Intelligent Automation Implementation: A Matter of Discipline

Intelligent Automation for procurement

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program graduate David Romo-Garza discusses how discipline and organizational changes will create efficiencies throughout the lifecycle designed to implement Intelligent Process Automation.

Automating processes is still a challenging endeavor for multiple organizations. Lines of Business (LoB) continue to struggle to understand the steps that it takes to implement and manage Intelligent Automation efforts effectively. Bringing discipline to an undisciplined culture creates a multitude of barriers that have a trickle effect that prevents organizations from effectively automating their processes.  

Navigating the Lines of Business and Processes

During my last position at my current organization, I experienced the pains and aches from both perspectives, the LoB and the Process Owner. On one end, I represented the LoB, who was trying to automate the due diligence procedures related to vetting our third parties.  While the process was considered automated, it was ineffective and broken. It required countless manual tasks, including requiring end-users to save their assessments in an excel spreadsheet.  

Additionally, the system design contained a detrimental limitation that prevented users from partially completing an assessment and returning later.  The system did not have the ability to save progress prior to completing and closing their official assessments.  Further, the system did not effectively introduce business controls designed for preventive nor detective error/compliant applications.

On the other hand, to resolve the system deficits, I was tasked to write the Information Technology (IT) requirements for the business and work in collaboration with a “Center of Excellence (CoE)”. Unfortunately, while the CoE contained an incredible amount of talent, it lacked processes, standards, procedures and had no written roles and responsibilities assigned.  The lack of organization and discipline at the CoE resulted in multiple reworks and wasted time and effort.

When I was first assigned to work on the IT requirements, I was given absolutely no guidance to perform the task.  Being told to rewrite the IT requirements and use the old templates was in itself challenging. Still, the obstacles to success were exacerbated by a lack of clear guidance or mentorship to provide meaningful vectors and support. To overcome these barriers, I found myself researching old requirements from the previous system to better understand the templates, fields, and data required to fill each of these templates correctly. 

Transforming the Center of Excellence

I carefully began to write the requirements and submitted them through a project management office document within the deadlines established. I then needed to write the specific templates associated with each of the due diligence areas (17) that required their assessment to be fully automated.  The CoE established weekly meetings that allowed me to ask questions and make adjustments to the templates as I finalized them. 

The CoE and I worked on these templates for two months. However, weeks later, I found out CoE had never assessed the original set of requirements despite having been submitted months earlier. I looked for procedures or guidelines from the CoE but was never successful at getting a copy of them (they truly did not exist). My level of frustration rose as we entered the “lockdown” phase, during which I had to submit “change requests” to the CoE regardless of the nature of the change (e.g. correcting spelling errors on the template). 

Once again, I asked for processes/procedures that would enable me to effectively move through the change management process, to no avail. Throughout this phase, the CoE kept changing their rules of engagement, their lack of defined procedures for submitting change requests eroded efficiencies. Focused on my mission to automate the due diligence process, I did not let the lack of organization and discipline stop me from adjusting to the CoE’s demands. The experience from IT requirements/developer for the LoB demonstrated a clear barrier to effective and efficient process automation.

The Certification that Changed Everything

It was very disappointing to learn that our CoE for Intelligent Automation lacked the most organization and discipline in writing and submitting new IT requirements.  Through the Sourcing Industry Group University (SIG University) Certified Intelligent Automation Professional program, I was able to pinpoint areas of improvement and required processes needed to implement an Intelligent Automation lifecycle within our organization effectively.

Having not taken this course, I would have left this experience thinking that this is how it is supposed to be at every organization. I am thankful that SIG has created such a valuable program that will allow professionals like me to intelligently propose discipline and organizational changes that will create efficiencies throughout the lifecycle designed to implement Intelligent Process Automation.   

The Certified Intelligent Automation Professional program is a six-week course delivered through SIG University’s unique education platform. Visit our website to learn more about intelligent process automation and enroll for the upcoming semester.


David E. Romo-Garza, Director of Business Risk and Controls

David E. Romo-Garza is a Director of Business Risk and Controls with over 16 years of professional experience in contracting, quality assurance, operations, business controls, and policies and procedures. His experience includes military service with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserves, supporting all branches of the Department of Defense, and the Defense Contract Management Agency. He has worked with operations and maintenance, space systems, weapon systems, research and development, medical services, and with the public financial sector. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University, an MBA from Trident University, and a Master of Science in Military Operational Art Science from Air University.