Why are these 7 tips important?
Industry research suggests that 30-50% of initial RPA projects will fail.
Many RPA initiatives have gotten off to a fast start only to run into complications later. There are several reasons companies experience complications after deploying bots. Here are a few of those complications.
- Lack of planning upfront leads to…
- No plan for the type of processes to select
- Not appropriate process selection criteria
- No plans for production support
- No plans for bot retirement
- No plans to address technical debt.
(Capgemini: “More often than not, technical debt is caused by the business driving faster adoption of more and more bots without considering the possibility of redundant, unused, unaccounted, or improper code (in the form of bot artifacts) clogging up the enterprise.”)
Additional issues are introduced when…
- Selecting processes that are too complex
- Selecting processes with too many exceptions
- Not considering organizational change management aspect
- Choosing the wrong project management methodology
- Not having a plan to scale
- And so on…
Ok, you have read about the most common process selection qualifying questions. As a reminder, here are a few common selection criteria…
- Repeatable rules-based processes
- Structured data
- Susceptible to human error
- High volume
- Stable process
- Simple standard processes
What about other proven process selection criteria? Criteria that will help lead to successful process selection.
The following 7 proven tips will aid you in selecting the RIGHT processes the first time.
PROVEN TIP #1 – Only select processes that are stable with low system changes.
• So, a process meets the common criteria above. But it can be a maintenance nightmare if the underlying application is not stable.
• Great! The manual process is stable and does not change often. It does not mean the underlying application is also stable with infrequent change.
• Stability also relates to application platforms that are not scheduled for an upgrade. Planned process deployments vs application upgrades will wreak havoc on automation deployments.
PROVEN TIP #2 – Keep it simple and avoid complex processes
• Forrester suggests using the “Rule of Five”
1. No more than 5 decisions
2. No more than 5 applications
3. No more than 500 clicks
PROVEN TIP #3 – Because you have an automation tool does not mean you should automate every process
• There is a fundamental question you must ask. Should we automate this process? Does it make sense to automate the process? Answering this question frees you up to look for more qualified processes.
• Automating the wrong process will introduce an unqualified project and increase company risk.
• Automating a process that should NOT be is irresponsible.
PROVEN TIP #4 – Do yourself a favor and select only documented processes.
• A process may seem simple on the surface. If the selected without defined process steps, STOP. It could spell trouble down the road. First, document all steps before continuing with requirements and development activities.
• Do not fall into a trap. You may say, so what, it is not documented? It is so simple; we will document during the development life cycle. You will end up spending more time than planned once you dive into process details. Many subject matter experts and knowledge workers forget about steps. Why? because they perform tasks by rote
• Performing tasks by rote are normal. Inconsistencies are present when a process is not documented.
PROVEN TIP #5 – Educate sensitive support groups
• Depending on the industry, there could be extra scrutiny placed on the process. Cyber Security, Data Privacy, Internal Audit, and Risk Management may need convincing.
• Avoid having those groups create roadblocks to success. Do due diligence of educating them on what RPA is and is not.
PROVEN TIP #6 – Look for processes that need to scale but cannot because of the need for extra people
• There are high volume processes that do not have enough people to keep up with demand.
• What a bonus to deploy a bot that can fill the gap so the process can scale.
• Deploying a bot in this scenario will have a positive impact on OpEx challenges.
PROVEN TIP #7 – Focus on low hanging fruit for proof of concept, value, and pilot
• Low hanging fruit checks all the right boxes to create a positive experience.
• If possible, find low hanging fruit that’s tied to business goals.
PROVEN TIP BONUS – Be realistic in value and ROI estimates
• It is easy to over project the value of any automation.
• You will want to prove that automation will give a great ROI.
• Be realistic by under-promising in hopes of over-delivering.
We hope these tips help you in your process selection. To your success.