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Blog | RPA

10 Barriers to Scaling your RPA Delivery

Sep 1, 2021 | 4 min read

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is great, right? Software robots that complete your day-to-day processing instead of people. Increasing accuracy and reducing costs… who wouldn’t want that?

And yet, we hear many organizations are finding that RPA is not living up to the promise.

The fault, however, lies not with the tech, but with how people are using it. Here we’re going to break down the top 10 reasons why organizations are struggling to achieve RPA nirvana.

1. Over cautious approach / fear of the unknown

For many employees, this technology is simply still too new. Maybe they’ve heard about it, but don’t understand it. What if the robot goes rogue and starts making critical mistakes? What if it crashes the systems?

These aren’t stupid questions. It is a result of lack of knowledge. Your employees don’t need to become experts in RPA, that’s what we’re here for, but we would always advise better awareness and understanding of how these things work, otherwise they will be afraid to use them.

2. Rejected as a serious solution by IT

We all love our IT departments, but we’ve heard many stories of hyperautomated solutions being rejected in favor of creating batch processes or reporting suites belonging in a data lake for example.

The thing is – they are not wrong – but they are not right either. The point of RPA is that it provides a faster and cheaper alternative to completing something.

The question is, should they be done differently? If a data lake is 2 years and £2M away, but a series of RPA developments gets you the outcome in 6 months and £200k – that might be a better option for the business.

3. Poor candidate processes

A favorite analogy here: If all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Our advice to companies is always – look at your processes. Start with your highest volume processes and look at how you can improve them. Watch the process in action. Understand how the customer experiences it. Look for Failure Demand and Waste in process.

When focusing on making the process better, you will naturally uncover opportunities for automation.

4. Attempting process perfection

Every process has variations and exceptions. If-that-then-this. The problem is many RPA developments try and account for as much variation and exceptions as possible – usually because that’s what the business wants. But if 80% of your process takes 20% of the development time, why would you spend a huge amount of development time for such a small incremental return?

Scope your process better than you think you’ll need to. Watch dozens or even hundreds being performed by people. Speak to expert front-line staff (avoid managers telling you what happens – they don’t know enough detail).

Agree what the bot will do and how it will handle variations. Write that down. Scope creep is a killer.
Focus on the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that will produce the most benefit for the least effort. You can always build more complexity later (if that’s the right thing to do).

5. Lack of appropriate infrastructure

If your RPA processes are business critical, they are going to need a Disaster Recovery solution. And with that requirement comes additional costs and management (and testing). If they are not business-critical, they might not need one though. It’s all about managing risk.

You’re going to need virtual machines (you really don’t want a room full of physical computers taking up space being operated by invisible robots).

You’re going to need servers; they need to be managed and supported. Be smart with your requirements and avoid under-servicing or over-servicing your requirements.

6. Lack of integration with IT development and support

If you’ve had a ‘business-led’ implementation of RPA then there’s a good chance that the RPA development team is not plugged into IT, the way it needs to be. This is OK when you’ve only got 1 or 2 processes, but it becomes a real problem when you need to scale.

You need distribution lists that announce when planned outages or core systems will occur or when planned upgrades are being released.

Have you thought about who’s going to support the developments, who’s the first line of support? IT help desk or RPA devs? How will you coordinate effort with the Network guys if that turns out to be the issue?

We advise working in close coordination with IT.

7. Constrained investment

If you’re going to seriously deploy RPA, you need to invest in it. You’ll need to hire or train (or both) some people in whatever RPA platform you choose.

Roboyo can help put the right things in place, set you up for success and help you provide flexible resource when your demand outstrips your internal supply. We can also provide Managed Services to proactively monitor and manage your automation ecosystem to ensure optimal performance. This frees you from the day-to-day and allows to you focus on the future.

8. Lack of awareness

End-users of processes, the ones who know the processes better than anyone else are likely to have a low awareness of RPA (or probably none at all). Same goes for first-line managers.

Invest time, effort, and budget into teaching your people about RPA. Get people interested and excited about what RPA can and can’t do. Run Lunch and Learn sessions and roadshows or contact Roboyo Academy and discover a range of courses designed to upskill your workforce.

9. Insufficient testing

We recognize the importance of rapid release cycles. Your employee and customer demands are constantly evolving and increasing, and the business wants to see a quick ROI.

Time is of the essence, but we would always recommend a thorough testing of your automation solution both pre and post live.

The cost of detecting and fixing defects increases exponentially down the code life cycle and a failing of a stopped process or application could prove costly and risky for your business. Therefore, it’s crucial to spot defects early on.

Roboyo’s unique and proven test methodology framework encompasses strategy, analysis and design, implementation and execution, evaluation, reporting and review – all with the objective of delivering, future-proofed test automation.

10. Governance

Governance is essential for building trust in any business initiative and digital transformation is no exception. Helping to increase reliability, monitor performance effectively, mitigate issues, and boost compliance.

Effective execution will be determined by how well stakeholders across the ecosystem work together. Well-established governance procedures provide leaders with the confidence that the expanding hyperautomation program is managed by appropriate checks and balances.

APPLY THESE INSIGHTS

At Roboyo we use a combination of proven business and consulting methodology and hyperautomation technologies to see exactly where and when, within your business workflow, opportunities for continual improvement can be leveraged.

Our consultants and automation engineers are ready to help your business create meaningful efficiencies and take it to the next level – book a meeting today.

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