#9 Interviewing RPA Industry Leaders and Practitioners – Matt Dunn

I have Matt Dunn with us to share his thoughts on the Robotic Process Automation adoption.

It’s my pleasure to have him here and would like to thank him for sharing his perspective 🙂

Matt Dunn

Here is a short Bio:

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, after a ten year stint in London, Matt now lives with his family on the South Coast NSW in Australia .

When he’s not working he enjoys going to live music events, playing golf, fishing and yoga.

Automation isn’t just a feature of his work, there’s not a lot in his house that isn’t on a timer sequence or voice-controlled. He’s still working out the voice control (with varying success) of his two children…

Having studied a combination of commerce and programming his career has moved from analytics to management consulting and most recently he has joined his former management consulting colleague to form Aquiliti, a start-up that focuses using technology to help solve many of the problems seen again and again in their consulting careers.

Small Talk

Sharath Raju:
We would like to know about your RPA journey?
Matt Dunn
It started nearly 20 years ago in my first job at the International Data Corporation in London where there was a lot of manual manipulation of large volumes of data required to produce the weekly PC price benchmarking database.

Using VB programming that I’d studied after university, I turned what was a four-day-a-week task into half an hour of code running on the data to get the same result. Because of this I was able to branch out into other more creative areas of the product offering which were a lot more fulfilling.

I’ve used code wherever possible since then and three years ago went to a dinner presentation of one of the RPA vendors and the penny dropped – this had so much application beyond the data-heavy tasks that I’d witnessed as a management consultant.

Sharath Raju:
How to choose a successful pilot project?
Matt Dunn
Our approach is:

  • Gather and familiarise a representative group of decision-makers in the organisation with the possibilities with RPA
  • Armed with this information they should return to their departments to identify a few likely projects for automation
  • Reconvene the group a week later in a workshop environment to discuss which of these processes is the best candidate as a pilot project
  • Importantly, the automation team should go and see these top two or three projects being done in real life to validate the theory (following the Toyota principle of  “Genchi Genbutsu” translated as “go and see for yourself”
  • A balance of ease of automation, volume of transactions and value of automation should be reviewed (Aquiliti has a method for evaluating these) to deliver maximum value in the shortest amount of time. Quite often the process chosen was suspected to be an obvious candidate in the initial meeting (see point 1) but it’s important to validate the detail.

Sharath Raju:
What is the biggest mistake that we end up doing while adopting RPA? 
Matt Dunn
The big bang approach. RPA is a big change in the way that businesses operate which needs to follow a logical scaling process with good change management. Start small and scale fast using the success of a pilot project to build on.

Following the above 5 step approach to start with allows an organisation to employ much of Kotter’s suggested steps for successful change (including: form a powerful coalition, create a vision for change, create short-term wins and subsequently to build on the change)

Sharath Raju:
What would be your advice for young developers trying for an RPA developer job?
Matt Dunn
Stay curious – the technology is evolving rapidly so it’s good to be involved by signing up to relevant message boards, LinkedIn groups and sites like Techcrunch, ProductHunt and Hacker News (https://news.ycombinator.com/show) to understand what’s coming next. RPA platforms are making themselves more available so try them out and select the one that you think is most user friendly, extensible and functional – some offer free community editions and free online training which makes learning accessible to anyone with access to a PC and the internet!

Sharath Raju:
We would like to hear about the future of RPA from you…
Matt Dunn
The top three platforms will continue to evolve to include more powerful AI functions more easily (drag and drop implementation in your workflows). Microsoft’s recent announcement of their entry to the market could have a significant impact if they follow the path that they did with Power BI – invest to dominate.

Their Azure platform gives them a unique advantage in the ready access to Azure AI functionality and an established virtual environment that is already widely deployed.

With this there will also be a shift from the developers doing the programming to more user-developed automation as a result of the increasing simplicity in the automation platforms. One step closer to the “robot on every desktop” vision of the RPA software leading companies.

You can connect with Matt Dunn, he is always happy to help 🙂
Click here to connect with him on LinkedIn  

I hope you enjoyed the post!!!  

And if you think you or your management has some thoughts on RPA that you would like to share with the hundreds and thousands of people out there and be helpful…
Let’s have a small talk 🙂   Connect with me on LinkedIn or you can email me at sharathkumarraju@gmail.com

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