JifJaff Nine Pillars of Automation – Pillar Five: RPA Process Ranking Criteria

JifJaff Nine Pillars of Automation – Pillar Five: RPA Process Ranking Criteria

Over the coming series we will discuss how the “JifJaff Nine Pillars of Automation” facilitates successful Internal Robotic Process Automation (RPA) delivery.  The pillars provide RPA standardisation focused on self-sustainability, strategy, and continuous improvement.  This article is focused on Pillar Five – RPA Process Ranking Criteria.  JifJaff Process Pipeline Methodology provides the necessary tools to accurately rank processes suitable for RPA and most importantly build a strong pipeline feed for your COE (Centre of Excellence).

JifJaff is a specialist in building Client RPA COE’s through the building blocks of the “Nine Pillars of Automation”.  Internal automation delivery is the long-term strategic approach to ensure RPA is embedded into the organisation, and automation ingrained into the culture of the organisation. 

The JifJaff Nine Pillars of Automation provide the foundation, scalability, training, approach, structure & governance to deliver RPA internally through a robust framework.  This approach provides a clear line of sight crucial to achieving business benefits, ROI and thereby tackling common RPA scalability challenges.

The potential for Robotic Process Automation to eliminate mundane, repetitive tasks so enterprise talent can focus on higher-value deliverables is undeniable. As is the benefit of making those mundane tasks more reliable, faster, and with higher-quality results.

Complete understanding of the process to be automated is paramount. This involves compiling a comprehensive understanding of each process step, decision points, process’s objective, and most importantly, its business context and how it fits into the Clients Automation strategic landscape.

Robotic process automation is an easily accessible and low cost-entry solution to automate lower level tasks. Used smartly, RPA technology can bring about significant cost reductions by eliminating the need for expensive, manual labour on highly repetitive, high-volume activities. Implementing a successful RPA solution lies in creating a generous backlog of eligible processes. Not all activities, however, are ideal for RPA technology. The key to selecting the right automation candidates requires heavy emphasis on a thorough assessment of each process.

RPA technology is not suited for all processes, candidates must be evaluated against attributes that showcase RPA’s key strengths. A quick and simple way to create a valid process pipeline is to utilise a scoring mechanism that objectively rates how well each process candidate fits the attribute. Once processes have been assessed and ranked by total score, those scoring the highest are put at the top of the list for Automation delivery, resulting in a backlog of process candidates for the RPA COE development team.

Which processes to select for RPA?

Businesses can safely select processes, which involve any of the following criteria, for the business-transformation and utilisation of RPA:

Rules-driven: Processes that are rules-based and consistent are good candidates.

Repetitive in Nature: Manual and repetitive tasks are the right processes.

Data Intensive: Tasks that involve systematic churning of voluminous data. Processes that have a high frequency of occurrence, as well as high-transaction volumes, are ideal candidates for RPA as the technology will greatly reduce (or, in most cases, eliminate) human error involved with manually processing the sheer volume. Reducing error also reduces risk.

High error rates: Tasks that involve data entry across multiple applications. High-volume, manual processes are prone to high error rates, usually resulting in rework that could be reduced or eliminated with RPA technology.

Manual Calculations: Laborious tasks involving manual calculation of results, where one error leads to another.

Out-of-Hours jobs: Seasonal work overloads, round the clock tasks, which involve resolving complaints, orders, etc.

Electronic Start/End points: Processes involving digital inputs and outputs with intermittent manual steps.

High Compliance: Processes which require audit proofs for regulatory compliances.

Validations: Tasks involving multiple systems where validations are required at each decision point.

Huge number of resources: Tasks involving many resources and multi-step processes.

 

How should I shortlist and prioritise processes?

Identifying the correct automation opportunity can be a challenge.  Without clear guidance, analysis of business and process impact criteria, ranking can be skewed and result in the selection of the wrong process for RPA.  Quite simply put, automating 20% of one process may add more “Business Value” than automating 100% of another process. 

Once you have selected your candidates, the next decision point is how to shortlist and prioritise them. Using the considerations listed below, grouping processes using a scoring matrix method is a valuable tool for decision making.

Key considerations include Process Materiality & Suitability, Regulatory & Risk, Financial, Process Complexity, SLA, FTE Impact and Technical Complexity to build.

Process Materiality: Process requires a high number of FTE’s and is performed frequently.

Suitability: Process has repeatable business rules that can be automated.

Regulatory & Risk: Process supports control and compliance related requirements which would be met & enhanced through RPA

Financial Impact of RPA: Automation of the process would drive additional revenue, increase business volumes, and lower operating cost.

Process Stability: Process is stable and is not undergoing major change or re-design.

SLA & Time Criticality: Process is time critical with strict SLA’s & RPA will improve time efficiencies.

FTE Impact: RPA impact would reduce FTE required to run process.

Technical Complexity to Build: Process complexity will influence RPA development time and thereby business priority and realised benefits for operational delivery.

Selecting and ranking the right process as per the above defined criteria will automatically translate into a higher Return on Investment. The process can be small, but the savings achieved at the end of the year are significant. Enterprise RPA rollouts and centralisation of operations using RPA COE’s will in turn bring in significant efficiencies of scale.