and assigning these share awards to each relevant Investec ISPS account. Running twice yearly with 4 weeks saved each time, that’s already 2 months of 1x FTE returned!
Where next for the CoE?
We’ve now begun our foray into democratised development.
The PDT (Process Discovery Tool) administration process was created by a resource from the PDT team, who essentially automated his day job. Through mentorship from CoE developers and strong centralised documentation and delivery methodology this enabled a very swift automation build.
Going forward this will allow us to divest pipeline to resources in teams outside of the Customer Office, enabling expedited delivery and benefits realisation for the process owners as well as helping to further train and upskill more of our colleagues.
With all of this now in place, we have continued to seek pipeline opportunities from all over the company, and with more hires underway and democratised development becoming an increasingly proven delivery method – we can hope to deliver a lot more in a much shorter timeframe.
I’ll be sharing my lessons learnt and top tips in a series of blog posts here on our Communities portal – be sure to subscribe and please make sure to comment with your own tips and testimonials – as I’ve mentioned I, myself am a customer of Blue Prism and want to share with and learn from our other customers!