As companies look to drive process excellence to drive efficiency, business leaders are presented with a unique challenge: building an automation-ready business culture from the ground up that actually works. In addition, businesses will continue to be influenced by remote working and the use of virtual collaboration tools. The situation was no different for a major international car manufacturer, which was seeking to align its business priorities and IT to save costs and embark on a transformation journey to establish a process excellence program to maintain and scale process efficiency opportunities. One lever was quickly identified: intelligent automation (IA). The challenge: many employees were not aware of IA tools that currently exist and their benefits. In addition, the company needed to have alignment on the business and IT side to come up with the right use cases and communicate the benefits of eliminating repetitive and tedious tasks vs. a classical cost-cutting program. For this reason, we held a virtual Intelligent Automation Day with the client as a starting point to identify these use cases.
IA Day methodology
For this, and many other potential clients, an IA Day is tailored to focus on the challenges that clients are facing, including establishing or scaling up an IA program, developing a use case backlog of intelligent automation opportunities, and mobilizing and educating relevant stakeholders. Client stakeholders who are involved in varying processes and departments should be included to uncover potential IA opportunities throughout the business. Ultimately, the result of an intelligent automation day program is to create concrete momentum on a process improvement program to drive efficiencies through intelligent automation tools (i.e. process mining, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence) and to generate a prioritized list of potential use cases for our clients to optimize and automate their business processes.
Spanning four hours a day, the workshop is split over two days, involved elements that keep participants highly engaged. Although originally planned as an in-person event/workshop, our IA day approach has been adapted to a virtual setting which can still incorporate a collaborative approach through the use of virtual tools. In a virtual setting, the latest virtual whiteboard-technology, (in our example we used Mural), is used within our breakout sessions. For instance, Mural is leveraged to conduct a virtual icebreaker session to familiarize the participants of the subgroups with each other, facilitate a virtual group sharing activity on everyone’s expectations of potential benefits and challenges of IA, and, most importantly, leverage the virtual whiteboarding capabilities to display our use case creation in live time.
Day 1 is focused on inspiration, starting with a focused overview on intelligent automation for business stakeholders. This begins with a set of inspirational speeches by executive sponsors from both Capgemini and the client, in order to highlight the benefits of process optimization and automation. In addition, a success story is introduced from one of our previous clients who has successfully embarked on their intelligent automation journey, which helps to show a tangible view of a successful intelligent automation journey and outlines the quantitative and qualitative successes in addition to the challenges and lessons learned along the way. Following this, larger group sessions that primarily serves to educate the participants about the broad potential of intelligent automation, participants are broken up into smaller groups that align with the different business groups within the client. (i.e., marketing, sales, finance, etc.)
During the subsequent breakout sessions, our IA experts introduce the important concepts of intelligent automation across process mining, RPA, and AI and help the participants gain a perspective on transformation potential. Moreover, cross-industry use cases are presented to showcase the benefits of intelligent automation tailored to client and the specific business group within the breakout session.
The second day is dedicated to ideation within the breakout groups. Participants have a dedicated time to individually ideate potential IA use cases while being guided by our automation SMEs. Then, as a team, we prioritize the use cases based on the potential value they could bring to the employee and company. Following this, participants regroup the breakout sessions and conduct a “shark tank” style session with the larger team where client management comes in as evaluators to further prioritize and rate the use cases. Finally, based on the use case prioritization, a clear roadmap is defined for the implementation and execution of the selected use cases. This leaves the executive sponsors and stakeholders who participated excited to see that their ideas that were generated are able to be implemented in a short period of time.
After two days of inspiration and ideation related to intelligent automation, a host of potential use cases are generated across all business groups within the organization along with a preliminary roadmap of prioritized intelligent automation use cases to begin implementation on. To fully vet all of the use cases generated, the momentum of IA day is continued by gathering further quantitative details (i.e., time savings, implementation costs) and qualitative considerations (i.e., bringing together siloed business groups) to establish a definite value cases for the use cases generation on IA day.
With our IA day at a major international car manufacturer, our Capgemini Invent and Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) teams partnered with the client on this journey by hosting the Intelligent Automation Day virtually, witnessed by over 240 participants at the kickoff and executed by 57 IA ambassadors in the breakout session. In terms of results, the workshop generated 78 high-level use cases, with a strong pipeline of 24 use cases with a positive ROI < one year which result in significant savings through the deployment of intelligent automation.
Although originally conceived as a concept for IA, this workshop approach can be broadened to more general process excellence and optimization opportunities. As evidenced by our interactions with several clients, the challenges that clients are facing are unique and request a tailored approach to foster ideation of use cases that will be valuable to them and are in unison with their process improvement and automation journey. Whether the focus is on traditional process discovery through the application of our EOSAR process improvement methodology, data-driven process mining, automation development (RPA, AI, etc.), we are able to create a personalized workshop approach which focuses on education, use-case reference, and ideation of topics that are relevant to our client.
Head of Intelligent Operations & Corporate Functions