Using Automation to Choose Your Automation
Making Process Selection as Efficient as the RPA Itself
In our last blog, ‘The Factory Metaphor,’ we mentioned that process selection is the first and most important step in implementing RPA. We wrote that when choosing a process to automate “the best approach is to look at the impact it [the process] will have on your organization’s overall workflow.” But what does that entail?
The automation industry as a whole has gone to great lengths to ensure the selection of the best processes for automation. We have created a long list of metrics to measure our processes by and, as a result, it may take you and your team hours to make the right selection.
It’s crucial to your success, but process selection is a time-consuming, resource-intensive, and inefficient task. But isn’t the whole point of using RPA to improve efficiency?
The good news is that technology is quickly evolving to bridge the gap in efficiency between selection and implementation. However, we’re not quite there yet.
Here’s a quick look at where we’ve been, where we are, and, more importantly, where we’re going in terms of process selection.
Process Selection Then
It’s been clear since the very beginning of RPA that choosing the right process is invaluable. As Bill Gates says:
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
In other words, you don’t want to mess this up. So, it’s no wonder why process selection can be time-consuming.
When RPA was first introduced, we had to manually assess each of our business processes according to a set of metrics. For every process, we asked the same questions: Is it rules-based? Is it unchanging? Are there high rates of human error? Eventually, given your answers to these questions, you could narrow it down to a few of the best candidates for automation.
But even then, doing process selection manually was prone to mistakes. You could be sure of selecting a good process, but you might miss the best process.
Luckily, process selection is no longer completely manual and not nearly as time-consuming.
Process Selection Now
Today, we have tools like Automation Hub and Task Capture, that can help speed up process selection substantially. Novatio has our own tool, the Automated Smart Process Assessment Tool, that we use to help our clients choose their processes more efficiently.
Although these tools are incredibly beneficial, there is still a level of human interaction required that prevents them from being totally efficient. Additionally, because humans are involved, the outcomes we receive from these tools can be flawed or biased. We all have different ways of doing things, so the evaluations may not be standardized, causing problems when the processes are ultimately automated.
The Future of Process Selection
The future of process selection lies with process mining. It is not a particularly new technology, but something that has yet to be widely implemented by organizations.
Process mining, when used correctly, can allow organizations to monitor and track their business processes as they occur, gathering valuable information that can then be automatically assessed according to the metrics set for process selection.
Process mining has the potential to eliminate the time it takes to assess processes after they have been performed. After adding process mining, a company will be able to assess their processes as they are happening, allowing them to identify the right processes for automation instantly, and with little to no human interaction.
That sounds great in theory, but the technology is far from perfect and has a way to go. As we wrote in our article titled “AI Is Not a Magic Pill,” there is never going to be a single perfect solution to all of our RPA problems. Still, process mining will soon allow companies to be equally efficient in their process selection and RPA implementation.
Technologies like process mining move quickly; don’t get left behind. Novatio can help you to be prepared for the next step in the evolution of process selection and RPA. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you navigate new technology and make the most of the technology you already have.