5 Steps To Build Your Enterprise Automation Road Map (EAR)

1. Zoom Out:

a. Identify the departments most suitable for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) using an RPA Checklist

b. Solution layer: review and vet capabilities and vendors that can meet individual team needs (RPA, AI, Machine Learning, intelligent character recognition, process mining, business process management etc)

c. Build a Department or Team Complexity Map to show ease of implementation vs benefits (financial and non-financial)

2. Zoom In:

a. identify all suitable processes and add to your Automation Catalogue

b. Solutions layer: review and vet capabilities and vendors that can meet individual process needs (RPA, AI, outsourcing, lean process re-engineering, etc.)

i. ability to create libraries of re-usable code

ii. ability to scrape web pages, Citrix applications, PDFs

iii. Ability to integrate with plug-ins and APIs

c. Build a Process Complexity Map for your first target department

3. Categorize and Prioritise

a. Prioritize teams and processes into waves using your high and low-level complexity maps

Using a Complexity Matrix you can capture the difficulty of each automation initiative from the developer’s perspective. By quantifying the complexity and intangible benefits such as scalability and error rates, you can plot all processes on one map.

However, doing all quick wins upfront may not have significant impact on the business, so it is ultimately the business who should decide, guided by the organization’s strategy and using this map as a decision aid which backed by data4. Bake in continuous improvement

a. Keep coming back to implemented automation in order to improve or enhance them

5. Plan how to self-fund your CoE

a. Use savings generated from implemented processes to pay for the continued running on your CoE. That means get profitable fast, be that ROI from clients or wooden dollars internally

You can learn more about implementing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and intelligent automation at The Lean Intelligent Automation consultant

You can read about Lean IA’s trademarked AEIO YOU method in their new book Business @ the Speed of Bots, Succeeding In The New Age Of Digital Transformation


3 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help Grow Your Business

AI and robots are already being used to great advantage by businesses no bigger than yours.

You can stop trying to imagine the future of A.I. because, believe it or not, the future is here. While robots aren’t yet walking our dogs or doing our grocery shopping, A.I. certainly is a growing presence in the business world. The growth in this industry is astounding.

In fact, most of the top 100 artificial intelligence startups are based in the US. This means that the trends for intelligent automation are becoming increasingly visible. But what is intelligent automation?

It is specially designed software that detects products or objects in images, pulls data from documents or manipulates information. These software robots have been trained to complete tasks that have a “human” quality. They can adapt and learn the more they work.

Now that you know what it is, let’s talk about three ways intelligent automation can help your business:

1. Increase productivity

Imagine a 25-percent increase in staff productivity. That’s what a restaurant in labor-short Singapore expected when they implemented their new “flying waiters.” These drones are designed to deliver plates to diners while the employees perform other tasks.

This is just one example of the opportunities to increase your employees’ productivity using RPA, or robotic process automation. Using these software robots, your basic business computing can be done efficiently, freeing up your employees for the non-repetitive and more creative tasks.

While you are imagining the many ways you can increase your business’s productivity, don’t forget about the common human errors you can avoid.

Related: AI Is Taking the Art Out of Sales

2. Reduce common human errors

As more businesses turn to automation in an effort to relieve their human workers of repetitive tasks, they are also avoiding many common human errors, making these businesses much more efficient.

Software robots can learn and adapt far more efficiently than most human workers. In chatbot programs, for example, this feature is especially helpful for standard customer service needs.

The chatbots continuously gather information as they are used, and they use that information to help your customers.

With the increasing availability of intelligent automation, what return can you expect to see on your investment?

3. Improve your ROI

Now that you have implemented software robots for tasks that you no longer need employees to do, imagine the possibilities for the return on your investment.

You hire fewer employees and pay less in salaries, wages, training, and benefits.You invest in the automated software and equipment and outsource your maintenance.

With increased productivity and reduced human errors, your average costs for the same work will be much less, which can exponentially increase your return. What business owner wouldn’t want that?

Read the source article on Entrepreneur


Why AI means the end of ‘pure’ RPA

Interview with Process Excellence Network

PEX Network:

What is your working definition of ‘intelligent automation’?

Antony Walker:

RPA is dumb computer software doing manual tasks. Intelligent automation is combining things like RPA or BPM tools with some sort of artificial intelligence, so that it doesn’t just move data through a process, but it can interpret and understand data. Unstructured data is where RPA falls short, whereas AI can fill this gap. And 80 to 90 per cent of processes have unstructured data

PEX Network:

What problems can intelligent automation be brought in to fix?

Antony Walker:

RPA, AI and intelligent automation is seen in the media as something that could replace people as many businesses have been focusing on FTE savings, however it should be used to augment what people do; taking the tedious boring tasks so that people can focus on more intellectual, creative parts of their life. And it allows businesses and their staff to discover new revenue streams that were once unviable to reach, so that their business can in fact expand.

PEX Network:

What sort of organizations are looking into RPA and intelligent automation, and why are they doing it now?

Antony Walker:

Early adopters of this technology have been finance, insurance, utilities, healthcare and law firms. The manufacturing industry have used physical automation for decades and are also looking at automation on the software side as well. The biggest benefit are for industries that have a lot of paperwork and repetitive tasks, so you can imagine areas like legal, tax and accounting departments having a big appetite for this. Processes that are repetitive and logic-based can be automated, so this is why RPA has benefited them greatly.

Over the next year, there’s going to be a lot more focus on AI. In 18 months to two years, I don’t see there being any pure RPA initiatives, everything is going to have that intelligence built in. This is because IA is really starting to mature now.

PEX Network:

That is quite a statement. What do you think is driving all this?

Antony Walker:

There have been a lot of advancements in AI. There are a lot of use cases and quick wins for teams to implement AI and benefit from it straight away. And as mentioned previously only 10 to 20 per cent of processes use structured data. Many business leaders and analysts I’ve spoken to have become frustrated in their previous pure-RPA projects that weren’t providing the ROIs they had expected. That’s why lean IA hits this problem twice. Lean means you use fewer ‘robots’ to get more savings by optimising your processes first, and IA means you can target more processes and move away from just pure-RPA.

PEX Network:

How will these changes affect the big legacy banks and financial institutions?

Antony Walker:

Two big stories that have been in the finance technology world for a while now are robo-advisors and cryptocurrency. Independent financial advisors will start to feel squeezed out. They are being challenged by these AI capabilities advising people on how to best invest their money, so IFAs are having to adapt and focus more heavily on the human, customer relationship side. Then we have cryptocurrency which threatens to decentralize the monetary system.

One thing I have seen in the utilities industry are start-up companies in the energy sector that have popped up with very low overheads due to having minimal infrastructure, and are able to greatly undercut and move faster than the big corporations. This is definitely something legacy banks may fear happening to them.

Any industry that has a lot of paperwork, manual processes, large workforces and unnecessarily complicated or dated processes in their back office operations will feel the pinch as they start haemorrhaging money and customers. In asset management the baby boomers still prefer using paper forms, I’ve been working on a project where we used intelligent cognitive-recognition software to scan information from a paper form and then put this directly into the database, which saved staff having to read the document and manually typing the information into the database manually a thousand times. Do note that we are now at a time where computers can read handwriting more accurately than humans.

These are just a few of the things behind the scenes that AI and intelligent automation are having an impact on.

PEX Network:

If this technology really is maturing and becoming more ubiquitous, what’s going to be the big difference that we’ll notice?

Antony Walker:

How we interact with the banks and insurance will be a big one. Natural Language Processing is going to advance a lot more, and is where I am personally starting to focus. Website chat bots will become a lot smoother and smarter; they will understand what we’re after, and understand what our profile looks like; they have our data, so they will be able to really customize what their recommendations are to our specific needs.

In insurance situations like a car accident when we use our phones to make a claim, they will be able to read and respond to our moods, understand the images in photos we send them, know where we are and remember our history to tailor their advice

In summary, customization, speed and accuracy of service through more convenient avenues are how we’ll notice these technology advancements over the next few years.

Read the book, Business at the speed of bots