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Digital Modernization

DLA Launches Bot Development Training for Citizen Developers

RPA adoption

DLA Launches Bot Development Training for Citizen Developers

The Defense Logistics Agency has launched a program to invite citizen developers to undergo training for developing robotic process automation tools.

The program has already moved past the beta phase and will be rolled out across the rest of the organization, DLA Chief Information Officer George Duchak told Nextgov at the sidelines of the Roadmap to Modernization Summit.

With the help of citizen developers, Duchak estimated that DLA could see a two-fold increase in bot production to somewhere around 80 bots per year, potentially saving up to 200,000 hours of labor annually, Nextgov reported.

Moving forward, the CIO aims to lead the implementation of a specific curriculum and training programs to drive the development of more bots.

RPA has been integral to relieving DLA employees of repetitive tasks in the past two years. The agency currently has between 120 and 130 bots deployed, some of which operate unattended.

A 2020 report from the federal RPA community of practice touted the agency’s being the top federal government user of bot software, aiding in its productivity in terms of employee onboarding, demand planning and coding of materials.

During the pandemic, bots played a critical role in helping DLA acquisition teams manage post-award requests or electronic requests for administrative action or information on a contract award. Automation facilitated the gathering of supplier notes, comments and other information that needed to be reported to supply chain leaders for review and relayed to contract support personnel.

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