4 Reasons Why RPA Programs Fail – and Solutions to Solve Them

Author: Amanda Rae

Many automation attempts fail, 30-50% according to E&Y Robotic Report.  If you find yourself managing a failing RPA program, you are in good company.  But why do so many great ideas end badly? What were the issues missed that caused the project to derail? And how do you to save what is likely a significant investment already made?

The 4 Biggest Reasons Why RPA Programs Fail

1.  Poorly Understanding your Software Licensing Agreement

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One of the key reasons RPA Programs fail is financial. It does not create the return on investment needed to be self-sustaining. There is a sweet spot when starting robotic process automation projects. Go too small and you created a really fantastic widget that costs more than it saves.  Go to big and your development costs eat you alive before you can implement and save any money.

Our team includes dedicated developers for both UiPath and Blue Prism platforms. Working with our backstop support services, we can keep what you have created so far and focus on patching the gaps to stabilize your RPA program. We may also recommend augmenting with our prebuilt solutions to get you back on track quickly.

Our new Managed Services options allows you to bring all of your existing licenses and add them together with the hosting, connectors, and prebuilt solutions you might need to get your RPA program on track.

Book a free exploration call to see where your RPA Program is underperforming and how we can help.

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2. Low Process Intelligence and Automation Potential

Process Intelligence is understanding how the work in your company is being done. The better you understand your processes the easier it is to automate them. That sounds straight forward but the second reason that RPA Programs fail is due to low process intelligence.

This can be caused by many factors: 

  • Changes in business operation since the process documents were created
  • Variations in how tasks are completed from location to location 
  • Missing steps in process documents 

Process Improvement is a vital step in the automation journey that is often overlooked. Understanding your processes and standardizing them to the most efficient method is step 1.  

Documenting your known exceptions and how to address them is step 2.  

The cleaner and more optimized your processes are, the better your botz will perform and the less they will break. 

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.

– Bill Gates

Automation Potential is a combination of factors that help you prioritize your automation goals. A process with high automation potential would have low variations, be frequently performed, and create significant savings by being automated. These are the tasks to automate first to get to that self-sustaining ROI tipping point. We are looking for perhaps not the most exciting ones first, but the most likely to succeed and have meaningful RIO.

How to Fix it

Wonderbotz tool GENIE helps you determine which business processes to automate first.

There are 2 primary approaches to Process improvement and determining Automation Potential.  Route 1 is the traditional business analyst route. Here a person documents your processes, designs improvements with you, and helps you organize your automation goals. We only recommend this route if you have already started it. It is very easy to run into a lot of cost and a lot of time going this direction. However, if you have already invested in this direction and not gotten the results you wanted, we do offer a Backstop service. This service is a light weight consultancy package to answer questions, give second opinions, and help you use the data you have meaningfully. 

If you have created inefficient botz that break and you are not sure where the gaps in your processes are we recommend GENIE our AI Powered Process Intelligence tool. This is a fully automated approach to creating business automations (fancy we know!). GENIE runs in the background collecting the data on how your processes are being performed.  

The Scorecard will show you which processes have high automation potential and which ones need improvement before they can be automated. Processes requiring improvement will show the variations and their frequency. This allows you to design the optimal path and accommodate any necessary variations. For processes with high automation potential, GENIE will create the task maps to feed into the automation software you have chosen.  

3. Building Custom Automations Rather than Using Proven Solutions

It can be really tempting to recreate the wheel. You hired an RPA developer and he is going to build all the automations that your company needs. Sounds great, and if it works it is great. But this is an article about the 50% of the time when it does not work. We are looking at the times when he hit a snag. When your RPA program is over budget because it took 4 times longer to get the results than promised in your SLA contract. When the botz he built break, and keep breaking.

Graph showing how much money can be saved by working with the right RPA Partner

For most businesses there are some easy wins in accounting, finance, and data entry. These areas of business have huge similarity from business to business. (There are only so many ways to receive an invoice.) In these areas using prebuilt solutions can be the shortest path to getting your automation attempts back on track.  

How WonderBotz can Fix it

Here at WonderBotz, we have helped hundreds of companies automate their back office and finance departments. We understand the high automation potential processes and their common variations. Our AI-empowered robots have been collecting data, getting smarter, and putting that experience to work all over the world. Now they are ready to work for you. 

Our Back-Office Bundle is an easy to customize, fast to launch, and quick to value suite of accounting software automations. Built in to this kit is a plan to maximize your software licenses. In our version of the RPA journey, you add to your digital workforce over time. We have arranged the phases of your automation pipeline so you only pay for what you need as you need it. This can be the silver bullet to get your automation program back on track by next quarter. 

4. Lacking the Right talent at the Right Time – Team as a Service

In all of these examples of why RPA programs fail, there has been a lack of expertise at a critical step in the process. If you are going the in-house team route finding, hiring, onboarding, and training anyone is expensive. If you are managing your RPA program with contractors, finding quality providers who deliver high quality at reasonable costs can be tricky. We have heard the horror stories, we know. 

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Following the software as a service model we WonderBotz Podz offers a Team as a Service approach to RPA Staff Augmentation. We have trained award winning developers, both UiPath MVP’s and Blue Prism Certified developers. Our commitment to mentoring and developing new talent has formed a deep bench of RPA Developers and Solution Architects. WonderBotz Podz creates the opportunity to fortify your Automation COE with all-stars from our team who can be placed in your organization under your management to create the same world class results for you.

Backstop Support Services is a lighter version of this model, offering fractional use of our industry experts. With a really simple, scalable, contract you can consult with an expert in any step of the process. You can hire pieces created, debugged, or fixed. Get advice on how the industry is changing and future proof your automation plans.

No matter what the size of your need WonderBotz is here to help you get exactly what you need, no more, no less. Set up a call today with our team to see how we can best help you get your automation goals on track.

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