At a recent event, a large retail customer of K2 provided insights into how they scaled their business process automation efforts by creating a Center of Excellence that would go above and beyond what would have been possible with just a core team in IT.
The organization, which set out to undergo a digital transformation with K2, initially assigned a team of five individuals within the Information Technology group to oversee workflow automation on the low-code platform. But it soon became apparent that they needed to build out a program that would allow more than just the core team to identify process problems and build business applications to solve them. They developed a “citizen developer” community that allowed them to scale automation efforts by enabling the business while providing them the tools to be successful. The core team responsible for K2 took three steps to build out this Center of Excellence (COE) and ensure its success:
1. Maintain and manage the K2 business process automation platform
Before inviting others to use the K2 platform, the team first had to ensure it complied with the company’s IT governance principles and operating requirements. This included making sure upgrades and patches to the software were up-to-date and that integration points were accessible and documented. Additionally, from an IT perspective, the team had to ensure that broad infrastructure concerns were addressed to support availability and accessibility across the company.
2. Support the citizen developers
The team established baseline criteria to join the team of citizen developers: if an individual was able to create Excel macros, then they were at an appropriate level to build out workflows using K2’s low-code platform. The team then provided these citizen developers, usually Product Managers or Business Analysts, with the appropriate training and guidance to build workflows for departmental needs.
3. Collaborate with business units
Most significantly, the COE team partnered with business units to help ensure end-to-end assessment and deployment success. This included:
What are the business objectives and all steps needed to create a comprehensive workflow?
Sometimes K2 may not be the best fit for a business need, so the team may provide alternative solutions to address business problems.
Duplication of efforts
With a comprehensive view of how K2 is used throughout the company, the COE can identify workflow components or perhaps entire existing workflows that may address the needs of another business unit, eliminating the need to start from scratch.
Quantifying business value
If business justification is needed, the COE can provide an intake form based on previous ROI measurements that help tabulate estimated savings based on the reduction of time spent on previous manual tasks.
Prototyping and data integration
The COE works with the citizen developer community to bring their workflow to market by assisting with underlying methods and integration points, so they have a baseline understanding of what needs to be built out. The team also mentors these individuals on an ongoing basis to build their skills to be proficient Nintex K2 Workflow designers.
With close to 5,000 end users touching workflows across eleven business units, it’s clear why a COE model has helped this company achieve success in realizing business value with K2. One of their more significant early projects was the development of a supply chain workflow that identified and tracked miss-delivered cartons that quite frequently would end up at the wrong store. This eventually assisted them in developing a more robust inventory tracking system.
If you face challenges as a K2 user addressing how to scale out your limited resources, you may want to take a look at how you can support a citizen developer community and provide your expertise to manage your workload.