Putting Robots to Work

The Robot-way is the best way for Intelligent RPA

Robot-way is an outcome-focused, best-of-breed design approach that blends how a person would perform the tasks with how a computer program would automate them.

Robot-way is focused on outcomes rather than how people currently perform the work. For example, an analyst would need to export data from one system into Excel to perform calculations, whereas a robot can perform these calculations within the software. In this example, the automation isn’t reliant on Excel and its quirks.

Designing the Robot-way simplifies the automation, builds resilience into the process, increases speed to value, and improves the efficiency and cost of implementing the automation itself.

Which processes are ideal?

Identifying and prioritizing the right processes is important and, collectively, your automation wish list is your backlog. Listed below are some considerations when selecting processes to automate:

  • Process Suitability: The process should be describable, rules-based (not subjective), performed digitally and use primarily structured (or structurable) data. The key candidates should include the 80% that can be done without error, letting humans handle exceptions.
  • Material Value: The process should be important to the company, delivering key benefits to productivity, profitability, speed, etc. Don’t solve problems nobody cares about or that don’t drive value.
  • Buildability & Cost: Be sure the process is actually buildable and that the cost of the automation will be justified. Finding this mix is often the hardest part. Use a methodology to make sure sizing metrics reflect the resources available to build it.
  • Operability: Ensure the ongoing operation of the IPA process will work in terms of staff available to handle the new processes, the right amount of staff for exceptions, and to check for ongoing quality and outcomes. Change management is key to getting this right.
  • Maintainability: Be careful with processes that change frequently or need to be rebuilt often (e.g., because of competitive reasons or constantly shifting regulations). For all processes, you’ll need a program in place to maintain, monitor and update your robots.

Creating your backlog is not a one-time task. It is best done on a continual basis led by a team that understands the day-to-day business and is empowered to select ideal automation priorities.

Example use cases

Listed below are some of the process-level use cases we’ve identified at various companies we’ve worked with, either by industry or by functional group (e.g., accounting, IT). Use these to get a sense of the type of activities you may pursue with IPA: