Robotic Process Automation has been in the last 3 years one of the fastest-growing technologies, mainly due to its adaptability to different business contexts, and the fast way it can be delivered to final users.
In the context of a cross-company digitization program, our client, an important Italian Energy company, asked us to leverage on a large scale the high versatility of Robotic Process Automation, to gain benefits in efficiency and reliability of their production site business processes.
beNIMBL’s approach to Robotic Process Automation implementation takes the form of a People Centric Intelligent Automation Journey, which aims at ensuring that the automation program undertaken by a client is accurately and effectively addressing its users’ business pains, by assessing a large set of high-return process candidates, selecting those that could return in a short time the best value from the related investment.
The Intelligent Automation journey
As a result of the initial alignment with the ICT and Digital departments of our client, in order to deal with the significant number of people and departments involved, the entire program has been developed using a stepwise approach, dividing the entire program into waves, each of them involving different departments and working groups.
Each wave, as per methodology, started by carrying out a Digital Onboarding, during which users were shown the full potential of Robotic Process Automation functionalities by viewing a series of real case applications, most of them centered on specific and relatable business problems, some of them more generic. Leveraging the freshly acquired knowledge, users developed preliminary ideas on how to apply RPA in their day-by-day activities.
An average of more than 100 different preliminary ideas for RPA applications was collected during each wave’s onboarding workshop.
After a first analysis, the digital team selected a subset of ideas for further development; as expected, about 20% of these were discarded because, from an architectural standpoint, they were addressable using other already deployed technologies. These ideas were tracked and shared with our client as part of the final deliverable, in order to avoid any leak of the information we got from business users.
Selected ideas were then developed during the second workshop (the Idea Development phase), in which business users were asked to provide additional details to better describe and characterize the processes to which the ideas were referred. This step refines ideas and turns them into real opportunities that can be evaluated from both a qualitative and a quantitative perspective.
It is important to notice that the Idea Development phase is supported and accelerated by a set of tailored data gathering templates, which help business users to focus on the key aspects of the process to be assessed and avoid any unnecessary energy waste.
Collected data was then used by beNIMBL’s Digital Advisory team to analyze and characterize each opportunity from several different perspectives. To make results clearly understandable and management-ready, each opportunity was finally located on a 2-dimensional chart, the Evaluation Matrix, where Benefits and Efforts were compared.
The added-valued provided by the Evaluation Matrix is the simplicity of visualization on how clusters of opportunities should be prioritized, helping clients to make data-driven decisions on how to address the digitization program.
Usually, a digitization program should start by implementing Quick Wins (opportunities with low complexity and high benefit), however, the so-called Low Hanging Fruits (opportunities with low complexity and low benefit) can help in creating a critical mass on the digitization program, which is fundamental to increase the overall impact on the organization.
Once the list of opportunities to be developed in each wave was finalized, an implementation plan was defined, with the aim of minimizing development time, always taking into account business referents’ required effort in order to avoid overlaps and related work peaks. The Implementation team worked in close contact with the Advisory team to ensure continuous alignment with the client and its business users.
An agile implementation approach allowed to deliver all automation streams on time, avoiding any unplanned deviation from the requirements, and finally fulfilling a high business user satisfaction in line with expectations.
Once each developed automation was productive and fully operational, the Execution Monitoring step of the methodology was fulfilled by deploying a set of dashboards in a central hub where the execution of RPA tasks could be continuously monitored.
By accessing the Execution Monitoring Dashboard and looking at the provided evaluations, the client had full visibility on RPAs behavior and was able to take further improvement actions based on monitoring results.
In fact, the hub tracks whether robots are activated (automatically or by user input), which documents are created, which applications are used, etc…). Furthermore, and most importantly, any execution error is logged and analyzed in order to understand and solve any potential issue.
beNIMBL’s Intelligent Automation Journey, one of our People Centric Approaches, helps companies to fully harvest the automation potential of their core processes, achieving in a short period of time consistent and tangible results. This is always crucial for the Digital and ICT departments to give a strong innovation impulse to the company.
The key benefits of Intelligent Automation Journey are: