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Human-machines (bots) Interaction Design: Why so crucial for TECH effectiveness and Culture?

The first wave of topics discussed, about machines, robots, and AI, expressed excitement from science and almost immediate concerns about people’s substitution in the workplace with technology plus ethics.

More recently, there has been an increase in arguments related to humans & technology integrations, including the fact that there are risks for these integrations coming from some companies’ approaches.

The first approach is related to the missed consideration of creating knowledge and optimising the integration as shared knowledge while considering processes only to get automation benefits.

The second approach is to analyse processes to substitute humans. Yes, because substituting people entirely is a not looking forward strategy. New tech development will leave out the humans’ capabilities to guide, feed knowledge and primarily support tech. Tech will never be responsive 100%, as the completion of automated processes is made possible by human activity.

Discussions among authors who consider the present integration levels between people and automation at work can be summarised in an imbalanced low knowledge level for automation and a juvenile enthusiasm for technology.

Integration Design.

The wrong assumption is that design is achieved when you analyse, and determine feasibility, and citizen developers teach bots the rules to automatize workflows and implementation. It looks taken for granted that these are part of a design and evaluation of these interactions when showing that some processes with some characteristics can work together.

Design and mapping the fundamental interactions need to consider humans as supervisors of processes and control, creating a fundamental element of connection.

Some possible examples?

· Using data to better decision-making support strategies and tactics

· Activate and plan the use of TECH

· Like aeroplanes, using the automatic “pilot” when it is appropriate

· Use learning by experience to improve effectiveness and further work efficiency.

What are other reasons to make integration design necessary?

1. Human-centred design helps increase motivation and improve technology’s efficiency and effectiveness when bots take into account human and not only business preferences and needs

2. It can also assist in increasing the adoption and use of technology by building trust and confidence: citizen development and adaptation to human needs represent less resistance and more engagement during a change.

3. There could be a paradox between automation as optimisation of business processes and the flexibility required in this changing business environment: RPA’s efficiency during and after future changes. For RPA to be effective, the workflows may have to be adjusted, looking forward to the continuous due normalisation process. (adaptation to the changing business environment)

4. Scalability needs and opportunities. Related to the flexibility concept, if point 3 is not enough or calls for additional processes and robots, the design help to establish a way to easily scale, avoiding disruption.

5. Digital competencies should focus better on interactions between humans and tech before assessing operators’ knowledge and skills. Driving the development and refinement of control systems and interfaces from the workforce.

What is the impact of Human-technology RPA design on Culture?

  • Human-centric approaches (points 1,2) support further the adoption of technology through behaviours for innovation and adaptation. Enhancing the bottom-up approach fuels values supporting change and innovation

  • Flexibility accepted and recognised as the start of a PRA through design and maintained through normalising and scaling ( Point 2,4) allows the values supporting change and innovation to be coherent with company culture.

  • Learning and experimentation culture elements (point 5) stimulate and support employees in this double-loop learning methodology, especially with digital/automation applications. Where is the learning curve experience based on using digital to be efficient and more customer-centric?


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