RPA Navigational Assistants Reimagined

We frequently mention the “Navigational Burden” felt by today’s knowledge worker. As the leading Automation Solutions company, we see use cases that involve eliminating the waste of extra work constantly. It’s astounding the amount of time that is wasted navigating in a number of systems by an average knowledge worker to do their day-to-day job. Whether it be an ERP, CRM, EMR, Email, File System, Chat System, Online Meeting System and on and on.

The list can be exhausting depending upon what the knowledge worker’s job function it is. While Process Discovery tools are useful for discovering burdensome processes for a group of users, there will always be those cases that are specific to each unique knowledge worker. It’s a tantalizing problem to solve and one worth discussing.  

One of the foundational questions of attended automation/low code/citizen development is around governance. 

It’s really a key place to start as it will dictate the direction of the solution. Take, for example, a process that involves something that a group of knowledge workers do regularly based on job function. Scheduling a patient for a visit, merging two disparate customer records or pulling up warranty data in an ERP/CRM system. The list is endless and can cross industry and discipline. These are great examples of what I am terming Desktop Assistant or design principles for attended Bots.   

These types of Bots need to be designed with a similar mindset that commercial application developers employ when creating something for a wider audience:  

  1. Composable Automation is primary
  2. A great User Experience 
  3. Put the application expert in charge, whether it be the SME or someone who understands the struggles of the application in general and the workflow involved.  
  4. Agile in design and goal achievement
Composable Automation  

What is Composable Automation? 

  • Discrete and reusable building blocks of organizational capability (technology, processes, data, business functions, suppliers, customers) 
  • Designed and built for rapid and constant change (organizational velocity) 
  • Decompose capabilities and continuously improve without business disruption. 
  • Enables ‘Service-as-a-Service’ instead of just technology as a service.  
  • Based on the principles of The Composable Enterprise  

Benefits: 

  • Enables scale of automation programs. 
  • Drastically reduces burdensome automation maintenance. 
  • Components are individually and automatically tested, reducing defects. 
  • Continuous integration allows for early detection of breakage. 
  • Re-usability of organizational capabilities / components,
    not just .xml files
A great User Experience 
  • Integrates seamlessly into today’s current way of work. 
  • What tools & technology do business users use today? 
  • May not include UiPath Action Center for HITL 
  • May require thinking outside the box (e.g., POS interface) 
  • Built into the composable automation framework. 
  • Optimized for scale of operations and maintenance.
Put a SME in Charge of Design 
  • An expert at the process that is being redesigned is vital.
  • Indepth functional knowledge of the Application(s) is also important.
  • The key to citizen development is enabling KW’s to redesign their workflow and use technology to do so.
Digital Assistants Need to be Agile in Design. 
  • Start Simple and Build on that 
  • Overly complex tasks are not a good idea, break it up and tackle it in an iterative manner. 
  • Create multiple assistants for functional areas and/or teams. 
  • Reduce waste in the process, not recreate the process, robots and humans need to be utilized efficiently.

The next set of Bots are what I can classify as Citizen Development/No Code Bots.  These are less governed and procured like wideuse bots. These are intricately customized to a specific need of a knowledge worker, versus a wider audience. These can be developed by sophisticated nontech types as well people looking to automate their workday.   

It is a new mindset, but one that will be widely adopted as companies try to optimize their foundational systems and business processes to be more effective. We have so many systems we all work with, RPA can unite them all and make the knowledge worker more efficient and powerful in the process. 

Peter S. Camp is the CTO and Founder of CampTek Software. He has been developing RPA Applications for over 17 years. For further questions, discussion or inquiry about CampTek Software Services, contact  info@campteksoftware.com