Over the last 5+ years we’ve communicated regularly with our international Automation and AI network, we’ve also observed, interviewed, worked with, worked for, shaped, trained, learnt from and researched teams globally in Europe, US, India, Hong Kong, China and the UK
We’ve extensively researched the automation industry and seen it evolve from when Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was brand new in the mainstream in 2017, to how it has become intelligent automation. Our research has been focused on two metrics that have remained unchanged all this time, globally! We asked:
Why do 50% of all RPA and AI projects fail?
Why do less than 5% of businesses succeed at scaling automation?
What were they doing right, what was everyone else (even big companies and large automation teams) doing wrong? We started to see patterns, repeating cause-and-effect situations and coming from a Lean-Six Sigma world, the instinct was to understand the root-cause.
We discovered that each automation team or business had their unique (and sometimes not-so-unique) issues and problems, but they all tended to stem from an array of similar challenges that they had all come up against (see the Top 7 challenges RPA teams will face). After reviews and tracing we identified that most of these challenges could be traced back to a handful of mistakes that had been made and in turn we were finally able to boil these down to just THREE root causes (see the 5 key mistakes of automation and AI).
These 3 reasons seemed to be the cause of all the issues and problems that was causing all these Automation teams to not get value and fail at scaling their automation!
By understanding these root causes and mistakes, we were able to notice the patterns of what successful teams were doing and time and time again saw SEVEN themes in successful teams, and saw a lack of these 7 things in struggling teams.
Here are the 7 things that successful automation teams do to roll out automation at speed and at scale which we put into the acroymn: A. E. I. O. Y. O. U. and the AEIO YOU methodology which we have explained in our book Business @ the Speed of Bots (the AEIO YOU method)
Based on the 7 things successful automation teams do, AEIO YOU is a unique blend of Lean Thinking, Change Management, Intelligent Automation best practices to maximise ROI.
This 7-stage process (and its 36 repeatable steps) can be used to adopt and roll out new cutting-edge technologies across an entire business, to improve Automation project success (current industry success rate is 50%). This methodology ‘changes how we change’ with technology so that the entire company is involved and comes along the digital transformation journey, vs having change ‘enforced’ on them
this is the Awareness and alignment stage, where a company becomes aware of the new technology from a senior level and learn about how this capability fits into the overall strategy. However, an important step sometimes missed in organisations is to also make staff teams aware of the technology, how it will help them personally as well as has the business will be strengthened.
This is also the stage which aligns the different key business areas to agree on how to use this technology, how this new capability will be governed (in a centre of excellence) and where this CoE will sit (e.g. in operations, IT or perhaps in the business change department.
Once a Automation roadmap and operating model has been established for the RPA CoE team, the staff should be educated in the new ways of working. This is your core RPA/Automation team, Automation Champions and staff who will be helping with the automation. They should also be educated in their part in the CoE, what is expected of them, how to use tools and techniques
Coupled with this, is the provision of standardised tools from the CoE to empower core CoE staff and stakeholders to be part of the digital transformation. This will ensure that your teams produce successful results in their automation projects repeatedly
This is the application of tools and training to identify and accurately assess opportunities. This is also where your teams follow strict guidelines to design (ideate) the right solutions
This stage in the implicating of the optimised solution, be that RPA, intelligent automation or a lean intelligent automation
This is a way to measure return on investment or yield and prove the benefits were realised as predicted
This stage focused on the support side. As your virtual workforce grows you will need to re-organise and develop your support team with role profiles and procedures which were needs when your bot factory was small, so that you can better oversee your bots.
This final stage is a reflection of the first and second stages, where you become discover of new technology, upskill your team to match the new technology, and upgrade your automated processes which AI
Tony writes for the Digital Transformation network, educating businesses in using new cutting-edge technologies.
To learn more about using Process automation and other technologies, check out the AEIO YOU® Portal, a one-stop centre of excellence enablement platform for getting value from RPA and IA – speak to your local AEIO YOU® partner to learn more
Learn about 5 key mistakes that cause many of the common challenges most RPA teams face. However, our research suggests 3 root causes