Process Automation is considered a technology initiative of strategic importance as its operational benefits such as increased productivity, efficiency and accuracy are clearly visible to business leaders. However, we often see organisations failing in their automation initiatives because they have taken the leap with poor strategy and/or execution.
We have developed a 3-step approach to creating a practical and successful process automation strategy that will help lay the foundations for an automation journey.
Uncover The ‘Why’ for Automation
Before diving into the more specific details of the automation, it’s crucial to determine the ‘why’ for automation, and what its purpose is. Ask questions! An early assessment will force you to take a more holistic approach to the implications and impact of automation on the organisation. These questions will help you uncover essential information to set measurable and realistic goals:
What does automation mean to our organisation?
Why do we want to automate?
What business outcomes do we want to achieve?
Are we looking to redefine or improve business process flows?
Do we want to increase efficiency through the standardisation of processes?
Successful automation is not about automating every single business process. Instead, take the time to identify key automations that can drive a significant impact across the value chain of the business.
Address the Resistance to Change
As you will discover in the first step, automating will require addressing the silos within an organisation along with technology-specific issues and a culture side, the resistance to change.
According to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, organisations struggle with employee resistance to automation. The extent of these human-related challenges explains why 42% of the survey respondents believe providing education and reskilling opportunities are among the most important practices they can employ to smooth the implementation of automation.
Equally important is generating buy-in for automation. This can be achieved by involving different stakeholders at every level of the organisation, and talking to the people in the different departments to figure out what types of automation initiatives can realistically be embraced. Getting the support of the leadership and operational side of the organisation is also critical to influencing cultural change. The report mentioned above explains that C-level executives, particularly the chief technology officer and the CEO, are ultimately responsible for the success of process automation.
Map and Optimise Your Business Processes – Time for AMOBI
Now that you clearly understand the purpose of automation in the organisation and the importance of the culture side, it’s time to map and optimise your processes using our AMOBI methodology.
AMOBI is an iterative framework based on the concept of continuous improvement. AMOBI enables a structured, templated approach to assess initial requirements using root cause assessment, mapping and optimising processes to identify manual or system bottlenecks, comparing the proposed optimisations to the expected benchmark and implementing successful optimisations. The AMOBI stages are: Assess, Map, Optimise, Benchmark and Implement.
The AMOBI phases are a fundamental step to a successful automation adoption. For the automation of repetitive tasks, the AMOBI methodology helps to avoid prematurely choosing technology solution(s) and then find out another part of your business is impacted along the way because either the processes were not mapped beforehand or tested and acted upon. AMOBI forces you to take a step back and take a holistic approach to the processes you want to automate, the purpose of the automation and the organisation.