By Ram Mohan Natarajan, Senior Vice President, Business Transformation
According to a 2017 Ernst & Young report, 30 to 50 percent of RPA projects initially fail. From choosing the wrong RPA candidate processes to weak governance and business silo disconnects, the root causes for RPA failure are not much different than other change initiatives. For value maximization, smart RPA will drive results that include dramatically enhanced operational metrics and impact in strategy across the organization. The ROI can be nearly immediate post any RPA launch, and, as importantly, sustained, with the right approach.
Think of the right RPA approach as your focus on these essential guideposts:
- Intelligent automation Proofs of Concepts (PoCs) are low-cost, low-commitment, and low-risk for the business. A good PoC is, ultimately, a PoV—proof of value. Some businesses take more than six months to even decide if they should advance along the RPA journey. These businesses want to dedicate time to research. It’s important to note that with this approach, essential time is lost. Smart RPA strategy comprises a process that includes a PoC to allow for a test approach with immediate, real-time results. In fact, ROI impact is shown in a matter of 4-6 weeks, and this can be essential to making the decision to move RPA forward.
- The right RPA approach brings the requisite automation accelerators (including process and technology) for sustained value creation. There could be multiple drivers to look for with automation, and cost is not always the most important one. However, it still makes sense to justify the cost of investment to get buy-in from multiple organizational stakeholders. Make sure the RPA accelerators – including cost— are all benchmarked to guide sustained success. This will set a faster pace toward a better destination.
- Some end-to-end process automation requires human critical thinking and expertise. The smart approach to RPA intelligently knits together automation steps with human-driven process steps and decision making. While there will be processes that can be completely automated, there will also be a number of processes where most of the work will be rule based but there will be some decision making required. It is important to employ smart RPA design, to leverage the best of the brain-bot strategy and move human assistance to higher tiers, for a higher impact on business.
Ultimately, optimized RPA drives a faster, more impactful business outcome and ROI. Once you embark on the journey, monitor for changes to ensure sustained results. As true automation experts, BPOs can work with all stakeholders to internally present the business case within their own operations. Remember that this partner is an ideal navigator for this journey, with a keen familiarity with the client partner’s business processes, an operational metrics strategy, and holistic alignment to long-term business interests. Unlike other automation, RPA is all about process understanding and design, so look for a partner who has expertise in these areas—one that can help design the new operational metrics strategy to maximize long-term business benefits.
Watch for our next blog, “Scaling, Sustaining Automation Success,” for insights on how to build an automation Center of Excellence and accelerate results.