Build a robot army: workflow and automation
The robots are coming! We’ve all seen the warnings that artificial intelligence is going to take our jobs, and possibly enslave us.
But for now technology represents an excellent, if not essential role for any organisation, and you need to be working on your workflow, and building up your blocks.
Read on if you are ready to build your robot army…
Automation is rapidly moving into our day-to-day lives through pocket technology and listening boxes in our living spaces. Whether we know it or not, these interactions are shifting our thought patterns to more logical workflow. Yet most of our professional environments are not embracing this, in spite of the potential rewards.
This is unsurprising, as much of the public discourse focuses on robots, AI, machine learning and big game-changing solutions. They will undoubtedly play a large role, but revolutions usually come in a series of increments and this one is no different. Right now there are a multitude of cheap, usable and powerful tools you can use to automate parts of your business.
In our programme, we prefer to focus on building a more realistic journey with quick wins, activities that empower your teams, and within existing resources. We will help to:
- Review your digital infrastructure and help you understand what is and isn’t suitable for automation.
- Build a strategic plan to deliver quick wins and iterative growth (instead of major upheaval).
- Change your way of thinking from work to workflow.
- Build a tech empowered skillset and culture, helping your staff to experiment with automation in ways that benefit their day-to-day work.
- Assess and consider affordable tools and software that you can use to start your journey.
- Get cracking and help you to build your own robot army!
What we do
Whilst this programme will undoubtedly offer great insights, tangible results for the efficiency and productivity of your organisation, this also fits our social mission to help employers understand the potentially devastating risk to employees who are not helped to actively prepare for the coming AI revolution. A significant proportion of both the blue and white collar workforce are at risk of being replaced by technology.
Supporting staff to learn the skills to work with technology, such as automation activities, will offer a chance to upskill and empower staff who mostly perform more routine tasks. As employers we believe it is our responsibility to support these at risk groups and help them increase their value in the future workplace. This is an element that we’ll be very keen to emphasise in our work with you.
Within every system, whether it’s tech or human, there will be a ‘flow’ of how things happen. In your organisation policies and processes will to an extent define how regular ad-hoc things will happen, but often people perform tasks in a consistent way without it being defined. This is workflow, and it’s a great place to start, because much of your routine workflow can be mapped and then automated by the people who currently do those tasks. With a little support, this can provide an empowering experience of tech for staff, and free up capacity to do more creative work.
We’re all about starting at the start and seeing it through to a sustainable place. We provide a range of support activities that will change as the project progresses. See below the different stages and how we can support you through the whole or part of the process.
We work with your leaders to assess where workflow and automation could have the greatest impact to the organisation and the prospects of staff. We will help you evaluate which roles present the greatest opportunity for staff-led automation and upskill, and also which staff are at the greatest risk of becoming technologically unemployed. We will work with you to build an action plan of which work areas and staff roles could represent the greatest benefit for all involved.
Sparks of change
We will work to gain some digital champions at various levels of seniority. We will help your teams to think logically about what triggers routine work to be performed, and then what happens as a result and when. We will start with simple exercises where teams can learn about and map workflow: as a set of individual steps or processes that make up what people do. We will provide some great platforms and tools to start this learning process, and create some fun activities and projects for trainees to get their teeth into.
Testing and looping
We then start to translate the new skills into active projects that will codify workflow and start the process of automating tasks. This will start relatively small and then build up as confidence and experience builds.
Throughout the process we maintain open and continuous review. However, to ensure that everyone moves forward together we will create learning sessions at key stages in moving your responsive needle.
The change project will continue until it is agreed to be sustainably embedded, however, even with the best will in the world things can fall down the list. We can provide follow up support, or ongoing coaching catch-ups with key actors (likely leaders) in your change process. We’re here to build successful partnerships so we’ll be available to provide help if problems occur or new opportunities arise.
New experiences mean new skills; both hard and soft. Throughout we seek to identify and support what change is happening for the individual to ensure that the change is person enabled. Where key group roles emerge, especially leadership, we will help identify learning paths so people can build valuable skill-sets.