Arraya Insights | January 9, 2019
Organizations from across the business spectrum are flocking to robotic process automation (RPA). And they’re doing so with good reason. In a blog post from earlier this year, our subject matter experts detailed how RPA can help keep ballooning technology costs in check, while also offering anywhere from a 60-70% return on top of initial investments. As far as value propositions go, those are pretty eye-catching. The thing is, there is a downside to all of that RPA love – a 30-50% failure rate on initial projects.
Risks aside, businesses continue to look to RPA as a way to solve problems and increase efficiency. However, here at Arraya, we don’t want to just connect organizations and technology and call it a day. Instead, we want to make sure our partners extract immediate and lasting value from the solutions we recommend and implement.
In that spirit, we sat down with our internal experts to put together a list of the most common RPA mistakes they see businesses make – and what to do to get it right.
5 too-common RPA mistakes
Mistake #1: Ignoring the process itself. RPA can do a lot of things. One thing it can’t do? Fix a broken process. In fact, applying RPA to a bad process can actually make things worse as all RPA will do is speed things up, resulting in more of whatever made the process faulty to begin with. RPA projects must begin with an in-depth analysis of the process in question. Attention must be given to how it currently works, how it was intended to work and what needs to be done to bridge the gap between the two. Only after the value of the process has been verified, should the topic of automation come up.
Mistake #2: Biting off too much. RPA projects are complex. Organizations that try to automate too much too soon often see their projects spiral way out of control – or end up abandoned. This is a situation where having someone who has been there before – be it an in-house resource or a partner – can make all the difference. Right away, this resource can provide value by helping to set achievable benchmarks and milestones. Also, he or she will know where the risks lie and how to avoid them.
Mistake #3: Overlooking centralized orchestration. Automation needs to be ready to grow and evolve alongside the organization it supports. However, for too many who adopt it, automation ends up becoming restrictive and rigid. Automation best practices call for a central hub from which admins are able to oversee the various bots in their environment. Without this hub, growth or direction changes may require each bot to be reprogrammed or redeployed individually.
Mistake #4: Putting up implementation silos. More and more, technology is becoming less of an “IT concern” and more of an “everybody concern.” While this is absolutely true of RPA, many organizations miss that fact, instead plowing ahead with the false idea that automation is one for the techies. Any move toward automation must be an interdisciplinary project. Representatives from any impacted department should be brought in to early discussions in order to share their unique expertise into the inner-workings of a targeted process. This will help reduce unpleasant surprises later on.
Mistake #5: Assuming RPA equals hands-free. As mentioned earlier, RPA can require some hands-on attention, either as a business or as objectives evolve. Routine maintenance is, of course, also a concern. Some businesses have a habit of leaving RPA to its own devices post-rollout. In the event that something goes wrong, this can lead to delayed responses. Even after someone has identified the problem, correcting it can fall in between the cracks of an org chart. Instead, make it clear early on just where responsibility for RPA lies and ensure maintaining it becomes part of the routine.
Next steps: How to succeed with RPA
Want to learn more about how to succeed with RPA? Our team of experts is here to help. They can provide the strategic knowledge and hands-on expertise necessary to ensure RPA projects payoff quickly and for years to come. Reach out to our team now by visiting: https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/.
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