Much has been said and debated about the success parameters which govern Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Forrester recently released two reports that identify two important thrust factors that enterprises must weigh to test the success of their first automation initiative. The first examines RPA philosophies, and the second emphasis on how does test automation technology is becoming more relevant to the overall automation strategy.
The essence of RPA is truly felt as the world fights the battle with the Coronavirus pandemic. Robotic Process Automation is no longer an add on but has emerged as a critical ingredient to business continuity. Automation finds its use cases into not just the traditional RPA friendly domains but to the emerging sectors like mining and logistics as well.
The key question is how does an organization assess the success of its automation initiative?
Identifying RPA considerations
Forrester’s “Ten Golden Rules for RPA success” aimed at Application Development & Delivery Professionals speaks about the important considerations that must be taken into account by application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals while developing pilot automation solution for enterprises.
According to Forrester, though it is easy to get into RPA, the art of automation is difficult to master. AD&D professionals must and should focus on business continuity, use cases, change management, bot security while designing and implementing an RPA solution. An important aspect to consider here is turning out human effort to an enterprise’s greatest strength by imbibing a strong automation culture among the workforce.
Robotic Process Automation began as a support to augment the human workforce, by taking the repetitive rule-based work away. As times change Intelligent Automation has stepped in, making success factor assessment an ongoing activity for each process under automation. Forrester reminds AD&D professionals to be wary of these key considerations-
Finding the processes to automate- RPA business analysts amongst AD&D professionals must brain-storm to find the most repetitive, high-volume tasks that are simple to automate in a bid to justify the cost of the bot and efforts spent behind building the solution.
The scale of Automation- Starting with complex processes first has a strong chance to halt the Automation process. The key is to start with a simple rule-based manual process, then proceed with scalability in later stages on a full-fledged RPA project implementation.
Enterprise investment vs ROI assessment- AD&D professionals need to understand the processes in collaboration with the enterprise and design automation solution which justifies enterprise investment and ROI earned.
Golden rules for a successful Automation Solution
• Enterprises need to ascertain that RPA efforts invested align with its long-run digital transformation objectives.
• There is no plug and play business cases, RPA solutions are customized to enterprises according to their workflows.
• Consider RPA as an enterprise platform, setting the stage for data privacy and buoyancy.
• Bots must be treated as an IT asset, set with zero-trust fundamentals.
• Rule-based repetitive processes must have a pre-defined pipeline for automation workflows. For instance, Data Warehouse Automation for simple initial processes to further scale up to complex processes.
• Define the different processes to automate, improve, and standardize which can be documented. Categorize success with process mining.
• Artificial Intelligence backed Intelligent Automation must be assessed, with supporting data to augment human decision making.
• Foster in-house automation skills, look out for cases that are unique to an enterprise for Intelligent Automation.
• Take employee experience (EX) as a critical success factor. Build a model based on the most common errors that a human can make and then create the solution that is easy for the human to correct. Automation models must be designed and developed considering employees’ well-being a priority.
• Inculcate an automation mindset, focus on the customer’s end goals, the processes involved, discuss changes and strategies proactively. Build leadership faith.
• Forrester’s Ten Golden Rules for RPA success, concludes by focussing on, “RPA will not fuel the automation revolution unless and until it changes. As RPA aligns more closely with adjacent technologies such as AI, the opportunity for AD&D pros to leverage it for broader transformation will multiply. Use RPA as a stepping stone to a broader automation strategy, but don’t drop the ball on the basics.”
The guide to pro-active Automation Testing
Forrester, emphasizes that AD&D professionals must learn lessons from test automation and RPA solution implementation, these two technologies have a great potential to work-in-tandem to scale automation and accelerate innovation in the long run.
As a fitting conclusion, the report offers key takeaways for AD&D professionals-
• To maintain bot resiliency, lower RPA maintenance costs.
• A successful RPA solution requires customized use cases, process mining is as critical as digital analysis opportunities.
• Testing requires flexibility and room for improvement in the pre-designed solution, mainly for pre-production and bot-design and development.
• Automation testing is aligned with congruity, integrating AI &ML, automating machine-human interactions, and orchestrating automation.
In a crux, both RPA and Test Automation are pivotal to the future of Automation. AD&D professionals must not use RPA tools instead of testing tools with testing applications and shouldn’t be looking for mergers or imposing each other.