Articles

4 Ways to Avoid A Failed Automation Journey 

by Saurabh Bhatia 

4 Ways to Avoid A Failed Automation Journey

In recent years there has been a growing desire among financial institutions to automate processes as they move upstream to meet customer requirements. Before important decisions like loans and underwriting decisions are even made, financial institutions are deploying automation at the start of the process to provide a seamless digital-first experience.  

Research shows that automation is one of the fastest and most efficient ways for financial institutions to acquire, enhance and deliver information, reduce costs and save manual labor. Then why is it that most automation initiatives fail?  

4 Ways to Avoid A Failed Automation Journey 

A survey by EY states that 30-50% of initial RPA projects failed to realize their expected returns. The diagnosis suggests some challenges the enterprises typically face in their automation journey which potentially cause the RPA failure. Here we explore 4 ways in which enterprises can avoid automation journey failures: 

1. Give importance to change management and training 

2. Create automation champions within the organization 

3. Use the right tools to understand what needs to be automated 

4. Keep employee experience at the core of the automation vision 

Let’s dive in! 

Give importance to change management and training 

Automation cannot be successful without proper implementation of change management. Even if automation is a technical matter, it relies heavily on human relations. Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is different than your typical IT project such as ERP/CRM etc. 

These projects require engagement from business users because, in essence, the role of the very same individual will evolve with the adoption of automation. Organizations that have been successful in their automation journey have put a real emphasis on the training and mobility of their teams when implementing automated processes. One of the most common examples of this is the changes in the target user interface. Any changes to the UI interface of an RPA application or system will most likely halt the automation which can put projects in a critical condition. Therefore, some organizations ask their automation core team to regularly check for changes in the ecosystem of the dependencies (in this case the UI interface) to avoid any failures.  

Create automation champions within the organization  

Automation is here to stay and is evolving rapidly. However, many organizations still see their automation initiatives as a project and not as a journey. Automation today has moved away from being just a technology project and is more about data transparency and technology capability. Most organizations don’t approach automation with the rigor it requires, assuming the business workforce need only attend a few training courses and that they can, without the support of IT, generate enough extensive automation to scale a program. 

IT is a critical partner throughout the transformation process. Their role is to ensure that the system is scalable, reliable, secure, and performs well. To make automation scalable, organizations should have a core team who are experts in the automation space. Successful organizations use such a core team to articulate the business value of automation well and get buy-in from key stakeholders within their organization. The core team articulates the need, advantages, and roll-out plan to each stakeholder before moving ahead with automation. 

Behaviours Driving Intelligent Automation Success & Failure

Use the right tools to understand what needs to be automated

Not all business processes are considered fit for automation. Choosing the wrong pilot process without understanding the needs can become one of the major reasons for failed automation initiatives. The success of any automation program strongly depends on a deep understanding of how processes will get handled on-ground.

Organizations are moving towards discovery tools such as process mining, task mining, and task capture which identify automation and improvement potential in end-to-end business processes and unleash the true value of automation.

You can use “The Three Rs of Automation Discovery”, to guide your approach towards successful discovery and automation implementation.

Keep employee experience at the core of the automation vision

In recent years we have realized that automation is not about replacing human beings but helping them be more efficient and using them for strategic work rather than manual. Automation projects require even more engagement from these individuals (users) to ensure the stability of the automation program.

It is important that organizations have full management support to communicate and reassure their teams that automation is more about reducing boring/repetitive tasks so that they can focus on more interesting and fulfilling work. Think about a contact center agent in a bank who struggles daily with clients because they had to go through 15 or 16 applications to do simple resolutions. They will be better off with an easier interface where they can focus more on the clients rather than swivel chair operations.  Automation can help these contact centers to reshape the experience not only of the customer but also of the team members, which will also lead to better talent retention rate.

The Bottomline

There is no question that Intelligent automation has demonstrated exceptional results, from predicting behavior to streamlining operations. But its implementation needs to be thoughtful, effective, and pragmatic to ensure its long-term success. There are other factors that can cause a project to fail including the lack of testing and not following the best development practices. However, these 4 reasons are primary and should be taken into consideration before starting your automation journey.

Blanc Labs has proven experience working with organizations to identify and implement intelligent automation solutions. We take a holistic approach, helping organizations build the necessary foundation and setting them up for long-term success in a hyper-automation environment.

Book a demo or discovery session with Blanc Labs to discover the impact of our Intelligent Automation solution.

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