RPA inexperience is primary reason for unrealised ROI
By Nick Andrews, executive chairman, Virtual Operations
C-Suite Guide Part 3 – RPA Pitfalls and Perils
Our RPA C-Suite Guide Part 1 and 2 explored our top 10 tips for embarking on an automation journey and how to choose the right automation partner. In part 3 our executive chairman Nick Andrews, turns his attention to the pitfalls and perils organisations most often encounter when they implement robotic process automation. This blog discusses Pitfall 1, Inexperience.
RPA Pitfall 1: Inexperience
What do you do when inexperience is the norm?
The market is now more confusing than ever with new technology products appearing almost every week and little market knowledge available to compare them or even to understand where and how best to apply them.
Many new service providers have limited practitioner experience of automation and others have spread themselves so thin that the experience they do have has been diluted too greatly.
This is of course not entirely surprising as AI-based automation continues to evolve and change and in itself is a very new field.
This means that finding experienced people to help is difficult, but get off to the wrong start and the appetite for automation within organisations is diminished, and the ROI unrealised.
Lack of experience is perhaps THE principal causal factor in failed automation projects.
Inexperienced analysts fail to capture both process detail and user requirements and inexperienced developers are not sufficiently familiar with the tools they are deploying. The end-result is thousands of projects with marginal business cases being poorly defined with constantly changing user requirements. The best the client can hope for is a bad process that can now run faster.
The paucity of experienced practitioners will continue well into next year.
Your choices are either to outsource to an Automation Service Provider or try to recruit from the scarce existing pool or consider a blend of both.
So how does an organisation mitigate the risk of inexperience?
LEVERAGE THE EXPERIENCE THAT IS AVAILABLE
The first step is to recognise that this pitfall exists, and to plan for it.
If one looks across an organisation one can be sure of one thing – your own people know their business processes. Some of them will also have the capability to take a strategic view of processes and be able to articulate how processes should be performed from a business perspective, rather than how they are currently managed through the existing systems.
These people must be used to help implement the automation projects and must be trained in an appropriate automation methodology (such as our own VOLT methodology) and be trained in the implementation of the selected automation toolkit so that they themselves can eventually implement and own the new automated processes.
In our experience, the initial team must be seeded with the appropriate experience from a partner organisation to make sure that the right expertise in the chosen toolkit is applied both strategically and tactically to get your people up to speed and confident in automation as soon as possible but in a nurturing and supportive way. We call this approach Joint Agility Teams.
This is THE fastest way to scale the automation projects and mitigates the risk of inexperience at the least cost, with the most sustainable self-supported automation future for an organisation, where you are in control.
Proven experience, especially in the early phases, will get the automation programme off to the right start.
This is THE fastest way to scale, it provides you with the maximum control with the greatest benefits and least cost.
You should expect to be largely self-sufficient within 12-18 months in all aspects of automation.
Want to know more? Here’s a link to the other pitfalls in CSuite Guide part 3.