Burnie Group’s center of excellence (CoE) program delivers value to clients through automation and process optimization. We help clients define their strategy and approach for their CoE and support them through successful implementation and value realization.

What is an automation center of excellence?

An automation center of excellence (CoE) is the automation hub in an organization. A CoE includes key people, processes, and technologies necessary to develop and optimize an automation journey. A CoE is essential for implementing an automation strategy, scaling existing automation, and realizing new automation opportunities.

A center of excellence can incorporate the full suite of technologies used for automation. Some of the technologies that can be part of a CoE include intelligent automation, robotic process automation (RPA), digitization and document understanding, task mining, machine learning, and advanced data analytics. A CoE can enable organizations to reap the benefits of their automation journey.

Solutions for every stage of your automation journey

As more and more organizations choose to be self-sufficient and sustainable in their automation, integrating a CoE is a way to enable your automation practice to grow.

  • Rather than having to rely on an outside organization to build your automation for you, a CoE enables your organization to scale up.
  • A CoE reduces the costs of complicated processes by integrating the technologies used across departments and teams.
  • Organizations with a CoE have a competitive advantage over peers because they can hire and retain top-tier employees and share critical technology expertise throughout your organization.
  • By establishing a CoE across business units, your organization will have a strong grasp of technology for transformation.

A CoE enables your organization to be forward-thinking in its adoption of new automation and technologies.

Our automation center of excellence (CoE) methodology

Burnie Group’s automation CoE framework comprises six key building blocks: automation CoE strategy, governance, change management, processes, people and tools.

automation center of excellence frameworkAutomation CoE strategy

Developing a CoE strategy means defining a vision, evolution roadmap, and value realization plan. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for standing up an automation CoE. We take a comprehensive approach guided by a decade of experience in launching successful automation CoEs for clients across different industries, sizes and scales. Every organization is unique and requires a strategy and operating model that enables its vision and objectives.


Governance and change management go hand in hand to enable the successful introduction and adoption of the automation CoE within and across an organization. Governance is vital for ensuring that you have a sustainable automation CoE.

Burnie Group recommends careful design and review of roles, internal and external relationships, and a clear strategy for managing the demand.

Change management

Change management is an ongoing activity. We work with you to ensure you have successful change management processes in place, so your organization is eager, engaged, and empowered to achieve your automation goals.

Processes, people, and tools

The foundational pillars of our CoE methodology constitute the people, processes, and tools.

A successful automation strategy must involve the right processes. When designing RPA processes, one must consider RPA best practices and project management implementation methodology, deployment, quality assurance, knowledge management, and operational support.

Employees who are part of the automation program must have a clear training and certification path and a clear definition of their roles. We train the CoE resources on automation technology and support them through our proprietary approach towards success and self-sufficiency: See One, Do One, Lead One.

By tools, we mean the broader scope of how automation fits with the following:

  • Alignment with enterprise architecture
  • IT infrastructure
  • Digitization tools (e.g. OCR/ICR/HCR)
  • Other supporting tools

Read about how an insurance company transformed its operations by implementing a center of excellence.


Solutions for every stage of your automation journey

Burnie Group considers the CoE journey to consist of five key stages, from having no CoE in place to having expert CoE practices that are self-reliant and optimized.

  • Have you considered establishing an in-house automation center of excellence or community of practice?
  • Have you established a CoE but are having trouble getting it off the ground?
  • Do you have a full-scale CoE but wonder whether it is reaching its full potential?

Burnie Group’s CoE design framework has everything you need to build a successful center of excellence. We will work with you to build your strategy, governance, and change management approach. We will educate you on a best practice approach for the process design for your desired automation tool, guide your skills management journey, and expand your understanding of how automation can seamlessly fit in with your existing IT infrastructure.

We will help you establish the fundamental elements of a successful automation program so that you can start on your automation journey without delays.

As a part of this offering, you will receive a full detailed CoE design framework, all supporting materials, templates, and educational guides, as well as recorded video lessons and demos that you may need as you are getting your CoE off the ground.

This offering is ideal for CoEs in Preparation and Stage 1. The target audience is executive sponsors, automation leads, project management, CIOs, human resource leads, and IT leads within your organization.

Burnie Group can conduct a full assessment of your automation program to identify areas of improvement.  Working through our automation CoE framework, we will assess your automation program through the strategy, governance, change management, people, processes, and tools dimensions. On the delivery side, we will conduct a top-down assessment of opportunities, thorough an assessment of application landscape, integration points, challenges, and opportunities. On the strategy side, we will develop a thorough strategy, targets, KPI and an execution approach to maximize RPA benefits.

As a part of this offering, we will take a deep dive into your governance and operational best practices. Through interviews and immersive workshops, we will review all your existing practices – from development to change management standards, to determine what gaps exist in your automation program today.

At the end of the assessment, your organization will have a clear game plan to take your CoE to the next level.

This offering is best suited for automation teams, executives, and change management teams in Stages 1 and 2 of their CoE journey.

A well-functioning CoE can become even better with a heath check assessment. This offering takes a granular look at the following:

  • Automation capability (PDI/ODI, business process design, OOP/reuse, CPI/SPI, defects, test strategy, etc.)
  • Program structure, project selection, KPI, reviews
  • CoE best-practice & post-implementation review
  • Infrastructure, security, business continuity planning (BCP), disaster recovery
  • Governance, change management, audit, risk, compliance

This offering is a hands-on approach that is conducted by our most seasoned automation experts with years of nuanced expertise in the leading automation tools and best-in-class CoE practices. We will ask you to share your detailed design documentation, work with you through samples of your code to assess compliance with best practices, evaluate your change management collateral, and more!

This offering is best suited for organizations with advanced or expert CoE.

The value realized by our CoE clients

  • Optimizing and improving process efficiency can lead to significant cost savings and improved customer and employee satisfaction. For example, one of our North American telco clients realized a 5x ROI in 3 years.
  • Capacity release can be redirected towards growth activities and high-value tasks. For example, one of our Canadian financial services customers realized 150 FTE capacity savings, which they fully redirected towards driving growth.
  • Improved customer satisfaction (increased NPS scores) and employee experience (decreased attrition, improved employee satisfaction scores)
  • Prolonged life of legacy or older ERP systems – using RPA to automate legacy or ERP-related tasks allows organizations to reap the benefits of modernization without replacing the system, which is a complex, costly and time-consuming undertaking.

Some of our center of excellence technology partnerships

Our automation leaders

Najeeb Saour

Najeeb Saour

Head of Technology and Automation

View Bio

Learn more about automation centers of excellence.