Digital Transformation (Dx) can rapidly deliver a multitude of business benefits when implemented successfully. At its core, Dx streamlines the repetitive and tedious tasks that steal human capital from focusing on more meaningful work. A Dx initiative may include robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), automated intelligence (AI) or a combination of the three.
Business processes are the foundation of an organization. They represent a necessary grouping of activities that are required to operate and scale any organization. A strong set of business processes has the ability to create value by saving internal stakeholders time and exceeding increased expectations, however a poorly designed set of business processes serves as a barrier to efficiency and growth.
As a managed services firm that fosters a holistic approach to RPA implementation, we have developed a few guidelines to consider when starting your RPA journey.
Avoid disaster by understanding the business processes before automation
Oftentimes, a process made sense at the time it was created but it wasn’t designed to scale as the organization matured and the landscape changed. This is why merely purchasing an RPA tool and installing the software isn’t enough to fully recognize the business benefits of automation.
When undertaking a Dx initiative you must understand the reason a process was created and its intended purpose. Just because a process has been put into place, doesn’t mean it was well-designed or scalable.
Automating a process just because you can and without a thorough analysis of the baseline workflows, is a recipe for disaster. Before any automation takes place, take note and document the current processes, as they stand. Re-designing processes while implementing RPA will increase cost-savings and overall operational excellence.
Unlock human capital by scaling digital workers
Unlocking the full potential of any Dx initiative must include the harmonization of innovative technology and the human workforce. The key to truly achieving economies of scale in any Dx journey is to foster human-in-the-loop interactions where the human workforce enters a process when the automation stops. The human workforce is no longer required to engage in the defined repetitive tasks but is now free to provide cognitive insight such as exception handling, communications, and decision making.
We have a finite number of human capital hours available to us. We must use them wisely and to their full potential.
Harness your data
Data is king. A positive by-product of deploying Dx to streamline your processes is the immense amount of data being collected. This new data can be mined to evaluate process health and provide greater insight into improvement opportunity.
This data can assist in your continuous improvement goals if harnessed and analyzed correctly. Through leveraging the insights produced, you can gain a better understanding of organizational structures, potential leakage and operational workflows to create greater efficiency and scale necessary to accomplish your strategic goals to truly transform your business.
Avoid culture shock
The need for communication is often overlooked. Communicate with your employees early and often to help them understand the value of a Dx initiative, their role in the project (if any) and the impact on their place in the organization post-Dx. Without proper communication and expectation setting, a valued employee has the potential to upend an entire transformation initiative. Involve your team early and often.
Develop strong corporate governance
Establishing strong governance in your Dx efforts ensures successful implementation. This includes defining the process discovery approach and prioritization of opportunities to maximize the value delivered to your business. A few things to consider:
- Establish the right governance structure: Engage key stakeholders to set the strategy and be accountable for delivering the transformation results. Typically this is comprised of representation from the business, IT, internal audit, the sponsoring Dx implementation team and executive sponsorship.
- Define the objectives of the governance board: Identify how the group will ensure consistency and visibility of demand management decisions, including demand generation, benefit realization, continuous improvement efforts, and delivery.
- Build and manage a clear demand pipeline: Determine how potential opportunities will be evaluated against the areas that matter most to your business. While standard questions and toolkits are available, take some time to tailor items that drive value to your business. Define a clear methodology to move from ideas to execution to production.
- Monitor performance: Determine how progress and health of digital assets will be measured. Just as you do with your people strategy and business continuity planning, you must ensure an appropriate contingency plan is in place if a bot fails.
Food for thought
Investing in Dx can propel your organization to new heights. Therefore, it is essential to have a Dx strategy, an implementation plan and a culture which embraces change to optimize the power of a newly integrated workforce. To remain competitive in today’s global marketplace Dx can’t be put off until tomorrow. Your customers deserve it, your organization demands it and your future employees expect it.
Liberty Source is a top-tier onshore managed business services provider with a social mission to provide sustainable careers to military spouses and veterans. Liberty Source provides organizations with high-quality, cost-effective solutions by utilizing digital innovation along with a cognitive service layer which is essential to enabling accurate and meaningful business decisions. We serve as a direct extension of our client’s business operations, providing lower-cost, assured accuracy, and scaled deployment through culturally-aligned expertise.