In a previous paper (here) we light-heartedly listed some common phrases and nouns frequently heard in the land HfS refers to as ‘Robotistan’: Robo-dabblers and Robo-philes to name just a few.
We can now add a couple of new words which we include due to their increasing numbers. Specifically these are Robo-pseuds and Robo-veneer. The Robo-pseud has become a master of the world of process automation in the time it takes to read a few blogs on the internet. Previously considered harmless they now, worryingly, advise the unwary on how to get the most out of their Automation initiatives. The Robo-veneer takes things a step further and offers to manage automation programs on behalf of their clients. Unfortunately they are hard to spot even up close so we thought it would be helpful to provide some revealing questions that buyers should ask before embarking on an automation voyage.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the leading automation tools? (even what are the leading automation tools would be a good start). How do they compare? Have you bench-marked them? How do we know which tool is best for our organisation?
- How do we know whether AI, Desktop or RPA (or any combination of the three) is what we need? What experience do you have or working with each of these technologies, Have you combined them successfully?
- What real experience do you have of automating processes enterprise wide? Are you a practitioner expert or are your credentials just based on research. The route to success, best practice and the real challenges that emerge from large-scale automation programs only reveal themselves through experience
- Are you accredited in the tools you are proposing? How was the accreditation earned (i.e. was it your experience or brand value to the supplier that got you your stripes?)
- Are you able to provide market, methods and automation delivery training to our people? And in what way will our people becomes accredited?
- Where have you implemented a Target Operating Model for Automation? or, failing that, have you built a centre of excellence
- Presumably a full methodology provides a safe and rapid route to success? Can you show us your methodology, tools templates, risk mitigation strategies please?
- Can you advise how we should manage the associated people issues and the various stakeholder concerns?
- How do we know when a process is viable for automation? Should I improve the process first then automate or automate and improve?
- Please describe the automation journey, can you start with the key strategic considerations and take us through to steady-state automation Nirvana?
If your chosen partner can answer these questions satisfactorily and more importantly, demonstrably, then you have successfully seen through the smoke and mirrors that are so prevalent in our industry. If not, please contact us on +44 2035 891 549.