Digging In with Jessa Barnes

Digging In is a regular series of blog posts profiling UDig employees. We hope this series helps you get to know our team and understand why we dig what we do! Today, we are sitting down with Jessa Barnes, Intelligent Automation Practice Lead.

UDig: Tell us a little bit about your background and your role at UDig.

JB: Before UDig, I was doing project management and vendor management work. When I came to UDig, I started on the Client Services team. Then, a couple of years ago, I got the opportunity to help start the Intelligent Automation practice. Shortly thereafter, I took on the Practice Lead responsibilities.

I now manage the overall success of the Intelligent Automation team from both a business development and delivery perspective with the help of the rest of the team. I also lead process discovery activities, including identifying automation candidates and documenting clients’ current processes. I want to mention how thankful I am for the Intelligent Automation team and all they do!

UDig: Why UDig? What made us the right decision for you?

JB: I was initially unsure about moving into the consulting world, but the idea of working with different clients and always solving new problems interested me. What sold me was interviewing with the leadership team and seeing how excited and passionate they were about UDig. The growth, experiences, and opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have, both in my career and as a part of UDig, are things I would not have gotten at a larger organization.

UDig: What does “We Leave You Better” mean to you?

JB: I look at it both internally and externally. Internally, UDig really focuses on its employees. Making sure that they have what they need, that they’re growing, and have the opportunities that they desire. Externally, it’s leaving our customers in a better place than they were when we started the engagement. We’ve identified a problem, we’ve helped them solve it, and we leave them with the tools they need to continue to be successful.

UDig: People are often skeptical of robotic process automation (RPA). How would you explain the value of RPA to them?

JB: Check out our RPA ROI Calculator and you can see the true value yourself! The value of RPA is to automate processes that are mundane, high in volume, and done the same way every time.  For example, putting together a spreadsheet every week or doing the same weekly payroll process. What we tell our clients is that automation is helping take away some of that repetitive tasks that your team might not want to do and instead allow them to really focus on those value-added tasks.

You’re usually never going to fully automate a process 100 percent. We go by the 80/20 rule. If we can automate 80 percent of a process, then a human needs to focus on that 20 percent which takes a little bit more critical thinking or research. The biggest thing is having your team focus on something they feel is contributing to the company, not just that mundane process work.

UDig: What is your favorite procrastination tool?

JB: For me, it’s seemingly endless scrolling through social media and researching. I can quickly go down a rabbit hole of researching different things. My husband jokes that he doesn’t need Google because he has me to look anything and everything up.

UDig: What did you want to be when you grew up?

JB: I always thought I was going to be a counselor. I’ve always been very passionate about taking my experiences and helping people.

UDig: What’s the most played song in your library?

JB: I’m not a big music person, but there’s a playlist on Apple Music that I’m always listening to called The Sand Bar. I want to listen to more podcasts, but I just mindlessly put on that playlist whenever I get in the car.

UDig: How would you spend your day if we told you to take the day off?

JB: First, I’d probably sleep in. If it were warm weather, I’d go to the pool and read a book. I also live close to a few wineries and breweries and can always go for a glass of wine!