How to discover what company processes you should automate

Every business consultant and partner is advocating these days for digitalization. Depending on industry and status quo of each company, the final solution may differ from one case to another, leaving the door open for mixing tools and surprise strategies. Nevertheless, the question <Where to begin?> remains one of the most frequently asked, unchallenged by arrival of innovation and time.

Where RPA is concerned, there is always the enthusiasm of novelty, mixed with the reluctance of a complicated start.  Although it is clearly an exciting path to adopt, automation raises some fears regarding what processes qualify for automation and how to discover them.

Since we are an UIPath Partner, we have gathered some of our joint experiences and knowledge and we can firmly say that fundamental stages are:

Finding and prioritizing high-value automation opportunities

First of all, you need a Centre of Excellence (CoE)- a central body to figure out which processes will drive the biggest value for the company when automated. It must be empowered to create and carry out a top-down automation strategy. We strongly recommend that this team must consist of external RPA Specialist/Consultants and internal top professionals, the best from every major business stream.

When it comes to external, they come with experience, knowledge and know-how. As for the internal human resource, their most important role is to advocate for the needs of each business interest within your company.  Additionally, finance will also certainly be able to point to processes that have significant scale and/or cause the most pain for people in their day-to-day work.

The team will need and use scientific discovery tools—such as mining —to find automation opportunities across the enterprise. This tool, guided by your overall automation strategy, will uncover opportunities that you might otherwise miss.  They can also use tools to prioritize projects based on ROI and efficiency. Top-down automation strategy and management and a suite of powerful discovery tools are a groundbreaking combination.

After automations are built and rolled out, your CoE can monitor robot usage and performance with a central licensing model to track, measure, and model performance across your entire automation program.

Liberating the generation of automation ideas

As powerful as a top-down strategy is, it can only get you so far without involving your people. Each person does their work in a unique manner. This means that the opportunities for automation can be as specific as the needs of each employee in your organization.

On a single-employee level it may not seem like a big deal, but when you add up the productivity loss, it is staggering. Imagine if every employee at your company finds a way to use automation to save an hour of work per day. You’ll achieve greater ROI than would have ever been possible with a top-down approach alone.

You also need to give technically savvy citizen developers the tools that enable them to build their own automations. The results can be transformative. For example, after Singtel partnered with UiPath to run a bot-a-thon, their employee automation adoption skyrocketed. In fact, a Singtel employee was able to create a robot named Valbot that turned a 285-click, 4.5-hour process into a one-click, 12-minute workflow (that’s 4.3 hours saved every time the process ran). All thanks to employee empowerment with the right automation tools.

Combining both into a hybrid approach of what to automate

When you implement both a top-down and bottom-up approach to determining what to automate, you’ll create a feedback loop that amplifies the use cases and benefits of automation and drives adoption forward quickly. So, we strongly recommend you pursue both paths in order to decide which processes to automate as they will surface organically in your organization.

And when that automation flywheel starts spinning you no longer need to wonder about what to automate. The process automation ideas and opportunities will be organically provided to you from all directions, whether it’s through AI, business leaders, or your employees themselves.

Determining what processes to automate becomes less a question of finding opportunities, but about prioritizing and selecting the best ideas.

Along the way, we have come to map what departments and processes benefit the most from automation. It is not a <one fits all> framework, so we also tried to distinguish differences across most industries. You can find them all here and, if need more info, just contact us.