Leadership Insights podcast | episode 7
Outperform competitors with automation
Leadership Insights podcast
Nintex Chief Customer Officer, Josh Waldo joins Nintex CEO Eric Johnson for the seventh episode of the Leadership Insights podcast. The two discuss the new Process Automation Maturity Model which is designed to help your organization answer a few key questions such as:
- How are leading companies driving more scalable process improvement to make a strategic impact on the organization?
- How can we enable our organization to perform better or faster than our competitors?
- How can I help my leadership understand the value of process discovery, improvement, and automation?
Nintex Chief Customer Officer
0:03 | With me on the podcast today, I have Josh Waldo who is the Chief Customer Officer here at Nintex. Josh and I will be focusing on a new and exciting Process Automation Maturity Model. But before we dive in, let’s give him a chance to introduce himself.
0:18 | Hey, Eric, thanks for having me on the podcast. So quick introduction. So I joined Nintex around October 2014. And I currently serve as the Chief Customer Officer. My team comprises the customer success engagement team, which are the customer success managers and customer adoption managers work with our top clients and top customers to help them to get the most out of their purchase. Also customer support and that’s kind of the reactive nature of customer success. Professional services, so billable professional services and implementation services, and then customer success programs, which are really our scale engines like Nintex University, Nintex Community a lot of the content creation, to help customers do well with what they purchase from Nintex. And our focus really is to help customers be successful, really through increasing their adoption of Nintex to drive those outcomes that are super important to them.
1:14 | Great. Thanks, Josh. We’re happy that you’re joining today. Let’s talk about the new Process Automation Maturity Model by Nintex. As many of us know there are maturity models for various disciplines and the Nintex maturity model focuses on process excellence, intelligence, and most importantly, automation. Josh, can you provide more context on this initiative?
1:35 | Absolutely. Eric. So, you know, before we get into that, I mean, let me ask you a quick question. So how many times have you visited our customers over the years, and really heard about the cool stuff that they’re doing with our technology?
1:47 | Wow, you know, Josh, the tables have turned, you’re asking me questions now? Well, I’ll tell you on that one is that I couldn’t even quantify it, you know. I’m out in the field of time, have all these conversations over the years, you know, so many, many times, you know, it’s just amazing to see what our customers do with Nintex. You know, it’s everything from automating something as simple as a vacation approval process. Or it could be really sophisticated, fairly complex process, and industry specific, like us, FDA drug approval trials, those types of things. You know, whether they’re simple, or they’re complex, like drug trial approvals, and everything in between, that’s what we help people with and help organizations with here at Nintex.
2:29 | Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve been in a lot of the same conversations, and many of my own as well. And it’s just incredible to see the outcomes from just the use of automation technology. I mean, there’s so much you can do with it, that the scenarios just really seem limitless. And I’m sure you’ve been in some of these conversations as well. But it’s also incredible to see how customers respond to the challenges of implementing change in their organizations, which sometimes can be more complex than actually creating the solutions to automate processes. And we have some incredible examples from customers on the topic. And I guess what wows me even more, is not only what our customers do with our technology and our partners who support them. It’s also how they structure a scalable but reliable framework or model to implement change across their organizations – that is sustainable. To me, it has a much more strategic impact on the organization and on the company or the agency, versus only a set of point solutions to solve, you know, super important but fairly tactical problems.
3:39 | Absolutely. This is a recurring conversation with customers. And many have asked me for examples of what other customers do. Can you help us with that, Josh?
3:46 | Oh, yeah, absolutely. Eric. So you know, one example I can think of right off the top of my head is GM Financial. So GM Financial has created what they call a Process Excellence team, a global process automation team, a robotic process automation team, or an RPA team, and a global automation controls team. They have also created a center of excellence, which includes what they termed it as a community of practice. And this, this really helps users. So it focuses on enabling various roles around the company to self-empower against the various automation or process improvement opportunities. So they provide the tools for automation and the training/enablement to make things happen. So that you can get an army of people all bought in and marching towards the same culture, which is a culture of process improvement.
4:39 | They also kind of provide that right level of governance to ensure the quality, you know, things like security of the solutions that are built. And this is just one example. I mean, we have I think we have a really unique vantage point in that we can see what customers are doing, and then be in a position to share that with others and honestly, that’s what why we created the Process Automation Maturity Model. We’ve done this with the aim to help customers be successful not only with the software that they’re buying from us, but in addressing the challenges associated to implementing change.
5:15 | Josh, that’s a great point. No, it’s not just about the software. And that’s something we believe in passionately here in Nintex. It’s about the whole process. It’s about managing change. It’s about how you get people to work together. And so that just makes total sense. Josh, why don’t you describe the model for everyone?
5:28 | Yeah, no problem. So the maturity model aims to answer some key questions, for example, like, how are leading companies driving more scalable process improvement to make a strategic impact on the organization? How can we enable our organization to perform better or faster than our competitors? And then like, how can I help my leadership understand the value of process discovery, improvement, and automation.
5:55 | So what we’ve built as the maturity model, an index and a benchmarking tool, to help organizations adopt that right approach to automating processes. Depending on you know, the complexity of their organization, and all the other various factors. So the premise of this, it’s based on three key pillars, which is really focused on strategically achieving positive change in an organization as it relates to you know, process improvement.
6:21 | So of those pillars, the first one is, you know, process visibility, which is to really understand what your processes even are and how efficient they are, or they’re not. Process automation is then a significant improvement methodology to make things more efficient and effective. And then process improvement are the outcomes from that presumably positive change, that automation can have an impact on and also the ability to measure that, that ROI and tweak those processes and optimize those moving forward. So based on that premise, what we did was we worked with a number of our customers to validate what we call the four stages in the maturity model. So this isn’t, you know, Nintex coming up with this kind of ivory tower perspective, this is really coming from our customers. And what we’re doing is we’re putting it together in a model that will be useful for other customers.
7:16 | So the four stages of the maturity model, I can describe those really quick. And then there’s 14 unique attributes that were deemed to be super important by our customers, and where a customer can rank themselves against those four stages. So the four stages, the stage one, it’s all about initiating those first setup process automation projects. And this typically is fueled by a specific need or set of needs. And this is typically how customers get started with their process automation journey. It’s usually based on something that’s very immediate. And that’s what we consider the early stage of kind of process maturity. The second stage is all about ramping up the organization’s automation capabilities. And we actually call that the ramp stage. Typically, that happens with low code tools. Because people realize the power that they have, and how fast they can deploy change. They start realizing the power that they have at their fingertips. And stage three, we call accelerate, it’s all about accelerating the delivery of automation, from more of a shared services model, or something that’s a bit more organized, typically in the IT organization. And then stage four is about when organizations achieve an effective scaled approach to those three pillars, visibility, improvement and automation by more of a decentralized framework, but a governed framework. And that’s where, you know, a customer has incredible top leadership support, they’re well-funded to do this. And they’ve got a really good effective model. The cool thing is you can use that maturity model in the index to rank your own level process automation maturity, and determine some tangible things you can do to improve.
9:02 | Josh, can you give us an example of a few attributes?
9:05 | Sure thing. So you know, there’s different types of attributes I mentioned, there are 14. So for example, there’s very quantitative attributes like how many processes are currently automated in the organization? Or how many are visible and mapped? What are the number of you know, departments impacted, benefiting from process automation? And then there’s more qualitative attributes like how connected are the company’s processes and how smoothly are they operating? Or does process automation technology even have strong executive sponsorship within an organization?
9:39 | Great, hopefully everyone is following along, but please know we will link the guide in the podcast notes or you can always access it from the podcast page found on nintex.com forward slash leadership, dash insights. This will give you a visual reference to follow as you’re listening. Josh, can you apply the four stage level grading methodology to an example attribute to help our listeners with this evaluation at their own org.
10:07 | Yeah, no problem. So let’s break down the 14th attribute which is focused on process automation executive sponsorship specifically. So a company can be in one of the four stages with executive sponsorship, executive sponsorship being that 14th attribute. So stage one is the Initiate phase. At this point, there is essentially no executive sponsorship – there might not be a need for any executive sponsorship, when somebody is just deploying a set of point solutions. In the ramp stage, executive sponsorship is typically aligned to the you know, the use of one leader in an organization. And we’ve seen that a lot in IT or in different operations functions within a department. Stage three, we call accelerate. And this is when executive sponsorship gets bigger. And it’s typically aligned to a larger initiative that could span multiple divisions or departments. And then at stage four, which we consider the most mature level, that’s the scale stage. That’s where we have basically collective buy in across multiple senior leaders. And we have strong company or organization leadership at what we consider the senior leadership level. And this is a good time to also note that each attribute may rank in a different stage than other attributes. So you know, for example, you could be in stage two in one attribute. But on another attribute, you could be in stage four. So you might be really low in executive sponsorship, or high in executive sponsorship, but you might be really high or low in the number of processes that are visible or mapped. All these things come together through the index and give you a total score based on the various things. And what’s cool is then you’ve got an idea of where you could kind of ramp up your focus to be more effective as an organization.
11:59 | I follow you, Josh. Well, this is really exciting to see. And we hope it’s a valuable resource for those looking to start their automation journey, accelerate their automation initiatives, or optimize their already automated processes. No matter where you sit on your process automation maturity journey, this guide will hopefully extend your automation investments further. Josh, is there anything else you want our listeners to know about this new guide?
12:25 | Yeah, well, this framework will be updated bi-annually. So every six months we’ll update it. We want you to be able to work with the most up to date research as you evaluate your own automation maturity. We also plan to add additional relevant content or adjunct content to help customers with things like best practices. I mean, our aim here is to really help our customers achieve the most ROI from the relationship with Nintex and as you’ve indicated, and coinciding with this podcast, we’re going to be making the model available on Nintex.com. We will also have a full session on the topic at Nintex ProcesFest in March. So we urge people to go to Nintex.com sign up for ProcessFest, and look for this session.
13:08 | Thanks again, Josh. This is really great material can’t wait to see where it goes next. Everyone that concludes today’s episode, we try to keep these really short and to the point by design. Please know you can learn more, read transcripts, listen to other episodes by visiting nintex.com/leadership-insights. We welcome your feedback at email@example.com. We’d love to hear your questions or topic recommendations. Thanks for listening in and take care everyone.
13:39 | Bye everyone. Thanks again, Eric.