One of the challenges experienced by early adopters of robotic process automation (RPA) is that business leaders don’t know which processes to automate first so as to realize the most value. They can also find themselves in an RPA post-deployment slump when they’re unsure which processes to automate next so that the work queue for the digital workforce remains full and profitable.

Additionally, the resources and research it takes to define the criteria for automation readiness and then qualify each potential process create a barrier to long-term RPA scalability and success.

To solve the problem, some companies engage in process mining, which maps the steps in the process but omits subject matter expertise. Other organizations use a process mapping solution that captures the staff’s tribal knowledge, but not the specific technical steps of each system involved in the process.  Both solutions leave business leaders in the dark about which processes are automation ready and would return the most hours to the business.

Here’s where a process discovery analysis tool comes to the rescue. An effective tool helps you more easily determine which process to automate — and reduces the preparation time for an RPA deployment from weeks to hours. A process discovery tool assesses, qualifies and prioritizes processes for automation readiness and ease, as well as potential business value.

A process discovery tool can accelerate these three key steps in your RPA journey:

  1. Drive organizational engagement. A people-centered approach maximizes the opportunities available for automation, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. A process discovery tool, for example, can help you create a questionnaire-based assessment for a 15- to 20-minute conversation between a process analyst and an SME. This targeted assessment provides a definite direction about whether to expend any more effort on analyzing the process — and eliminates the need for long meetings with multiple stakeholders.
  1. Establish transparent, consistent and objective assessment criteria. First, the tool can qualify each process in terms of its readiness for automation and assign it to one of four quadrants:
      • Ready – a well-documented process that is almost entirely digital-based, repeatedly using the same applications
      • Cultivate – an almost entirely digital-based process that uses multiple applications but lacks definition
      • Incubate – a well-documented process that is primarily nondigital, with a low throughput
      • Defer – an undefined process that is primarily nondigital. Re-evaluate following automation of several other processes.

Then the tool can overlay that qualification with the relative benefit opportunity — based on hours returned to the business — compared to all other processes that have been assessed. If users input the relevant data, the tool can even convert the hours to a monetary value.

  1. Deliver a blueprint for your automation journey. The discovery provides a foundation of easy-to-automate and quick-to-value automations, with guidance for successfully adding automations and scaling RPA. This action plan helps RPA champions gain the buy-in and confidence they need from internal stakeholders to pursue true digital transformation and automation excellence — and avoid the post-deployment slump.

An easy-to-use analysis tool maintains a steady vision for your automation pipeline and helps foster stable RPA growth.