Don’t drown in the RPA Sea of Opportunity.

Ensure your organisation’s preparations for RPA process discovery are watertight and ready for anything. Here are Skore’s recommendations for RPA process discovery success.

A previous blog (see here) explored the difficulties, especially in organisations new to RPA, in identifying good opportunities for implementing robots.

However, this blog focuses more on when you have some fantastic early success with RPA. Interestingly this leads to a number of different problems to consider:

  • how to quickly evaluate and prioritise the requests
  • how to collaborate with the requesting teams 
  • how to maintain the growing number of robots.

It was the perfect example to demonstrate that getting RPA process discovery right means this situation will happen sooner than you think. We recommend that you start thinking about the following early on in your RPA journey. 

Evaluate and prioritise requests

You will move from a hunting model to a servicing model. Instead of searching out for opportunities and candidates for RPA, you will be receiving requests from colleagues across the business.

Remember that very few people will have the experience you have in identifying these opportunities. Requests will vary from a near perfect fit to wildly unsuitable and will differ considerably in size and complexity. You won’t have time to do a thorough investigation into each one before deciding whether to engage or not. You need to make sure your team are as prepared as possible to evaluate these opportunities effectively. 

With a Digital Discovery tool, such as Skore, you can quickly capture a high level view of the process. By applying Skore’s Robotic Assess, you can determine suitability, feasibility and the potential business case.

Invoice Process Map

This can be done in a single conversation with the requesting team, or, you can even ask them to do it themselves.

The information is saved directly to the system and a pipeline of candidates is produced and ranked according to the potential benefits. Process discovery and evaluation is arguably the most important stage of the RPA model, do not underestimate it.

RPA Process Assessment

Collaboration with the business

From the time a request is submitted, until the robot is delivered, communication with the requesting team is essential. If you’re accepting requests and managing comms via email this is never going to scale.

Consider a task management tool such as Asana, Jira or Monday. These can be configured to accept requests electronically, manage projects and provide dashboards so that both the delivery team and the requesting team can see the status of the project at any time.

With the processes captured in Skore it’s very easy to indicate which steps are to be automated and tested. This can be exported to your task management tool to provide the framework to the project, if accepted.

Robot maintenance

Ongoing maintenance of robots is something that very few teams consider… until they need it. Very few robots can be built and forgotten. Robots are using systems and forms that can change. Robots themselves are software and will receive updates and improvements that need to be considered. Data used by the robots can change too.

Ensure that you maintain a catalogue of previously built robots and their current operating status. Use monitoring to notify you of potential issues that arise before they have a significant impact on the process. Plan maintenance windows to allow you to update robots as and when required.

Ultimately, robots are like any other system the organisation manages so it’s essential that you have clear processes to deal with outages, issues and general maintenance. Don’t undervalue this step in your RPA implementation plan. 


Get RPA right  and it has the impact to transform a business and it can happen quickly. When it does you need to be ready to take full advantage. Think early about how you’re going to scale production and maintenance and what tools you will use to plan, evaluate and review. This will save you a lot of trouble and lost opportunity when your RPA vision truly sets sail.

Skore Digital Discovery is cloud based software that enables you to align your people, processes and tools. A process discovery, insights and improvement platform with a live workshop tool, it reduces the capturing processes stage from weeks to days. Skore’s Robotic Assess module allows you to build robust business cases on RPA quickly and effortlessly. Sign up here for a demo. 

No Pains No Gains?

Should we start by capturing pains first in a process discovery workshop? Or are we just inflicting more pain on ourselves?

Last edited 01/10/2019

Too often we focus on the pain and not the process discovery. Typically people start with a ‘Pains’ session with subject matter experts followed by a series of process workshops.

However, how much pain and frustration do you create by completing this exercise? Time wasted discussing a pain that later turned out to be low priority or the really big problems that are dealt with that didn’t come out until later workshops. Of course by this stage you have already spent a lot of time and effort exploring solutions that were no longer relevant.

You may wonder why its done this way but the answer is predictable

 “we’ve always done it this way even though we know it’s the worst thing we can say!”

It’s not however,  just “pains” workshops where this happens,it is often seen with requirements gathering workshops. A team gathers around a flip chart and lists all the requirements / pains / risks etc that they believe are the most important. Yet when you dig into these they are either not as important as they first appeared, or those that didn’t seem important at first turn out to be the highest priority. This seems to be a common issue experienced in process workshops.  

Why does this happen?

Asking people what pains they experience, or what they require from a new system, are not easy questions to answer. On the face of it they appear straight forward. What do you not like about the current process? Sure you can answer that, but how you express it, how you perceive it, when it last happened to you and how you experience it are likely to be quite different to the next person.

It means that how you answer that question on any given day could result in a completely different answer. Combine this with a group of different people and you also have to contend with how loud someone talks, their individual personalities and the level of engagement in this particular session.

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman in his book ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’  describes ‘substitution’, a behaviour common in humans when faced with difficult to answer and ambiguous questions. The brain is inherently lazy and always finds the easiest way to answer a particular question. When asked about the pains you feel in a particular process you’re unlikely to think really deeply about this and will simply substitute an answer that you can easily remember – therefore the last thing that happened to you rather than the most painful thing.

Process Discovery
Image taken from Skore’s Digital Discovery Platform

How do we improve Process Discovery?

You must make it as easy as possible for people to express the pains they feel in context. This means creating a framework. A framework you can use to start with and which becomes the process to which the pains, or requirements, relate to as part of your process discovery.

Rather than starting with the pains session, it is important to start with defining and agreeing the process as it happens today. This provides a common language that the whole team can use. A common language to describe the pains in the same way, rather than multiple people describing the same pains in very different ways.

As the process is laid out it  will become easy for SMEs to describe pains and requirements in the context of the process. The prioritisation and sizing of the problem can then be captured live at the same time. This also makes it unnecessary for your team to have multiple workshops.

Skore Digital Discovery

At Skore we have specifically designed our platform to capture business processes live in workshops. Along with the process descriptions you can capture pain points and requirements, and quantify them, all in the context of the relevant step in the process. As the information is captured directly into the software there’s no need to take photos and write up notes afterward. It’s effortless as your pain points, requirements and quantification data are also stored in the same place so there are no more multiple spreadsheets.


Instead of starting with a pain points or requirements session, you need to start with capturing the process. This gives you the framework with which to have a much more meaningful conversation about the pains and requirements in context. The conversations are not only more focused but the whole exercise is much quicker, keeping subject matter experts more engaged and on board.

Skore Digital Discovery is a process capture, improvement and analysis platform designed to simplify the complexity. Click here to sign up for a free trial and find out more about how Skore can revolutionise the way you deal with processes and transformation in your organisation.

Can’t see the robots for the trees?

Make sure you are identifying the right RPA processes straightaway.

As soon as you get into RPA you can’t help but see opportunities for applying the technology everywhere. Although not every opportunity turns out to be suitable, it’s important to keep feeding the pipeline. 

The concept of using robots to automate manual activities is very simple. Logically it should be fairly simple to spot opportunities for using them. However, this whole area, despite the phenomenal growth in the RPA market, is still massively under exploited in most organisations.

Why is it so hard?

There are numerous reasons for this. Firstly RPA capability is still young and developing in most organisations and there is limited capacity to move quickly. Secondly, for many the value is yet to meet the promise, although when it undoubtedly does it will rapidly hit a tipping point. Finally, the workforce in general do not have the necessary skills, knowledge and information to spot relevant opportunities. It is vital that your organisation can identify the right RPA processes from the start.

Skore’s Experience.

Skore recently was contacted by a client working on compliance processes in Skore. It involved checking hundreds of PDF files to ensure the right data had been entered into the right fields. They could only check a sample each month which was about 1% of the total.

The client was aware of RPA, having seen it in action in their organisation, yet hadn’t spotted the opportunity to automate in their own department. It was only when they captured the reporting process and it came to life in Skore, that the light bulb moment arrived.

Identify RPA processes
Image taken from Skore’s Digital Discovery Platform

As they summarised –  “the problem is that we spend so much time down in the weeds. We’re focused on getting all this work finished everyday we don’t see the bigger picture.”

When the wider process was laid out visually, with highly manual and repeatable steps clearly highlighted, it was obvious that significant improvements could be made. When the time and cost data was added to Skore there was a clear business case too. Then they were able to identify the right RPA process.

A revolutionary change…

Although it was the significant time saving that was exciting the client, the benefits went way beyond. Suddenly their 1% sampling could become 100% of documents with the team free to follow up on those that failed the compliance check. This significantly reduced the risk of poor customer experience, regulatory fines and the resulting effect that would have on the business brand.

Despite the fact that the client was well aware of the capabilities of RPA they had found it difficult to spot opportunities for applying the technology. They were so focused on the day to day activities that they couldn’t see the difference between those that were highly standardised and repeatable and those that weren’t. It was by taking the time to capture these processes that the RPA need and benefits became clear.


To identify RPA opportunities we need to take a step back and look at our processes objectively. We must devote time to understand what the company needs, what our staff need and what our customers need. It is very easy to get lost in the detail and lose the bigger picture. RPA promises great benefits but only if we can commit to taking the time to identify the right processes to automate.

Skore’s cloud based Digital Discovery platform rapidly captures business processes and produces instant insights. The Robotic Assess module enables organisations to highlight process to automate and creates the business case to support them. 

Transformation implies big changes but does it really deliver?

The word transformation implies big changes. To achieve them businesses invest considerable time, effort and money. You are justified in expecting a sizeable return for all that effort.

However most businesses finish a transformation program having only achieved minor performance improvements or nothing at all.

Aims v Outcomes

It’s a sad fact that the word transformation often symbolises the amount of pain and effort a business goes through. It is rarely about the benefits intended. 

Businesses often plan to carry on working in the same way as before whilst transformation focus tends to be technology driven. This doesn’t work because new technology might make things faster but if you’re NOT doing the right thing in the first place, you end up doing the wrong things faster.

Your focus is on changing the tools the business is using, not enough on testing their original processes and changing the fundamental ways of working. 

What does this mean to you?

If your business is pinning hopes of survival on the outcomes of your major transformation project.. If they plan on carrying on doing what they’ve always done…If they just want  faster tools… They’ll just go out of business even faster.

What it means is that, once the dust has settled, all your team can hope for are marginal gains. Some of the steps in your processes are now automated, or you’ve pushed some tasks out to other employees. Simply you’ve moved the effort to another part of the business rather than truly transforming anything.

The original vision for the program got lost and instead of a 25% cost saving or a 37% revenue increase, it became focused on “we need to get the system implemented and working”.  

It’s all too easy to focus on the tangible aspects of the technology you are implementing and ignore the need for less tangible changes on how the business gets stuff done.

Those opportunities for genuine transformation haven’t gone away. You just didn’t go far enough with the change process.

How do you prevent this?

Time for discovery

Allocating ample time at the start of the project to undertake a thorough discovery exercise is vital. In order to understand the potential barriers, there must be a deep understanding of the current situation. This stage is not just about gathering detail about your current state and processes. It’s about engaging with people early, understanding their role, listening to their individual hopes and fears and learning what they know about ways to make your business better.

Raci Role Description

Image taken from Skore’s Digital Discovery Platform

Understand your ways of working and identify what’s holding you back.

Crucially, you need to understand what’s preventing it from being better and is holding you back. It might be the technology you use but more often it will be because things are done the way they’ve always been done with little consideration to how they could be done differently.

Work with the vendors to design your future

Armed with the knowledge of what slows things down you can start to design your future state processes to tackle these issues. If possible, do this with the vendor(s) of the platform being implemented. Alternatively, make sure your implementation partner has expertise in the technology and will follow these critical steps.

This is the point where you take what you think will make things better and marry it up with the capabilities of the new system. Without this you’ll simply be automating what you have always done.

Support your team in the new ways of working

When your new system is launched it should be in tandem with your new ways of working. Train your team on the ways of working and then on how the system supports them. Include the ‘why’ in the training so that your team have answers to the questions: 

Why are we doing it this way?

What are the outcomes I am expected to produce? 

Your training should show clearly how the new ways of working and technology achieve these outcomes.

Process cost Dashboard

Image taken from Skore’s Digital Discovery Platform


Transformation means just that. Transforming the way you and your business works. If you aren’t investing in the initial discovery and investigations, if you don’t know your own business processes; how can you expect to make successful changes? All too often the investment is in the final technology solution but if you don’t invest in your people and their processes you’ll never achieve it. Its all too easy to blame the term Transformation but change starts with you and your approach. 

The Skore Digital Discovery platform enables you to gather all the information you need during the discovery phase. Simply and quickly create a model of processes, people, systems and data in a single place that can be accessed and understood by everyone.

Skore’s simple approach means anyone can understand how the business works and how the new systems support it. It engages people in live workshops and interviews and allows your company to find the solutions that work for them.  

Why not request a free trial to see how you could deliver transformation right first time with Skore

Is RPA Just A Band Aid?

Are we postponing the inevitable with RPA and storing up problems for the future?

When applying RPA to a manual interface, between an old legacy system and a company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, often the instinct is to rip out the legacy system. To replace it with something more modern and efficient with the ability to integrate directly. However what is an issue today may be an advantage or opportunity tomorrow and vice versa. In other words, businesses need to be more agile so they can understand the nature of problems they face today and adapt and change for the problems they face in the future.

Making businesses agile is where RPA, and tools such as Skore’s Software platform, really come into their own. With mapping and analysis tools, an organisation can rapidly understand the current situation, align teams and get everyone on-board. It’s a completely different approach to traditional methods of discovery.

Image taken from Skore’s Robotic Assess Software Platform

Undertaking a major systems implementation may seem like the right answer today, for example, replacing a legacy system. However if it takes 12 – 18 months how can we be sure that it will be the right solution long-term?

This is where Process Discovery and RPA are so effective. Process capture workshops are fast, engaging and result in an agreed set of processes in a digital and shareable format.

Furthermore, process capturing should really be more than just ‘processes’. While a process acts as a framework for understanding how the organisation works, a mapping and analysis tool should allow you to augment the process with other information such as; roles, systems, data, duration and costs etc.

quantify questionnaire and what box

It allows you to create a more complete picture of how the organisation works. Enabling you to focus on what’s important right now.

This is why mapping and analysis fits so neatly with RPA. Robotic Process Automation allows you to quickly implement changes to, and vastly improve the performance of, how work gets done. There’s no need to run an 18 month implementation programme before you start seeing benefits. Benefits identified during process discovery can be implemented and realised with RPA within weeks or even days.

We recognise that many organisations are still using traditional methods of discovery to feed their RPA initiatives. But don’t be surprised when there’s a collective groan from your colleagues. If you really want to become truly agile you’ll need to abandon the old ways and marry your RPA programme with Digital Discovery. Only this way will you ensure that your RPA initiative is not just hiding problems for the future.

Skore has developed Robotic Assess, a Saas software solution that enables you and your organisation to rapidly discover and agree business processes, identify RPA opportunities and create a robust business case with clear ROI analysis. Find out more about what our Software Platform tool can do for you.

Are you getting Value For Money from RPA?

Don’t leave your RPA Business Case until its too late.

We’ve all been there…

How do we ensure we get value for money from RPA? It’s so easy to get carried away with a new toy, tearing open the box and emptying the contents all over the floor. Start sticking the lego blocks together before you’ve even unwrapped the instructions. Plugging in the new TV without opening the manual.

Disruptive new business technologies like Robotic Process Automation are just as exciting. Unlike the old Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems of the past, with RPA tools you can start implementing from day one.

However unlike the TV in your living room, RPA could have a profound effect on your business….. Or, it could not…… Are you really sure that you are going to get value for money from RPA?

If it’s not positioned correctly, if it doesn’t align with the organisation’s objectives, if it disrupts in a negative way or if it simply doesn’t deliver the expected benefits… It will be packed away in the cupboard to collect dust like all the broken toys and missing parts.

With RPA it’s essential you start thinking about the wider business case right from the get go. With the hype around the technology it won’t be long before you’re having to answer board level questions about that business case. You must be ready with the right answers as early as possible.

Starting to build the business case isn’t difficult

You don’t need to get hung up on a detailed business case at this point but putting a simple framework together now will provide a solid foundation. Skore recommends starting to build the foundation with the 4 Ps of Robotic Process Automation. This way you can start to ensure that you will get value for money from RPA.

P is for Process

Which processes are most likely to benefit from RPA? There’s a lot to choose from and the challenge will be selecting those that make a significant difference.

Are you simply pushing process inefficiencies downstream? Processes need to be considered end-to-end. If you apply RPA at one point in a process, what’s the impact on other areas?

Are there areas of the process that need to be improved before applying the technology? Automating a bad process means you’re just speeding up a bad process.

Take the time to make an inventory of possible candidate processes. Performing a high level review of those processes will quickly identify what can and should be automated. Document the volumes and costs of those processes today so you can start thinking about the benefits of automation immediately. With Skore’s Digital Discovery Platform you can rapidly capture and analyse key business processes and start building a business case straight away.

P is for Performance

What sort of performance improvement can you expect from implementing RPA? If you’ve followed the previous step you’ll already have a list of candidates and their current performance. Start to evaluate them to understand the scale of the improvement.

What improvements are you measuring? Improvements are not just about time savings you should also be considering speed, quality, volume, cost and customer or employee experience.

It needn’t be detailed but understanding the magnitude of the improvement will help when discussing the potential benefits of the technology.

P is for Prioritisation

Where do you start when you get the go ahead for the investment? Once you have catalogued the processes most suitable for RPA and understood the potential performance improvements this should be fairly straight forward.

Which strategic priorities will give you the largest gain for the smallest investment of time and money? Consider the organisation today and which performance improvements best align with those priorities. Priorities can change but having a good argument for why you have selected them with supporting evidence is essential.

P is for Plan

What is the impact on the existing human workforce? Applying RPA isn’t just about implementing robots and moving on to the next thing. Robotic Process Automation can have a significant impact on the way work happens in the organisation. RPA is an extension of your workforce so must be considered as such.

Are they ready for the change? How is work going to be reassigned? What new opportunities does this generate and how is that going to be exploited?

A lot of these questions can lead to unexpected benefits above and beyond simple cost and time saving. These will help strengthen the investment case and help with communications.

Finally, consider what happens 6 or 12 months from now? How do the robots you implement today stay relevant tomorrow? How are the processes maintained and improved over time?


RPA is an exciting technology with the potential to have a huge impact on modern organisations. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the technology and not consider the bigger picture. RPA is a strategic investment and needs to be considered as such as early as possible.

The Skore Robotic Assess module on the Skore Digital Discovery platform quickly identifies and documents end-to-end processes, assesses them for RPA suitability, calculates potential benefits and prioritise candidates. The platform has a user friendly interface with simple dashboards and clear analysis that can be presented as part of your business case.

Craig Willis is the Customer Success Director and one of the founders at Skore.

The Number 1 Reason RPA Projects Fail

How to stop RPA failure? Up to 50% of RPA projects fail during or after the initial implementation according to a recent Ernst and Young’s report. Unsurprisingly for many,  the main reason is that projects are IT led rather than by the business.

However this is not an IT problem, it’s a business problem. It is the business who has failed to engage with, or properly understand, the project and it is the business who has misaligned their strategy and processes.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology with strategic implications. Absolutely IT must play a significant part in any implementation but to achieve a truly transformational change to your bottom line, profits and customer experience the business must be in the driving seat.

So, how does the business become, and stay, engaged in such an important initiative? How to stop RPA failure?

Business benefits

RPA, in its simplest form, takes on many manual and repetitive tasks currently performed by humans.

More sophisticated RPA implementations can start to pick up more value adding work, often between multiple systems, where humans are performing manual interface activities such as moving data from one system to another. This is especially true when augmented with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Typically RPA should only be applied to parts of the process, significantly speeding it up and reducing errors. Very few full end-to-end processes are suitable for implementation of RPA.

Not investigating and entirely understanding your processes means potentially you are pushing the problem further along. The bottom line is that while RPA may have improved one part of the process, the rest continues to consume as much time and resources leading to little or no business benefit.

It is essential that the business leads the effort to understand the end-to-end business process. They must identify the parts most suitable for RPA and understand the impact on the rest of the process. Only this will ensure that a real and measurable improvement can be produced.

Business priorities

The old adage “when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” is common when any new and disruptive technology comes along and RPA is no exception. Once you start to look at your business through the RPA lense you’ll quickly identify many potential opportunities.

The key is, as above, to try and identify the true business benefits. It doesn’t have to be time consuming. The days of long discovery and analysis phases are coming to an end with the advent of new tools such as Skore’s Digital Discovery platform. This capture and analysis of end-to-end processes takes a fraction of the time compared to traditional methodologies.

This means the business can quickly understand the potential business benefits across multiple processes allowing a comparison and prioritisation of opportunities.

Once benefits are understood in terms of time and cost savings they can be compared to strategic business priorities to ensure that your RPA initiatives are clearly aligned to your business strategy.

How to stop RPA failure
Image taken from Skore’s Robotic Assess Module

Support for IT

IT will play a critical role in the success of any project.

To support IT ensure they have the necessary budget to deliver the expected benefits. Essentially however, they must also have access to the business expertise to ensure they can build the right solution.

Any work carried out to understand the processes and quantify the benefits should include representatives from IT. This means they are engaged early and fully understand the context of what you are asking them to provide. It will go a long way to preventing unexpected problems cropping up later in the project or after going live.


RPA promises to transform many businesses with rapid deployment, speed of operation and quality of output. However applied in the wrong place with the wrong motives it can quickly turn into an expensive project with no tangible benefits.

Follow our tips on how to stop RPA failure:

  • RPA projects should be led by the business to deliver tangible business benefits aligned with strategic priorities
  • Processes need to be understood holistically and the impact on non-automated parts properly understood – investment in this stage is vital
  • Keep IT engaged throughout to ensure everyone is fully aligned

Find out more about how Skore’s Digital Discovery platform and the Skore Robotic Assess module could help your business identify the right processes for automation. Skore’s software platform builds a prioritised portfolio of RPA opportunities based on robust ROI analysis.

Find Out More About Robotic Assess

Statistics taken from Ernst and Young’s recent report ‘Get Ready for Robots’ available here$FILE/ey-get-ready-for-robots.pdf

Alternative to Tibco Nimbus

What is Tibco Nimbus

Tibco Nimbus is an enterprise process documentation platform. First released in 1997, it was targeted at Quality Managers and grew to be used across many different sectors as a Business Process Management (BPM) platform. What set Tibco’s Nimbus platform apart from most other process tools at the time was its focus on process as a means to communicate across ALL areas of a business.

The Tibco Nimbus platform is still in use today across several large enterprises including Nestlé, Novartis and Chevron, among others. It is popular where other competing process platforms are too technical for the average user.

As an alternative to Tibco Nimbus, Skore has several key similarities as well as some significant improvements. The founding team at Skore worked closely with the Nimbus platform for many years and have considerable experience using it for process improvement, change and transformation.

It was this experience and some of the inherent weaknesses in Nimbus that led the team here to build Skore. It is not a direct alternative to Tibco Nimbus but those seeking a simple and user friendly approach to process will feel at home. If you are looking for something that’s more intuitive and provides more insights and analytics, to support process improvement initiatives, then Skore could well be a perfect fit.

The similarities

Both products share a common approach to process mapping based on IDEF0 functional modelling. This approach is documented and marketed by Tibco as the Universal Process Notation (UPN).

Mapping processes is designed to be very simple. Instead of a complex palette of descriptive shapes and symbols, as used by notations such as BPMN, it is based on a set of simple questions. What happens, who does it, when does it happen, why does it happen and how is it done?

Skore has simplified this technique further while maintaining maximum flexibility. Skore uses a What and Why box, with the key questions embedded, to make it even easier for a team to document processes.

The user interface has built in shortcuts so that each box can be added anywhere on the screen with the click of a button. This combination makes Skore a powerful workshop facilitation tool by removing the software as a barrier to process mapping. Workshop facilitators can now “map at the speed of conversation”.

Another similarity is in hierarchical modelling. While not unique to these tools they have both been specifically designed to make this as easy as possible. Process steps are deconstructed at the click of a button. The user is able to zoom in and out of the process model.

The differences

Skore has been built to make business transformation and process improvement easier and faster. Not only is the process modelling simplified but Skore also has built in analytical dashboards providing users with instant insights. Example dashboards include process costing, business case building, Lean and responsibility analysis, among others.

Tibco Nimbus is more focused on the management of content with associated approval, review, acknowledgement and change request workflows. While Skore also has the ability to manage process, with a built in approval workflow, it doesn’t have many of the additional workflows found in Nimbus.

Which one is for you?

If you are already using Tibco Nimbus and considering changing to something else Skore is an option. However, you need to be clear on your objectives. Skore is perfect if you are trying to create a more agile and innovative approach to process improvement. If you are trying to maintain a highly managed and strictly controlled process library with little flexibility then Skore is perhaps not the right platform.

If you are not yet using either software we highly recommend that you review our How Skore Works page and sign up for a free trial.

Start Your Free Trial of Skore

Go ahead and ask the obvious questions

You’ll probably save your business a significant amount of money!

This weekend we suffered a rare power outage at home. After checking the electricity, making sure all the switches were still on and no fuses had tripped us out, I concluded it must be a power cut. With candles and torches at the ready in case we were still powerless by nightfall, we settled down with the kids to play board games!

After an hour or two, I decided to check with our immediate neighbours, an older couple, they too were out of power. However, as the sun went down we spotted that one of the other neighbours had their lights on. Time to investigate!

It tuned out that only a handful of houses in the street were affected by the power cut. What’s more, nobody had actually called the electricity company to report it! Once we realised this, the call was made, an engineer was onsite within an hour and a temporary fix got us up and running.

The point being, as a collective, we all assumed that someone else would have reported the outage – but no one actually had!

How often does this sort of thing happen in your business?

Think of your IT team as the electricity company in our power outage. Everyone in your business expects them to come and fix problems when they occur. But what if nobody has told them there is a problem to fix?

On a recent project, the client complained that their IT system couldn’t record vital information. Instead they were documenting it manually in a spreadsheet which was then attached to a record. As you can imagine, this took a lot of extra time and made accurately reporting that data, really quite tedious.

Another example, for a different client, found a one team using a HR system which didn’t afford them the necessary access rights to record key information. As a result, they had devised an elaborate (and time consuming) workaround. Personal information was typed into a notes field, a screen shot was taken of the record and the information was deleted from the notes field. The screenshot was added to a password protected file that was, eventually, uploaded against the employee’s record. A lengthy, frustrating, not to mention costly, exercise which staff completed with a sigh of…

“If only the system did this in a better way”.

(As an aside I bet you’ve either heard that said in your organisation or said it yourself!).

What both these scenarios have in common is that the affected teams assumed that the IT team knew there was a problem and couldn’t do anything to help.

In actual fact, further investigations revealed that, in the first case nobody had asked for the additional fields to be added to the system. In the second case, again, no ticket had ever been raised requesting a change to access rights for the specific record type.

It was during the Skore discovery exercise, that these issues were quickly identified. And because the Skore approach is so effective at communicating across different domains, for example between the operational part of the business and the IT team, the IT team quickly recognised what the problem was AND the pain it was causing for users.

What’s more, in both cases the IT Teams were surprised, and almost apologetic, that the users had been putting up with the issues for so long. Cases were raised, fixes implemented relatively quickly, and life was made easier for everyone.

Based on these example, I have a challenge for you. Think about how many issues you deal with, on a daily basis, that are just SO obvious you assume either someone else will fix it, or that there is no fix? Then find out, what is being done to fix them.

The chances are the right people haven’t even been told about it. No wonder nothing has happened!

What is Digital Discovery?

What is Digital Discovery

Have you ever been a buyer of software technology in your company? Or been on the receiving end of a software implementation? The chances are that the first time you interacted with the delivery team was stood around a whiteboard, or worse still, brown paper stuck to the wall with a handful of sticky notes. It was discovery, but not digital discovery.

For vendors of the latest technology it is still surprising that so many start their hitech delivery with such a low tech introduction. As an approach to requirements gathering, using pen and paper is vigorously defended. It is somewhat reminiscent of the music industry at the advent of streaming, or the camera film industry at the development of the digital camera.

At the very beginning of a tech implementation hopes are high, there is plenty of enthusiasm and a desire to get going. And then comes the implementation. Timescales over run, people forget the original goal, goodwill dwindles and by the time the solution is delivered it no longer fits the requirements, or it completely missed them.

The solution to this is not just speed but a better understanding of the client’s business and how it works. This all starts right at the beginning, with those initial digital discovery sessions.

The need for Digital Discovery

There are a number of key factors for getting discovery right; speed, engagement and accuracy. Speed is important as those taking part typically have a day job to get back to. They are prepared to take time out to support the initiative but they need to feel they were able to contribute as much as possible. Furthermore, they expect to see results quickly. The longer it takes between interactions the less engaged participants feel.

Engagement is essential to getting teams to buy into any change. While everyone may be aligned at the start it is important to keep them engaged throughout the program. Engagement is as much about contribution as it is to do with speed. Participants need to feel they have had their say. In fact it is essential that everyone does have their say as this is where some of the most important insights will come from.

Accuracy of the information gathered is, again, essential for ensuring the right requirements are delivered in the solution. But also for ensuring the team remain engaged, a participant will quickly realise if something they have shared is misrepresented in some way. They may not always point that out and engagement is damaged as a result.

Successful discovery is a balancing act between these three factors and yet traditional, manual, discovery work typically consists of long workshops writing, moving, rewriting and moving sticky notes around a board. At the end of the workshop photos are taken and scribed into a digital format and shared with the team days, or even weeks later, if at all. There follows several rounds of review and finalisation, taking more time out of people’s busy calendars.

Digital discovery involves capturing the information directly into a digital tool such as Skore. Participants describe their ways of working and these are transcribed there and then. Digital Discovery provides a number of benefits here; firstly the approach is structured so that it is standardised across all workshops regardless of the facilitator. Secondly, the tool makes it much faster to change things allowing participants to focus on the flow of work and reduces distractions and loss of concentration. Finally, the information captured can be agreed in the workshop and shared instantly with wider audiences as required.

The added benefits of the Skore Digital Discovery approach

One of the key benefits of using a digital discovery approach is how it helps uncover hidden issues and unexpected benefits. While the Skore approach is fast it also provides a framework that allows users to zoom in and out of the detail.

This puts the work the team are doing, and therefore their requirements, into the wider context of the business. It allows participants to easily explore other contributing, or receiving, areas of the business. It opens up new possibilities and highlights further requirements that typically get missed in traditional discovery sessions.

Understanding this wider context ensures that the business considers how appropriate these processes are for the technology that’s coming. It shines a light on changes, both process and organisational, that need to be made in order to make the implementation successful.

For the implementation partner it allows them to build a more complete solution and deliver more value to the customer. They understand the customer’s business at a much deeper level and therefore develop a longer and more meaningful relationship as trusted advisors.

Win win

Using a digital discovery approach is a win-win for both tech implementers and the receiving customers. For the implementers it allows them to grow with their customer over the long term and become a real value adding partner. For the customer it helps ensure they realise their return on investment quicker and grow their business faster.

If you would like to try Skore Digital Discovery request your free trial here.