VIP Apps Consulting

A Q&A With ChatGPT – What We Learnt About Business Process Automation

Since its launch in late November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has gone viral, generating excitement over its possibilities and much debate about its limitations and concerns about the impact on the future of work. According to CEO Sam Altman, less than a week after its launch, it reached the one million users mark.

It is such the growing interest in generative artificial intelligence that it is rumoured that the tech giant Microsoft is putting $10 billion into OpenAI and plans to use ChatGPT integrating the machine learning techniques behind it into Bing search queries to compete with Google.

What Is ChatGPT and How Does It Work?

ChatGPT is a language model based on OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3), a language-processing AI model with 175 billion parameters capable of generating human-like text. ChatGPT was optimised for dialogue using Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF), a method that uses human demonstrations to guide the model toward desired behaviour.

Chatting with ChatGPT is very easy, and you can use it for free during the research preview phase. You write a question to the entry field and trigger the reply, which only takes a few seconds. Then you can rate the response, add some remarks, clarify your feedback, and even ask ChatGPT to try to answer the question again. 

These large language models, such as ChatGPT, have been trained on vast amounts of text data from a variety of sources and can recognise and replicate patterns of text, images, computer code, audio and video. So, what can this tool actually do? People have been testing it out to debug code, explain scientific concepts, write everything from school and university essays to work reports and articles, language translation, get ideas for children’s birthday parties, and even answer trivia questions which have led many to suggest it could replace search engines. It could revolutionise the way we use search engines. Instead of providing links to click on, it could solve elaborate problems and answer questions. As Google’s former employee who created Gmail, Paul Buchheit sentenced:

Even Ryan Reynolds asked ChatGPT to write an ad for Mint Mobile, the mobile carrier he co-owns, and instructed the program to: “Write a commercial for Mint Mobile in the voice of Ryan Reynolds. Use a joke, a curse word, and let people know that Mint’s holiday promo is still going, even after the big wireless companies have ended theirs.” The script that the AI-powered program produced is worth listening to.

ChatGPT has been designed to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.

Their website explains that ChatGPT ‘has limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021.’ Another fundamental limitation is that even when its answers are fluent and plausible, there is no guarantee that they are correct.

So, if generative AI can answer questions and learn while constantly improving its model, we thought it could be interesting to ask ChatGPT a few questions about one of our areas of expertise, business process automation and see what we could learn.

Our QA With ChatGPT on Business Processes Automation

We don’t know the kind of data OpenAI used to train the ChatGPT model to answer these questions. When we asked, it responded:

Q1 – Which is the best methodology to use to optimise and automate business processes?

There are several methodologies that can be used to optimize and automate business processes, but some of the most popular ones include:

  1. Lean Six Sigma: This methodology combines the principles of Lean and Six Sigma to eliminate waste and improve efficiency in processes.
  2. Business Process Management (BPM): This methodology focuses on designing, modeling, analyzing, implementing, monitoring, and optimizing business processes.
  3. Total Quality Management (TQM): This methodology focuses on continuous improvement and customer satisfaction by involving all employees in the quality improvement process.
  4. Agile methodology: This methodology is often used in software development, but it can also be applied to business processes. It emphasizes on flexibility and adaptability, allowing to make changes and improvements as needed.

The best methodology to use will depend on the specific needs of your organization and the processes that you are looking to optimize and automate. It’s important to evaluate different methodologies and choose the one that best aligns with your goals and resources.

Q2 -Which are the critical steps when optimising and automating business processes?

Here are some critical steps when optimizing and automating business processes:

  1. Identify and define the processes that need to be optimized and automated.
  2. Analyze the current processes to understand the bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
  3. Determine the desired outcomes and set specific, measurable goals.
  4. Research and select the appropriate technology solutions to support the automation.
  5. Implement the automation solutions and test them to ensure they meet the desired outcomes.
  6. Train employees on the new processes and technology.
  7. Monitor and measure the performance of the automated processes to ensure they are meeting the goals.
  8. Continuously improve the processes by analyzing the data and making adjustments as needed.

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just about automating processes, but automating them in a way that will improve performance, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Q3 – Which are the critical steps you need to take when optimising and automating business processes?

A3: When optimizing and automating business processes, some critical steps to take include:

  1. Identifying and analyzing the current process to determine areas for improvement.
  2. Defining clear goals and objectives for the process.
  3. Developing and implementing automation solutions, such as using software or technology.
  4. Measuring and monitoring the process to ensure that it is functioning efficiently and effectively.
  5. Continuously reviewing and refining the process to maintain its optimal performance.
  6. Training employees on the new process and providing support as needed.
  7. Communicating the changes and benefits of the automation to stakeholders.

A3: 2/2 Regenerate response

  1. Identify the process: Understand the current process, its objectives and how it fits into the overall business strategy.
  2. Analyze the process: Use data and metrics to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies and areas for improvement.
  3. Design the new process: Use process mapping and modeling techniques to design the optimized process.
  4. Implement and test the new process: Implement the new process and test it to ensure it meets the desired objectives and requirements.
  5. Monitor and measure performance: Establish metrics to measure the performance of the new process and use data to continuously improve it.
  6. Automate: Use technology and automation tools to streamline and automate the process as much as possible.
  7. Continuously improve: Continuously monitor and measure the process to identify areas for further improvement and make necessary changes.

Q4 – Why automate business processes?

A4: Business process automation can bring many benefits to an organization, including:

  1. Increased efficiency: Automation can help streamline and speed up repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to focus on more valuable work.
  2. Improved accuracy: Automation can reduce the chance of human error and increase the accuracy of data and information.
  3. Cost savings: Automation can reduce labor costs, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line.
  4. Scalability: Automation can handle an increasing volume of work and make it easy to scale up or down as needed.
  5. Better customer service: Automation can help organizations to respond more quickly and effectively to customer needs, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
  6. Better data quality: Automation can help ensure data is entered consistently and accurately, resulting in better data quality.
  7. Better compliance: Automation can help organizations to meet compliance requirements more easily and with less effort.
  8. Better decision making: Automation can provide organizations with real-time data and analytics, enabling them to make better decisions.
  9. 24/7 availability: Automation can enable business processes to run 24/7, which can help organizations to meet customer demands and improve their competitiveness.
  10. Improved employee satisfaction: Automation can free employees from repetitive, low-value tasks, allowing them to focus on more meaningful and challenging work, which can lead to improved job satisfaction and employee retention.

Q5- Why use business process automation solutions?

A5: Business process automation solutions can bring a number of benefits to an organization, including:

  1. Increased efficiency: Automation can reduce the time and effort required to complete tasks, allowing employees to focus on more valuable work.
  2. Improved accuracy: Automation can reduce the chance of human error and increase the accuracy of data and information.
  3. Cost savings: Automation can reduce labor costs, increase productivity and improve the bottom line.
  4. Scalability: Automation can handle an increasing volume of work and make it easy to scale up or down as needed.
  5. Better customer service: Automation can help organizations to respond more quickly and effectively to customer needs, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
  6. Better data quality: Automation can help ensure data is entered consistently and accurately, resulting in better data quality.
  7. Better compliance: Automation can help organizations to meet compliance requirements more easily and with less effort.
  8. Better decision making: Automation can provide organizations with real-time data and analytics, enabling them to make better decisions.

Q5: 2/2 Regenerate response

Business process automation solutions can provide a number of benefits for organizations, including:

  1. Increased efficiency: Automating repetitive and routine tasks can help to reduce errors and improve overall process efficiency.
  2. Improved accuracy: Automation can help to reduce human error and increase data accuracy.
  3. Increased productivity: Automation can free up employee time and resources, allowing them to focus on more strategic and value-adding tasks.
  4. Cost savings: Automation can help to reduce labor costs and improve resource utilization.
  5. Better scalability: Automation can make it easier for organizations to scale processes as their business grows.
  6. Better compliance: Automation can help organizations to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.
  7. Better customer service: Automation can help organizations to respond to customer inquiries and requests more quickly and effectively.
  8. Better data analysis: Automation can help organizations to gather and analyze data more effectively, which can inform business decisions.

Q6 – Which are the reasons business process automation projects fail?

A6: Business process automation projects can fail for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Lack of clear objectives: Without a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the project, it can be difficult to measure success and make informed decisions.
  2. Inadequate planning: Failing to plan the project properly can lead to misaligned resources, delays and cost overruns.
  3. Lack of stakeholder buy-in: Without the support and buy-in of key stakeholders, it can be difficult to secure the necessary resources and funding for the project.
  4. Lack of change management: Failing to properly manage and communicate the changes that will result from the automation can lead to resistance and pushback from employees.
  5. Inadequate testing: Failing to test the automation thoroughly can lead to bugs, errors and unexpected results, which can negatively impact the business.
  6. Lack of governance: Without proper governance, the automation may not be able to be sustained and may not meet the compliance and security requirements.
  7. Technology issues: Failing to choose the right technology or not having the necessary skills to implement and maintain it, can lead to problems and delays.
  8. Not considering the overall process: Automating a single process in isolation can lead to inefficiencies, lack of integration with the rest of the organization, and ultimately not achieving the desired results.

Conclusions

This conversation is from our chat with the generative AI on January 17th, 2023. We tested the tool weeks before and noted that some answers had changed. It seems to learn while we chat, and although it repeats some points, it continues adding new information as we continue talking. By tweaking the wording of the question, the answers also changed. As indicated with 2/2 in some of the answers, we asked to ‘regenerate response’ and returned a slightly different one.

Despite the repetitiveness and the lack of details, some of the answers were good and aligned with our approach and methodologies. At VIP Apps consulting, we use our AMOBI methodology to map and optimise business processes . AMOBI is an iterative framework based on the concept of continuous improvement. It enables a structured, templated approach to assess initial requirements using root cause assessment, mapping, and optimising processes to identify manual or system bottlenecks, comparing the proposed optimisations to the expected benchmark and implementing successful optimisations. The AMOBI stages are: Assess, Map, Optimise, Benchmark and Implement.

The Q&A with ChatGPT provided some interesting project management insight but lacked addressing specific issues in automation projects. Automating business processes is a journey and not a one-time event. It requires a holistic view, one that, in addition to the technology selection and implementation alone, also requires to rethink of how it will unfold within the organisation and support its evolution over time. To avoid failure, organisations need a well-designed roadmap. An efficient and well-planned IT strategy not only unlocks business advantages but can also lead to significant gains in growth and efficiency.

To learn more about every phase of the AMOBI methodology and how it can help your organisation succeed in your automation journey, speak to one of our business and technology process consultants.

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