The recent publication of a ‘maturity model’ by HfS and Automation Anywhere is very welcome in this new and rapidly developing area of support for improved service delivery. Implicit (but not prescriptive) in the 3 phases of maturity (Initialisation, Industrialisation and Institutionalisation) is a time based progression. At Virtual Operations we feel there is a complementary view which is more about the context of deployment.
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. The decision you make is relevant at any stage of the maturity model.
Deployment Target Choices
- Process – will process automation focus on a single or group of related processes, within one business function?
- Operational – will process automation be deployed across teams where data, systems and tasks require integration?
- Service – will process automation be deployed to address specific client service objectives or even to integrate with client processes?
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.
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.