Building a CoE for a successful Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) Journey: People, Automation & Strategy

K1 Digital has partnered with important players in the financial sector to tackle new challenges in the implementation of intelligent process automation (IPA) at scale and deliver fast bold business results, as these new technologies have already proved to increase efficiency at a significant level and bring real value to organizations

As most new and innovative technologies, IPA is evolving at an accelerated rate and one of the chosen responses for large organizations is to build an Automation Center of Excellence (ACoE). Such an initiative can help a company create a new digital culture throughout the organization, that can give guidance for an end-to-end transformation and broader long-term results. 

Designing and implementing ACoEs always require overcoming jointly organizational and technical challenges which eventually lead the whole team to achieving desired results, both in terms of the financial and human performance success.

Ideation process of creating a ACoE has to go through few crucial phases, which are mainly identifying critical success factors and risks associated, as well as infrastructure and technical requirements for each of the process. A team has to also define particular roles and their responsibilities in order to set a CoE’s structure within an organisation. Following, the most demanding and important work has to be performed – process mapping. K1 Digital provides all needed training in order to equip people with solid understanding of the whole initiative, as well as knowledge and tools how to perform this complex task.

Below we formulated key lessons learned from our experience in collaborating with clients on building ACoEs, which in our opinion are crucial best practices that contributes to the overall success.

  1. From the very beginning set-up a broader vision of digital transformation and align it to organization’s strategic goals addressing its full potential of benefits.
  2. Don’t miss out the organization’s specific culture and own way of operating to establish as early as possible an effective Governance Model framework that provides direction and motivation. It must also determine participation and cooperation among different business units, aligning their needs and objectives and establishing the criteria for managing and prioritizing the development of IA solutions (considering solution´s potential benefits versus their related complexity). That should be applied in a very transparent way throughout the overall organizational.
  3. Top Leadership sponsors must actively participate in supporting the IPA Roadmap and the ACoE development, through promoting joining forces among the team in order to achieve common benefits, giving empowerment and reinforcement.
  4. Identify, organize and train a multiskilled teams, gathering the best talented people in intelligent automation technologies, such as: solution architects, specialists that can proactively manage organizational change and workforce reskilling, business process managers (BPM) and process design specialists, who knows the business processes and can set the best standards for end-to-end processes and KPIs.
  5. The integration with an IT department will always be critical for ACoE success, as the IPA footprint grows along the organization. Starting from due diligence with business units to IPA solutions deployment, there must be a complete coordination and integration between the two structures considering functions like infrastructure management, operational teams, security and policies compliance.
  6. Make a key function of the ACoE to monitor business metrics and performance goals continuously against targets.
  7. As technologies are constantly evolving, it is mandatory to keep on looking for new deployable solutions and a continuous innovation practice.

A fundamental insight in building a Center of Excellence is that people involved in the such a project must understand automation benefits and how they will be integrated into the new digital business process model.

The biggest challenge with this emerging technologies is that the change is happening much faster than in the past. Having that in mind, a team of experts from the ACoE need present a holistic approach in order to give a needed support for operational planning, organizational redesign and overall process transformation.

If you see a potential for business process automation in your organisation, consider designing an Automation Center of Excellence within company’s structure. Should you like to know more about best practices of setting up a ACoE, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Leave a message though a contact form below, or write us directly at