How intelligent technology is empowering a more responsible workforce


From artificial intelligence to data privacy to human rights, the fast pace of business makes it harder than ever for people to make ethical decisions. Not only do organizations need a strong culture of ethics and compliance but they also need new ways to access information in the moments that matter.

Until recently, when our people had an ethics question they had to dig deep to find a dense PDF that was difficult to navigate and time consuming to get an answer from. As we invested in world-class compliance programs and embraced digital transformation across our company, it became clear that our Code of Business Ethics needed a digital makeover too.

Design for a global workforce

We joined forces with our colleagues at Fjord to co-create a solution that would give our people—425,000 strong and predominantly millennials—access to ethics information whenever they need it. The team included experience designers, creatives, content strategists, technologists, legal experts, HR and learning specialists, and marketers—spanning different geographies, nationalities and career levels.

“The team had great chemistry
and skills that complemented
one another. We were ‘in the
zone.’ It felt great to be a part
of such a talented and selfless
group of individuals.”

Casey Rucins
Program Management Lead at Fjord

Drawing from the team’s unique perspectives and using a design thinking approach, Fjord researched what people expected from the Code of Business Ethics and how they wanted to use it. A three-step solution emerged:

Simplify the Code

1. Simplify the Code, by organizing it around desired behaviors, not policies and add topics relevant to the new digital world we live in.

Create an easy-to-use, accessible internal website and chatbot

2. Create an easy-to-use, accessible internal website and chatbot that guides Accenture employees to relevant information in the Code.

Reinvent the ethics and compliance training

3. Reinvent the ethics and compliance training to be more engaging and tailored to how people learn today.


We designed and built a user-friendly Code of Business Ethics website embedded with the chatbot, which we named COBE. The bot is built on an intricate content matrix of potential keywords and context, which fuels a decision tree.

While COBE works hard sifting through the matrix in the background, users navigate their way through complex subject matter anonymously and seamlessly. We wanted to ensure the interactions felt natural to people, but also make it very clear that the user was engaging with a bot, not a person.

COBE iPhone

“COBE brings the magic
of digital engagement to
an unexpected topic.
It's a great example of
technology enhancing
human decision making.”

Patrick Rowe
Deputy General Counsel
at Accenture


Results 20x

increase in daily visits to the Code of Business Ethics internal website

Results 17500

chatbot session in the first 4 weeks

Results 2x

increase in training completion rate within the first week compared to the previous year.

Responsible people make responsible business

To be a truly great company we know that we must go further than mere compliance. The simplified Code of Business Ethics and the chatbot COBE are designed to do just that. They empower us to make good decisions a natural part of what we do every day—for our clients, business partners, the communities where we live and the environment.

What’s next for COBE

The team reunited in early 2018 to kick off Phase 2 of COBE’s expansion, which includes adding a natural language processing engine to analyze user intent and increase the accuracy of the bot’s responses. The chatbot framework will also be leveraged as an anything-as-a-service (XaaS) solution for Accenture clients.



Follow us

Follow us to keep up with the latest news, get valuable insights and thought leadership, and to stay up to date on all things Accenture.