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Achieve Hyperautomation With A Citizen Development Model


Eduardo Diquez

Managing Director of Intelligent Automation, Auxis

From creating invoices to filling out timesheets, every employee loses valuable time every day performing tedious tasks that could be resolved through Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Automating those activities could significantly improve employee productivity and satisfaction – and often, customer satisfaction by speeding work and response times. But unfortunately, many mundane tasks fail to deliver ROI that justifies prioritization in an automation pipeline because they only benefit single or small groups of employees.

In this article we will lay out what citizen led development means and why your organization needs it in order to achieve “hyperautomation” at scale.

What is a citizen developer?

Citizen developers are non-technical users trained to navigate pre-approved, no-code tools like UiPath’s StudioX to create simple automations for themselves and their departments. In line with its vision of “a robot for every person,” UiPath launched StudioX to empower business users to automate tasks that make their lives easier but don’t fit the criteria for a company-wide program.

With minimal training, citizen developers can significantly reduce backlog and frustration by automating processes and solving work challenges that rank low on their CoE’s list of priorities.

Citizen RPA developers hold the key to advancing enterprise automation and digital transformation on a global scale. As the people in the weeds, they have the power to identify simple processes ripe for automation. They can also solve problems in ways that may not be obvious to developers who aren’t experts in day-to-day operations.

Once a business has RPA running smoothly through its Center of Excellence (CoE), leveraging citizen developers can play a breakthrough role in unlocking a new level of efficiency, agility, and resiliency.

From automation to hyperautomation in six critical steps

Optimally, the journey to company-wide hyperautomation involves six critical steps:

Step 1: CoE-driven automation for the company at large. 

RPA journeys typically start with a top-down approach, with a centralized CoE using unattended bots to solve well-known bottlenecks. Automations are chosen based on their potential for delivering huge impact and ROI.

Step 2: CoE-driven attended automation. 

Digital transformation accelerates with CoEs providing attended bots that work alongside human workers on their desktops.

Step 3: Employees embrace RPA. 

Using automation helps employees realize its benefits and shatters natural skepticism about new technology. As excitement builds, employees want more – and start sharing ideas for other processes to automate.

Step 4: CoE turns employee ideas into automation. 

However, with limited time and resources, the CoE must analyze automation ideas and prioritize the ones with the biggest ROI. Without citizen developers, the cycle stops here – and many automations that can significantly improve employees’ work life are never realized.

Step 5: The breakthrough moment. 

Citizen developers are empowered to build automation ideas the CoE can’t deliver to improve their workflows.

For instance, an accountant spends an hour every day extracting data from various sources and plugging it into a spreadsheet for reconciliation. Automating that process for one person will never create a solid business case for a CoE. But if that accountant could automate the process on his or her own, investing six hours on StudioX to save an hour every day is a no-brainer.

The CoE checks and governs citizen developer automations to ensure they are safe and secure, making necessary tweaks and assessing whether each automation can benefit others.

Step 6: CoE delivers citizen developer automations to other employees. 

Employee-built automations with greater applications are delivered to multiple desktops on a small – and occasionally broader – scale. At global market research firm Nielsen, for instance, a citizen developer-built bot is now being used by 3,000 employees!

The challenges of scaling automation disappear as the cycle sustains itself and everyone is empowered to take part in the company’s digital transformation. The Enterprise Automation Flywheel from UiPath (Figure 1) visually describes how the consumption of automation leads to new ideas for automation, and ultimately how the creation of automations by end users can feed the program and spin the flywheel even faster.

accelerated-2 (1)

Figure 1 – Enterprise automation flywheel

Why you need citiz