PRESS RELEASE: The Burnie Group hosts #EDGETalks: Artificial Intelligence in Operations: Where Can AI Fit in My Organization?

TORONTO, October 30, 2018 — The Burnie Group is pleased to announce #EDGETalks: Artificial Intelligence in Operations: Where Can AI Fit in My Organization? Featuring a keynote address by Mike Rhodin, former SVP at IBM and founder of IBM’s Watson Group. Mr. Rhodin’s 33-year career at IBM was infused with a passion for helping clients extract value from technology, improving business performance, and simplifying the way people work. Mr. Rhodin’s keynote will provide insight on the ways that artificial intelligence and automation are reshaping operations, augmenting human capacity, and changing the future of work.

“AI has been called the fourth industrial revolution. It is hard to conceptualize just how incredibly transformative its potential is,” says Doug Heintzman, Head of Innovation at The Burnie Group.

#EDGETalks: Artificial Intelligence in Operations: Where Can AI Fit in My Organization? will take place on the evening of Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at The National Club. Following the keynote address, we will have a fireside chat featuring Kathryn Hume, Frank Tsiribis, and Mike Rhodin.

Kathryn Hume – Vice-President, Product and Strategy at integrate.ai
Frank Tsiribis – Head of Insight Strategies and Risk Management, Enterprise Infrastructure, Initiatives, and Innovation (EI3) at BMO Financial Group.

Increasingly, companies are investigating the potential implications of AI on their enterprise, and if and how they should adopt it. This event will help separate hype from reality and fact from fiction. It will identify some key areas where AI is changing the way business is done.

For tickets visit: https://ai-theburniegroup.eventbrite.ca

 

About The Burnie Group

The Burnie Group is a Canadian-based management consulting firm that helps clients improve their businesses through the application of innovative strategy, rigorous analysis, world-class technology, and the continuous pursuit of operations excellence.  The Burnie Group specializes in Strategy, Operations, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and Workforce Management (WFM). Our programs deliver measurable, transparent, and guaranteed results.

Media Contact:
Bruna Sofia Simoes
Senior Marketing Manager
bruna.simoes@burniegroup.com
416-909-6379

#EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement

This post is based on a panel discussion held on June 4, 2018. The 90-minute session focused on panellists’ experiences shaping culture and fostering engagement in their companies. Moderated by Darshan Jain, Head Technology and Operations of The Burnie Group, Norman Bacal, author and former managing partner, Heenan Blaikie LLP delivered the keynote and the panellists were Richard Anton, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at CIBC Mellon, Cathie Brow, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications, Revera, Christina McClung, Vice President, Human Resources and Chief of Staff, Capital One, and Rob Lokinger, President and Chief Operating Officer, AppCentrica Inc.

#EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement  Many companies hire the best and the brightest to seize new opportunities and increase profits. Unfortunately, impressive résumés don’t always translate to an engaged employee base or a stimulating and innovative workplace culture. Individual contributors who once brimmed with enthusiasm and new ideas now only raise their heads to check the time. Regardless of systems put in place or reorganizations, teams struggle to get ahead.

Culture and engagement can be forgotten or an afterthought when setting and executing corporate strategies. Leaders should consider the mindsets and behaviours needed to support their company’s vision and goals.

 

How does culture fit within your corporate strategy?

You need to define the workplace culture required for teams to meet targets and create new opportunities. Whether team-centric, focused on high potentials, honed on improving shareholder value, (etc.), a culture strategy needs to be determined as well as its supporting tactics.

“You need to decide what your cultural imperative is, as part of your corporate strategy,” says Norman Bacal. “Once you understand what it is, it ought to put you in the direction of your tactics, day-to-day behaviours, and ultimately whom you recruit to your vision.”

Bacal offers three pieces of advice for leaders looking to set, change or improve corporate culture:

1. Be consistent

Policies, programs, and behaviours must align with culture vision and not vary across your organization regardless of geography or environment. Employee trust grows when words and actions align. If you, your peers, or other leaders say one thing and do another, you risk damaging your and the company’s credibility.

“Never confuse strategy with tactics. If you take those tactics and separate them from your cultural vision, they won’t work. In fact, they do the opposite of what you want and can build a level of cynicism, because you need to be consistent between your vision and execution.”

2. Recognize the importance of your front-line staff on a regular basis

#EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement  It’s easy to focus attention on only senior management or those with “star” quality. In fact, it’s the public’s or client’s first point of contact—receptionists, service agents, or call centre employees—who can be the linchpin to your organization’s success. They are often your company’s face and voice and some of your most valuable employees. Telling them you recognize this signals you understand their role and you appreciate what they do.

“I’d arrive in the morning and say to the receptionist, ‘You’re the most important person in this firm.’ If you say that once to somebody, they won’t believe you; if you say that to them on a regular basis, they begin to believe it.”

3. Walk the halls

It’s unlikely your staff will proactively tell you what’s happening or their collective mood. The best way to know these is to step outside your office and talk to employees. Have informal chats—saying “hello” and finding out how they’re doing or how their family is will help build goodwill and trust. Ask your leaders to do the same.

“It’s the small things you may consider completely insignificant to your life that have a huge impact on other people’s lives.”

Engaging your employees while building corporate culture

We know a strong corporate culture can be a competitive advantage when attracting employees or securing clients. When a company decides to define or redefine their culture, change doesn’t occur overnight: it takes time to learn and develop traits and behaviours. While organizations can launch campaigns focused on ethics, teamwork, or client-centric service, successful shifts often happen when leaders commit to and model desired behaviours and attitudes.

Who are engaged employees?

Engaged employees go above and beyond so the company realizes its corporate vision and strategies. Working isn’t “just a job” or a paycheque. They are front and centre when needed most. As individuals, they proactively update their skillset to be part of the organization’s future. They are active problem solvers and offer ideas to help shape the company.

“I really think engagement has to do with people’s passion and enthusiasm. We have a really great vision for our company that touches everybody. Employees need to feel connected—if they aren’t, they’re not going to be able to deliver the service we expect from them.”

~ Cathie Brow, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications, Revera

How do you build employee engagement?

Smart strategies and tactics build, maintain, and grow engagement over time. They are rolled out at the corporate level and supported by leaders.

Corporate tactics

Your corporate values should be defined, so everyone understands what they are and how to bring them life. You need to ensure all levels, especially C-suite and other senior leaders, walk the talk. Otherwise, employees will see the disconnection and may assume a double standard.

Find different ways to involve employees in corporate programs. Corporate Social Responsibility projects (such as Habitat for Humanity builds, sorting food bank donations, or registering teams for a charity bike ride) or internal problem-solving competitions for specific issues (ranging from hackathons to projects resolving client pain points) are more than team-building exercises: They reinforce company values and allow staff to participate in corporate projects in fun, meaningful, and non-financial ways.

Take the time to listen to your employees and don’t immediately jump to prescribing remedies. Instead, ask your employees for their ideas and implement solutions that need little lead-time (before putting into place more complex ideas). This way, you signal you hear your staff. Similarly, staff input when setting up a formal recognition program is important—don’t assume a gala or dinner with the CEO would appeal to the majority.

“Alignment around the right goals and cultural imperators yields great benefits. It carries through when people interact with each other and with customers. We founded our company on four principles that really defined our culture. They’re used to make our hiring decisions, evaluate people and make sure we have the right approach within our organization.”

~ Rob Lokinger, President and Chief Operating Officer, AppCentrica Inc.

Individual leaders’ tactics

Your behaviour, attitude, and presence go a long way in shaping corporate culture. Sit with your team to get a feel for their day-to-day environment and issues. Be seen. Have informal chats with specialists and coordinators as well as more senior staff at their desks or in the cafeteria. Encourage peers and people leaders under you to do the same.

Trust in leadership is essential. Employees want to see the genuine you. Façades won’t gain their trust and may make you harder to follow. Your actions need to be consistent, and you must deliver on your commitments.

Celebrate team wins, but also find ways that are personal to you to congratulate or acknowledge staff accomplishments. Equally crucial is being there and supporting your staff in challenging times.

“My role is about fostering the kind of culture and principles we want. It’s about how I handle myself every single day, and also how I expect my management team to handle themselves. I am a firm believer that if I display those characteristics, those traits across the organization, that’s when people start to buy into that idea that it’s not more than a one-off that’s quickly forgotten.”

~ Richard Anton, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at CIBC Mellon

 

How do you measure culture?

#EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement  Annual and biannual employee satisfaction and sentiment surveys may not be helpful because they are lagging indicators. Instead, get timely feedback by measuring employee experience after critical points in their tenure: onboarding, first three months, performance reviews (etc.). Ask questions about diversity and inclusion, and track indicators such as employee referrals and attrition rates.

“It’s hard to measure feelings, but we try. I think there’s a lot to be said about the anecdotal feedback—look at what you might measure. I think some measurements that can be found along with the survey scores. Make sure you deep dive into topics where people are feeling engaged and the various contributors, such as enablement to getting work done.”

~ Christina McClung, Vice President, Human Resources and Chief of Staff, Capital One

Working with an experienced partner can help build and improve your employee engagement. Choose a partner who can efficiently lead the project, keep it on track, and who will develop your internal capabilities. The Burnie Group will help you to set the right strategy and build the right foundation. Contact us to learn more about employee engagement.

 


#EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement


PRESS RELEASE: The Burnie Group hosts #EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement

TORONTO, May 28, 2018 — The Burnie Group is pleased to announce #EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement. Featuring a keynote address by Norman Bacal, who, in his best-selling novel, Breakdown: The Inside Story of the Rise and Fall of Heenan Blaikie, recounts the cautionary tale of the perils of ignoring a firm’s culture and vision, and the danger of hiring as CEOs individuals with little to no management experience.

This event provides an opportunity for our clients and colleagues to discuss the very significant implications of employee engagement on organizational culture. As many of our clients are finding themselves in a rapidly commoditizing marketplace, organizational culture—and especially, employee engagement—remains one of the few competitive advantages you can leverage as a senior leader to grow and out manoeuvre your competitors.” says Darshan Jain, Head of Technology and Operations at The Burnie Group.

#EDGETalks: Actively Engaged – Leadership and Innovation in Building Employee Engagement will take place on the evening of Monday June 4th 2018 in the Gallery at First Canadian Place. Norm Bacal’s keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion led by industry thought leaders, academics and practitioners, including:

Richard Anton – Senior Vice-President, Chief Operations Officer, CIBC Mellon
Cathie Brow – Senior Vice-President, Human Resources & Communications, Revera
Nathalie Clark – Vice-President, HR TD Securities & Risk Management, TD Bank Group
Rob Lokinger – Chief Operating Officer, AppCentrica

With extensive research showing that organizations face a radically shifting context in the workplace, an engaged workforce should be a top priority for senior management.  Converging issues such as flatter hierarchies leaving less 1:1 time with direct managers, accelerated career development expectations, and a technology-driven 24/7 work environment are driving the need to rewrite the rules of employee engagement.  With so much on the line, what does it take for an organization to really understand its culture and create an inclusive and engaging corporate environment?

For tickets visit: https://activelyengaged.eventbrite.ca

About The Burnie Group
The Burnie Group is a highly specialized operations consulting firm that helps clients improve their businesses through the application of innovative strategy, rigorous analysis, world-class technology, and top-tier domain expertise.  The Burnie Group specializes in StrategyOperationsRobotic Process Automation (RPA)Blockchain, and Workforce Management (WFM).

Media Contact:
Bruna Sofia Simoes
Marketing Manager
bruna.simoes@burniegroup.com
416-909-6379

 

Source: The Burnie Group


 

EDGEtalks: Executing on the Blockchain hype

EDGEtalks: Executing on the Blockchain hype  On January 15th, 2018, The Burnie Group hosted EDGEtalks: Executing on the Blockchain hype, the potential application of blockchain technology to business practices. The keynote was delivered by Don Tapscott (CEO, Tapscott Group; Executive Chairman and Co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute; Co-author, Blockchain Revolution). A panel discussion followed, moderated by Doug Heintzman (Head of the  Blockchain practice, The Burnie Group). Panelists included Dr. David Jaffray (EVP Technology and Innovation, University Health Network), Dr. Marek Laskowski (co-founder, Blockchain Lab; Professor, Information and Computing Technologies, York University), Dr. Atefeh Mashatan (Professor, Ted Rogers School of Information Management, Ryerson University), and Chris Owen (VP, Enterprise Shared Platforms–Blockchain, TD Bank).

 

Blockchain: Solving Problems for the Digital Economy

In 2008, a person, or group, known as Satoshi Nakamoto, published a paper describing the first blockchain database. Three months later, it was used by Nakamoto to launch the bitcoin cryptocurrency network. Since then, interest in cryptocurrency investment has exploded, but industry experts insist that crypto’s true value lies in its underlying technology: blockchain.

A blockchain is a distributed ledger technology. Its core value lies in its ability to provide a reliable common version of the truth to members of a business network. Digital records (transactions) receive a unique signature (hash) of a fixed length.  Transactions are then bundled and stored in time-stamped “blocks” that are “chained” to the blocks of previous transactions. This chain of blocks is synchronized across a network of distributed “nodes.” By comparing the last hash in a chain, nodes find consensus on the contents and integrity of the blockchain, making it virtually immutable.

This new technology was the first real solution to a problem that had plagued digital transactions since their inception: the double-spend problem The issue being that a digital payment was merely a copy of a token of value. Tokens could be copied multiple times and spent in more than one location. With blockchain’s continuous validation and replication of transaction history, single-use for digital tokens can be guaranteed. This, in turn, positively affects the trust deficit.

Another valuable characteristic of the technology is “smart contracts,” which can be stored and executed on a blockchain. This coded feature enjoys the same immutability, and therefore trustworthiness, as the data it manipulates. It allows for the use of business logic with automated transaction attributes, solving, amongst other things, the renege problem. In this situation, a customer might leave a queue (reneging) for various reasons before completing a transaction. When a smart contract is introduced, the customer is no longer disengaged by redirection to a banking intermediary to complete the transaction. The smart contract easily completes the transaction by triggering and validating payment securely and independently.

These problem-solving characteristics are representative of blockchain’s many potential advantages. The following will explain how blockchain can generate value, enhance business efficiencies, and bring about the new era of the Internet.

 

The True Value of Trust and Data

Business networks are built on top of available infrastructure, which inherently contains deficiencies that can introduce friction into business activities. Many business networks, therefore, engage third-party intermediaries to mitigate deficiencies, such as trust deficits between parties.  These third parties can take many forms: banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, PayPal, Alibaba, auditors, and regulators. However, this centralized intermediary system is hackable, infamously slow, and costly.

Because a blockchain network addresses the trust deficit problem it allows for peer-to-peer transactions (P2P) completely independent of intermediaries. Individuals become owners of their own data, and that data an asset, protected on a blockchain from theft and fraud by immutable, time-stamped record keeping. In a blockchain-powered world, an individual’s medical records, financial records, academic degrees, voting history, professional history, and consumer history, can all be stored in encrypted transactions. A musician’s intellectual property might be stored on a blockchain, with smart contracts triggering automatic payments every time a song is featured in a film. A patient could allow a government temporary access to medical records to help identify and prevent possible outbreaks of disease.  The sharing of this information with specific people for a fixed duration is the choice of the individual, un-beholden to the delays, rules, privacy exposure, or costs associated with an intermediary.

 

Rethinking the Firm

According to Ronald Coase’s theory of the firm, companies only exist due to the high cost of transactions within markets. Traditionally, performing activities in-house has kept these costs low and companies strong. The Internet, created as a network of information, began the process of unbundling the firm. With the creation of blockchain as an entirely new network of information, these transaction costs are so greatly affected that companies have no choice but to evolve as the underlying rationale for their existence is altered.

Blockchain features, such as smart contracts and autonomous agents, can cut costs by enhancing business efficiencies through automation. The scale of this automation can alter the very concept of what constitutes a company; a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), for example, is a company run entirely through computer programs with next-to-no human participant. This model uses business logic and decision making embedded in smart contracts to automatically execute actions when triggered by pre-determined situational criteria. This new platform dramatically reduces business network friction, and eliminates nearly all traditional transaction costs, paving the way for distributed companies that resemble networks rather than centralized firms.

 

The Second Era of the Internet

Blockchain is a new paradigm that addresses the very purpose of computing: to automate business processes with the goal of reducing headcount and friction in business networks. It provides unprecedented peer-to-peer trust and can enhance business efficiencies in nearly any industry. When the existing Internet of Things—which is currently held back by the available software infrastructure and related trust deficits—is combined with blockchain’s new “ledger of things,” a partnership is formed. This partnership represents a second era of the Internet, in which discrete devices can confidently engage and contract each other to accomplish a goal. With widespread blockchain implementation, intermediary functions become redundant, companies more automated and decentralized, and the individual consumer more autonomous with improved privacy and increased control of their information assets.

Working with an experienced partner can help you harness the full potential of blockchain technology for your business. As a leading professional services enabler of blockchain strategy and implementation in North America, The Burnie Group will help you to identify areas where blockchain can increase your business’s security and efficiencies, set the right strategy and build the right foundation to substantively advance business goals.

Contact us to learn more about blockchain.

 

Key insights from the #EDGEtalks panel of speakers:

 

“This is nothing less than the second era of the Internet”

Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“This is not about bitcoin. It’s not even about crypto assets. It’s about something much bigger”

Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“What if there were not just an Internet of information. What if there were an Internet of value. Some kind of vast, global, distributed ledger where anything of value, from money to stock to votes to music could be managed, transacted, stored in a secure and private way.”

Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“I think this is a new paradigm, and a paradigm is a mental model. And they create boundaries around… assumptions we don’t even know that they’re there.”

-Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“the biggest problem for me…today, the net effect of all this digital on our economy is that we have growing wealth but declining prosperity. Our economies are growing but in most OECD countries the middle class is shrinking. We have a bipolarization [sic] of wealth”

-Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“For the first time in history, people have can now trust each other and transact peer to peer. And this is creating a great opportunity for… people in the middle to rethink their whole value proposition and the way that they operate, to deliver better value to customers at a lower rate.”

Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“Blockchain is no different than any other technology that preceded it. What happens with new technology is that people think about that, they digest it in the context of what they know and understand today. How can I take that technology… apply it to what I do today, and make it faster and cheaper?”

Don Tapscott, executive chairman and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute

 

“It’s your data. It’s your history. You should own it, and you should grant permission and access to whoever you think of as an authorized user of that accumulated suite and wealth of data.”                                      – Chris Owen, VP, Enterprise Shared Platforms–Blockchain, TD Bank

 

“People need to roll up their sleeves and invest the time to understand it… They need to sit down and understand what is this, how does it work, and then how does it disrupt your industry and the way we manage data.”

Chris Owen, VP, Enterprise Shared Platforms–Blockchain, TD Bank

 

“Little by little, increment by increment, we’re going to migrate into a world where people are going to operate differently, and it’s going to be a weird and wonderful place.”

Chris Owen, VP, Enterprise Shared Platforms–Blockchain, TD Bank

 

“The promise of blockchain is a disruptive technology and disintermediary technology…These monolithic business models based on exploiting the data of their customers are going to have to change.”

Dr. Marek Laskowski, co-founder, Blockchain Lab

 

“I think that’s one of the biggest decisions that need to be made is which data can you share into this commons of data, and in what cases does it make economic sense to do so? And I think that where we discover those golden points where there’s economic sense and it’s feasible to share that data in a way that the entire ecosystem benefits, I think it’s a matter of finding those. It takes work.”

Dr. Marek Laskowski, co-founder, Blockchain Lab


EDGEtalks: Executing on the Blockchain hype


PRESS RELEASE: The Burnie Group hosts #EDGETalks: Executing on the Blockchain Hype

TORONTO, Jan. 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Burnie Group is pleased to announce #EDGETalks: Executing on the Blockchain Hype. Featuring a keynote address by Don Tapscott, Executive Chairman, Blockchain Research Institute, and Co-author Blockchain Revolution, this event will look at the dimensions of the Blockchain disruption and the business opportunities that it will create.

“This event is an opportunity to bring together industry leaders to share their diverse insights and use case experience on the ever-evolving blockchain industry,” said Doug Heintzman, Blockchain Practice Leader, The Burnie Group.

#EDGETalks: Executing on the Blockchain Hype will take place on the evening of Monday, January 15th 2018 at MaRS Discovery District Auditorium. Don Tapscott’s keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion led by industry thought leaders, academics and practitioners, including:

Dr. David Jaffary – EVP Technology & Innovation, University Health Network
Dr. Marek Laskowski – Blockchain Lab co-founder, Professor of Information & Computing Technologies, York University
Dr. Atefeh Mashatan – Professor, Ted Rodger school of Information Management, Ryerson University
Chris Owen – VP, Enterprise Shared Platforms – Blockchain, TD Canada Trust

Blockchain technology has been the subject of great interest and investment. The potential of universal distributed ledgers to dramatically reduce transaction costs and reconciliation times has been well understood for some time, but only very recently have we had the ability to embed trust into business networks at a technology level. This evening looks to answer questions about where Blockchain technology is today, what its impact potential is, and how businesses are beginning to invest and implement it.

For tickets visit: https://edgetalks-blockchain.eventbrite.ca/

 

About The Burnie Group – burniegroup.com
The Burnie Group is a highly specialized operations consulting firm that helps clients improve their businesses through the application of innovative strategy, rigorous analysis, world-class technology, and top-tier domain expertise.  The Burnie Group specializes in Strategy, Operations, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Blockchain, and Workforce Management (WFM).

Media Contact:
Bruna Sofia Simoes, Marketing Manager
bruna.simoes@burniegroup.com
416-909-6379

 

Source: The Burnie Group


 

Transformation with RPA: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Transformation with RPA: Best Practices and Lessons Learned  On November 20, 2017, The Burnie Group led a panel discussion on enabling Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the workplace. Moderated by David Burnie, Principal and Founder of The Burnie Group, panellists discussed their reasons for automation as well as key learnings from RPA implementation projects. Panellists were Erik Kalin, VP & COO of Retail Operations at Empire Life Insurance Co., Michael Marchuk, Chief Technology Evangelist at BluePrism, and Dan Semmens, Managing Director of Transformation-Process Automation at ATB Financial. 

When looking for ways to boost efficiency, improve service quality, or increase customer satisfaction, many companies turn to RPA to transform their businesses.

Through automation, clerical tasks usually executed by people (for example, recording a change of address) are done more quickly and accurately by software robots. By removing mundane repetitive work, employees can be better engaged and contribute meaningfully to the company’s core mission.

In this article, we’ve summarized some best practices step-by-step, and following that, some key learnings shared by the industry experts at our recent panel discussion.

Eight steps to transforming your business with RPA:

Like any change project, successful adoption and implementation are the results of good planning.  These steps will help ensure your company’s RPA project goes smoothly:

Step 1: Identify the opportunity

Every solution begins with a problem. Ideally, the issue should tie to the strategic plan or core business function. It could be people-focussed (such as issues related to high turnover or poor customer experience) or operations-focussed (such as evolving compliance requirements or complicated processes rooted in legacy systems).

Step 2: Gather information

Engage your subject matter experts—including IT, risk, audit, and security—to develop a good high-level understanding of the processes and their related issues. You need to determine not just if automation is a viable solution but how much automation is needed for the best results. Here, RPA practitioners can build your knowledge (technological and otherwise) and provide resources to support your proof-of-concept.

Step 3: Develop the business case and win executive buy-in

After determining scope, create a business case by defining the project’s objective(s). Recruit a senior level champion and socialize the plan amongst executive stakeholders. After the project is green-lighted, shortlist RPA process candidates based on stakeholder needs. Select an RPA practitioner to help manage your project.

Step 4: Build your team

Build the team needed to put the transformation in place and support it, through the processes of change, implementation, and post-implementation. Your change team should include those functions needed for a smooth transition (such as communications, HR, and ER). A post-implementation team will need to deal with unexpected issues that may affect the robots after putting RPA in place (such as a vendor-initiated upgrade).

Step 5: Capture the processes

Often companies do not have fully-documented processes, as tasks and behaviours may reside with the SME, but not on paper. Create well-documented, end-to-end understandings of full processes instead of spotlighting particular aspects. Develop thorough baselines. Find out who and how the final outputs are used. This step can be time-consuming, so be sure to budget sufficient time for your subject matter experts to thoroughly capture pre-RPA details.

Step: 6: Build and test the automated processes

From Step 5, identify tasks (or entire processes) that do not add value, and those that can be harmonized or re-engineered to be improved. Build a Centre of Excellence and an object library. Stakeholders should also identify unexpected problems and find solutions. Schedule your development and sprints and adjust accordingly.

Step 7: Implementation

Before going live, your communications resource should have developed and launched a communications plan targeting managers, staff, and other groups impacted by the RPA transformation. Ensure those who will be working with the new processes and those who are being redeployed have the appropriate training. Build in the necessary safeguards and checks to ensure all processes are being handled correctly.

Step 8: Evaluation

After the RPA is installed, objectively evaluate its performance. Conduct a gap analysis and determine if the business case’s goals were met. When monitoring stakeholder satisfaction, differentiate actual from perceived problems, and address them appropriately. Compare project costs and benefits against expectations. Capture lessons learned for future RPA (and other) implementations and document findings and recommendations.

 

Key Learnings

One of the things that we’re starting to do now is to supplement the whole program with better support around transforming our workforce, so it’s easy, whether it’s measuring customer experience or measuring benefits. How do we tie those numbers back and really get true value from the investment back into the organization? Having better baseline data can really help and give you a better understanding of not just goal setting, but those true opportunities that lie across the companies.

– Dan Semmens, Managing Director of Transformation-Process Automation at ATB Financial.

 

I think you have to build in a lot of time for testing. We underestimated the amount of time our subject matter experts would need to do this. We thought we could just ask them few questions—I walked down the hall and tapped them on the shoulder. Well, that ends up being a lot when the subject matter expert knows everything—especially when a lot of your procedures are undocumented and your test cases are just growing, growing, growing over time.

– Erik Kalin, VP & COO of Retail Operations at Empire Life Insurance Co.

 

You look at some of these things and think, ‘Do we really do this?’ You’ll find you actually really do and you realize that you made some optimization goals. Maybe you do something different, maybe just change and tweak the process a little bit, so you can automate some of it. But the reality is that there will be a lot more attention to the whole thing.”

– Michael Marchuk, Chief Technology Evangelist at BluePrism.

 

Working with an experienced partner can help make your RPA business transformation a success. Choose a partner who can efficiently lead the project, keep it on track, and who will build your internal capabilities. As a pioneer in North American RPA, The Burnie Group will help you to set the right strategy and build the right foundation. Contact us to learn more about robotic process automation.

 


Transformation with RPA: Best Practices and Lessons Learned