7 key checkpoints to consider before starting your process automation project

by Kris Subramanian, Chief Operating Officer | Posted on Wednesday March 16, 2022

One of the biggest reasons why businesses put off automation is that it can seem overwhelming in scope. Back in 2020, business process automation was estimated to be a $2.53 billion market, but it was given a big thrust by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Deloitte analysts, two-thirds of business leaders used automation to respond to the impact of the pandemic this year, and adoption numbers were up by 15% from the last year.

Clearly, if you were planning to embark on that ambitious enterprise automation project, the best time to begin is “right now”. But before that you might need a solid checklist to identify which processes to target first, and where to begin.

Tackling enterprise automation one step at a time

It is a common misconception that enterprises exist either as a fully manual-effort-reliant or as 100% automated. In reality, automating entire process monoliths is a complicated task; rather breaking workflows down into manageable micro-services and automating them is a smarter approach. This way, you can extract component tasks that are of varying degrees of frequency and variability.

High frequency, low variability tasks are the prime candidates for automation. They require immediate automation attention so you can avoid losing out any more on efficiency gains. Low frequency, low variability tasks are also very automation-ready – but they might require more time to yield ROI that you should showcase, or they may not even need automation if you already have them running smooth with the help of your staff.

Low frequency, high variability tasks (for example, redesigning your brand logo) are least suited for automation as they typically involve a high degree of cognitive efforts.

Finally, high frequency, medium variability tasks promise the best returns from automation implementation. An intelligent automation solution can effectively reconcile any exceptions the workflow faces, given its variability levels. With this, you can liberate your skilled staff from these tasks completely.  Due to their high frequency in the business fabric, organizations stand to save significantly by automating such processes.

No matter where a specific task falls on the frequency variability matrix, it is advisable to  break it down to manageable services before starting to automate it. There’s one more important step before kick-starting your enterprise automation project —assessing the organizational landscape for automation-readiness.

Is your organization ready for automation? Here’s the checklist

This checklist serves two purposes – taking stock of your strategic readiness and understanding your technology needs.

  1. Do you have prior experience in automating processes?
  2. How do decision-makers feel about the ROI of automation?
  3. Have you identified the right automation technology?
  4. Is your process defined and documented?
  5. Is the process frequently occurring?
  6. Is the process consistent/stable?
  7. Is the process digitized/ready to be digitized?

The answers to these questions can help shape your automation strategy and determine the automation approach to choose, and thereby enable you to take the first significant step towards evolving into an autonomous enterprise.

Wish to explore this automation-readiness checklist in more detail and gather practical insights on the hurdles en route before commencing your enterprise automation project?

Read our eBook How to implement intelligent automation for scale and unlock its true potential.

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