How To Run Business Process Automation Courses
The recent article, “5 Guiding Principles Of Using Online Platforms For Industry-Based Training In Emerging Technologies”, outlined some guiding principles for building and managing industry-based/industry-simulated online training programs. In this article, we are going to discuss the more “technical” side of online training delivery by focusing on one specific area of training–training in business process automation (BPA)–as an example of successful online training delivery.
There is growing demand for a wide range of specialists in a wide range of emerging technologies. While a significant share of learners tend to lean towards Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), demand for process automation training remains high. When delivering industry-focused digital platform-driven automation training, the delivery environment (e.g., industry settings) should be taken into consideration for building professional-level automated flows.
Institutions and organizations which are emphasizing on the provision of industry-standard technical training to learners should have close links with the respective industries they are nurturing workforce for, in order to get familiar with the up-to-date trends and standards at the workplaces. Furthermore, students first need to understand the project requirements, as no projects can fulfill the desired technical objectives without addressing the business ones. Also, it is good to build training delivery around a single technical environment–one that tends to be in demand, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Medium.
3 Essential Requirements To Address In Delivering Business Process Automation Training
More specifically, there are three requirements that are essential to address:
1. Making Students Aware Of The Environments And Pipelines
While some of the training settings are obviously going to vary across the training providers, there are three mainstream automation environments that tend to be crucial for every organization and therefore need to be covered through the training, namely:
- Dev environment
This is the environment where the automation work is carried out and where automation flows and other processes are designed. Ensure that fixing errors and making new changes in the environment is hassle-free for the student developers.
- UAT environment
In this environment the finished products are released for testers as well as to perform beta testing.
- Prod environment
The automation or the product can be released to the user for test-deployment in this environment.
In contrast with the above, different pipelines have to be built (preferably in Azure DevOps if the automations are built in the Dynamics 365 environment) in order to deploy these automated processes within different environments by running those pipelines.
As nowadays most of the automation tools are cloud-based, having a subscription throughout all of the development stages is essential. For example, when a flow is set to fulfil a certain operation, it needs to have access to a premium connector to complete it, else the operation cannot be performed. Likewise, the students and the training providers should also have access to the same levels of subscriptions in order to work in unison.
For example, if there is a project related to robotic process automation, both the trainer and trainee can download power automate desktop for free (subject to having a licensed version of Windows 10 or 11, with limited access to functionality but sufficient for learning the essentials). A project can be set by the trainer where the trainee can create an automation flow for the system to copy data from a website, and then create an excel table with the data along with their respective headings, before saving the excel file and sending it via mail as an attachment. Most importantly, such projects can be tailored to specific industry settings, such as, for instance, a banking project or an insurance one.
3. Making Students Multiskilled
When it comes to learning automation, the sky is literally the limit, so training providers need to consider making their trainees familiar with different types of automations, such as instant cloud flow automations, business process automations, robotic process automations (RPA), etc. Such scrupulous diligence will equip learners for when they are deployed in the industry, so that they can design and develop multifaceted systems involving a wide range of functions, without supervision.
One possible approach, for instance, is asking learners to create an automated flow, where, if a data feature (such as price or discount in case of a sales automation form) changes, learners can investigate various customization options they could add to the excel sheet that would trigger the automation (RPA) and send the updates via mail to the executives. Once everyone who has received the mail approves it, it will then trigger another flow (cloud flow) that will post a status on every single social media handle of the organization.
Closing Remarks: Getting Along With Emerging Technologies
It goes without saying that there is ongoing demand for automation specialists, and consequently, strong demand for automation training. What we love and hate about the emerging technologies is the never-ending transformations and need to upskill on a regular basis. In the light of this, the automation training platform needs to be upgraded on a regular basis, in line with the new technical developments emerging.
Editor’s Note: This article was co-authored by Saptarshi Guha.