Published: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020.
Banner - Step 1- A Deep-Dive with Knowledge Domain Experts

A Deep-Dive with Knowledge Domain Experts.

Author: Darin Munn

Over the next five weeks we will do a deep-dive into the areas you need to consider in order for your intelligent automation program to be successful. To kick off the series, we’re going to cover the importance of process discovery and analysis with knowledge domain experts.

We see it over and over again—organizations struggling to identify the right candidates for automation. Some have paid tens, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars in search of quality automation opportunities to fill their pipeline. Unfortunately for most, the output yields nothing more than a generalized list based on what others have done.

For those who are unable to achieve efficient process analysis, the cost will be felt throughout the delivery lifecycle. According to Forrester, 36% of organizations cited selecting the wrong processes as a key reason for bot breakage. That doesn’t include the additional costs of prolonged design, development, and testing phases because of scope creep—which likely could have been avoided with proper analysis.

The reality is that identifying quality automation candidates isn’t always a simple exercise. Sure, you may be able to spend an hour or two on the phone with a business user, gather enough information about the process, and put together a solution. But this methodology doesn’t capture the complete process. In fact, it causes inefficient development and prevents delivery of enterprise-grade automation solutions.

Understand it’s about the people

To really understand the ins and outs of business processes, we must understand the systems, integrations, workflows, volumes, and PEOPLE. Unfortunately, the human factor is missing from most process analysis exercises, yet the people are what hold the keys to the truth. Even process mining* technologies can only gather and decipher system data—which can be riddled with random, non-system-defined exception logic paths—they can’t fully capture the human element. The keys to your automation programs’ success begin with taking the time to sit down with the people actually doing the work, hearing their pain points, asking what is working, and listening to their ideas.

Why skilled automation partners matter

After failed attempts with prior consultants or DIYers, it’s time to re-evaluate your process analysis methods. With the global process analytics market expected to increase to over $142B by 2023, organizations should leverage part of their budget to seek qualified service providers to perform process analysis.

[Pro tip: Make sure your service provider has team members with first-hand experience working within the business functions you’re evaluating.]

Automation consultants born out of business functional delivery teams truly understand the problems you are trying to solve and are capable of speaking fluently across the table about process details. This is more favorable than trying to translate information into layman’s terms for generally skilled consultants. We’ve watched this first-hand and the connections that occur when you speak the same language creates excitement, promotes trust, and enables quality output.

For mature automation programs, business-first consultants should also be able to provide insight into integrated automation solutions, or the transformation of end-to-end processes. Based on their deep understanding of the systems, workflows, and challenges within respective functions, the right consultant can partner with their technical counterparts to explore, design, and implement a truly transformational solution.

Why skilled automation partners matter

At the end of the day, we all know that reliance upon service providers can’t go on forever. So at the same time you’re seeking a partner to help rejuvenate your process analysis results, look for a partner, like Agilify, because they offer complete transparency and you can learn from them. Investigate workshop offerings, sit in on their process review sessions, and study their output to identify ways in which your automation center of excellence can consume this responsibility.

By improving process analysis, your developers will be more productive, your runtime exceptions will be reduced, and your automation program will begin to scale.

In part two, we will explore why having a service provider that is capable of delivering enterprise-grade automation solutions is vital to the success and growth of your automation program.

*Note: For all of the emerging process mining purists out there, we want to be clear that Agilify believes in the capabilities and future of process mining. This approach is one of many ways to capture tasks/processes for automation.