RPA – Converting thoughts into Bots

14 August 2019

Lithe CEO – Anthony Murphy

Seems like every conversation I have with business teams these days includes the sentence, “you could create a bot to do that” and generally people nod and agree. But how many of these ideas are realised or even evaluated beyond the conversation? I would suggest most businesses have a low conversion rate from “thoughts into bots”.

Some organisations approach RPA from a strategic perspective and have defined top down plans. We applaud that and think it is a great way to deliver significant change. However, innovation is often bottom up and there should be a place to consider those ideas too. Bottom up change is a great way to engage business teams and empower them to make improvements, within a control framework.

Of course, not all ideas make sense to implement, but there is something tragic in missing out on evaluating them. I’m reminded of a great quote from Albert Einstein where he said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

We have seen many RPA projects completed in days which save weeks of resource time, speed up customer-centric processes and free resources to focus on higher-value tasks. It is important to know these opportunities will exist in most businesses. They just need to be captured and acted upon.

With this in mind, we recommend considering the following four simple steps to improve your “thoughts into bots” score:

  1. Create a visible backlog and reward people who contribute ideas into it. This doesn’t need to be monetary, simply calling out in a town hall or saying thank you is typically enough. The process of raising an idea must be simple as many will be put off with complex templates. We recommend a simple web form or email/physical suggestions box.
  1. Regularly review the backlog at informal sessions. Invite those suggesting ideas to the meetings/call to make a pitch as to why their idea   should be implemented and vote on preferences.
  1. Provide an allocation of resource each month to allow for a few bots to be implemented. It is vital to show that innovative thoughts, can lead to bots and realisation in short order. Using an agile methodology for RPA is ideal.
  1. Measure the success and feedback to all involved. Again – a reward for bot of the month is a great way to reward innovative behaviour.

If you want to talk more about how to engage your workforce to drive automation, then this is worth consideration.

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