People, Process, Technology: The Winning Robotic Process Automation Formula

People, Process, Technology: The Winning Robotic Process Automation Formula

by July 27, 2018

The business world is excited about automation. It’s creeping into every day life, slowly yet surely.

There are vast amounts of content on what it can do for your business, how it will revolutionise the way we work. However, sometimes it is worth going back to level zero to contemplate what foundations need to be laid to create a successful automation strategy.

What is the PPT Approach?

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In his talk at the 3rd RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and Intelligent Automation Summit, Sebastian Antony, Portfolio Lead Enterprise Machine Learning at Barclays International, did just that. He stresses the PPT approach – People, Process and Technology – the key areas to focus on.

Antony recommends starting with the customer. If you don’t start with the customer the longevity of what you are trying to achieve will be short lived. It’s harder to build a business case without the end game, i.e. the customer in mind.

“Imagine going to your CEO and saying by doing this automation our customer revenue intake and our bottom line will shoot up by 10%, that’s a much more powerful approach than saying give me a million and I’ll do some automation!”

Long term or short term?

The customer then drives the vision for what you want to achieve with automation. What are those key KPIs and metrics? If you are able to convert those metrics into your PnL then you’ve taken ten steps ahead on this journey. Next you can focus on strategy. Is it a long term or short term strategy?

Do you want automation to be a more strategic or tactical approach? Have those questions clearly defined and get your leaders or executive sponsors to give you the answers.

It’s important to know their long term plans too. Whether your CEO is going to give you money for one year or five years will affect your other decisions, such as what the budgets will be, which vendor to work with. Everything starts to tie up.

Once you have this groundwork in place you can move onto process. What is your process for managing policies? Do any of these policies need changing? What is your process for vendor selection? What kind of customer journey and end-to-end processes will you focus on?

Look at your pipeline, how will you select the processes? In a change management environment Antony calls it ‘the plan for a plan’ – you need to have a plan for a plan to automate. That’s how you gain widespread support. If you are able to define the processes and have it documented, your governance teams will come to the table and talk to you.

What is your strategy for your workforce?

Next is people. What is your strategy for your workforce? Will some people lose their jobs? You have to decide how you will change your culture, mind-sets and behaviours. If you get it right, you will have an army of people behind you, supporting you, which is absolutely critical.

It can’t be a handful of job titles in one section of the company working on an automation transformation. It needs to be a widespread adoption. Equally important is communication with your executive sponsors. How will you communicate your progress with them? Is it a monthly slot on the executive meeting table for example?

How will the software work with your ecosystem?

And finally, the technology. How will the software work with your ecosystem? Most companies have an ecosystem that is at least ten years old. Will integrating something into that infrastructure work? Sweat the assets and the vendor knowledge and figure out how that integration will work.

Laying the foundations is critical when it comes to automation implementation. Once you’ve completed these sections; the customer, vision, strategy, processes, people and technology when all these are ironed out well, there should be success. Get any of these wrong, whilst you can still get there, it will be more difficult. The bottom line is that it has to be customer driven, process led and technology enabled.

Ahead of RPA North Asia Summit in Hong Kong, IPQC brings you exclusive insight from leaders in the industry on what you can do to create a winning formula to bring RPA into your organisation.

To see how we put the People, Process & Technology Approach into Practice, download the article here: