So, where do I start?

Targeted Deployment of Process Automation

Your organisation has decided it’s time to consider what advanced process automation has to offer. But where do you start and to what end? An enormous range of processes drive your day-to-day business activity and delivery of services, you need to consider carefully where your automation strategy should focus and, significantly, where the first project will start.

Successful deployment of process automation is dependent on knowing why and where process automation is to be deployed.  To answer this you need consider what level of change you would like to implement and where.  The decision you make will fundamentally affect your strategic approach and expected outcomes.

Deployment Target

  1. Process – will process automation focus on a single or group of related processes, within one business function?
  2. Operational – will process automation be deployed across teams where data, systems and tasks require integration?
  3. Service – will process automation be deployed to address specific client service objectives or even to integrate with client processes?

Process, Operational, Service

For each target area, there will be differences in, amongst other things, the business case and approval route, the type and number of resources to implement and manage, process ownership and governance.

To help you decide, here are some of the contextual factors that will guide the way that a process automation project is run.

  Process Operational Service
Typical Drivers
  • Uneven demand
  • Loss of skills
  • Release staff from mundane & repetitious task
  • Inefficient resource utilisation
  • New products
  • Enhanced management information and analytics
  • One-off business events
  • New products & services,
  • Straight through processing
  • Improved level of service, and a need for value-based pricing
Business Case
  • Specific
  • Direct benefits
  • Process effectiveness
  • Reduce or sustain headcount
  • Reduce re-work
  • Improve accuracy
  • Reduce overtime
  • Specific
  • Direct benefits
  • Indirect benefits such as improved cash flow, enhanced compliance, more capacity
  • Specific
  • Defined benefits
  • Indirect benefits such as improved customer satisfaction or higher client win rates
Ownership
  • Local process owner
  • Corporate governance
  • Functional process owners
  • Corporate governance
  •  Functional process owners
  • Corporate governance
  • Stakeholders include customer facing & product development staff
  • Client governance
Integration
  • Data inputs
  • Standard outputs
  • Systems and cross-business processes
  • Redesign of processes & organisation structures
  • Client systems
  • Cross-industry processes
  • Straight through processing
Roles
  • Local, incorporated into existing roles
  • Process automation roles & responsibilities established
  • Continuous improvement & identification of further automation opportunities
  • Process automation roles & responsibilities established
  • Continuous improvement & identification of further automation opportunities

Whatever the intended deployment target, the project implementation steps from the Virtual Operations Automate approach (Assess, Define, Develop, Enable) will be the same but the time taken, the expected benefits, the stakeholders involved and the impact on service delivery will vary according to where on the target the automation will take place.

Within your overall automation strategy ensure that each project is properly targeted so that the project has a defined scope, expectations are met, and the benefits can be measured and realised.

We hope this has given you some insight into the deployment decisions you need to consider when embarking on a process automation project for the first time.  If you would like to learn more contact us on +44 2035 891 549.

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