Points of failure
Few RPA failures are down to the technology itself, but some in the business either misunderstand or misuse it. RPA is a technology and people process, not purely a technical solution. Once deployed, there can also be problems caused at the other end, with downstream processes not making best use of the data or results.
RPAs and IT don’t like change
Traditional RPA solutions are effective in many cases, but are not smart or tolerant of change. Consider a web form for a new company or one that is growing fast. Every time that form needs a new field or extra data, it must be changed and will likely break the RPA, requiring recoding or retooling.
Similarly, the IT department doesn’t like changing platforms, services or applications. Before committing to RPA, investigate each process and consider if the business or another department might need to change or upgrade any aspect of it in the coming years. Take time and run integration to see what services work best with your business, and can blend in with minimum hassle.
Alongside adopting the best RPA or intelligent automation technology for your business, focus on long-term change and build flexibility into any solutions you plan.
People don’t like change
RPA is a career changer; it may eliminate some roles, and free up other workers to perform more valuable tasks. But all of those come with implications that the business can’t predict. People can and will leave, and if those with knowledge or in a critical role move on, it can impact the processes and plans around RPAs.
Some people will be happy that RPA can take over some tasks they view as poor use of their time. Others are quite happy and add value to their tasks that the business might view as ripe for RPA. To ensure RPA is a success, take into account these human factors and the experience of people who may have decades of accumulated knowledge to add.
Office politics and intelligent automation don’t mix, and every business must take great care in ensuring that impacted staff or those that work with new RPA processes are aware of and aligned with any changes. From a surgical removal of teams to transfers or long-term redundancies, handle the processes with care to avoid tarnishing the image and value of RPA.
IT should not be in charge
Most RPA failures are down to human error, according to practice experts, and IT are rarely the most human-centric department. A wider-ranging business team needs to be collectively responsible for collecting data from workers and ensuring they’re aware of how RPA affects them, and what they need to do.
Let IT do what it’s good at, and let those with people skills work on the human aspects of changing a business to accommodate intelligent automation. With all these cautions in mind, RPA remains a key method of process improvement that will strengthen companies or prevent them from failing. Just remain calm and methodical across the business to ensure RPA plays to your strengths and you avoid its weaknesses.
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