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RPA Excels in 2 Key Capabilities

Our current business environment requires navigating through waves of disruption that are also building and extending previous disruptions. All businesses require tools that are flexible to help in reacting quickly and efficiently. With RPA tool evaluation, your focus should be viewed from the lens of “best option for” automating repetitive and non-value add tasks to allow a greater focus on value-add activities. Given the current market landscape, your greatest business value can be achieved from a robust automation tool in two key areas: elimination of non-value-add repetitive manual processes and automation of testing activities to speed the delivery of quality business solutions.

A two-part combined focus ensures your long-term strategy by allowing your business to respond to the current and foreseeable disruptions in the business market while at the same time, replacing legacy non-efficient activities with robust quality application capabilities.

This strategy will allow you to:

· Address the continuous waves of description

· Improve delivery timeline and quality of long-term strategic initiatives

When evaluating RPA tools, consider that you will achieve the greatest return and value from a tool that supports both aspects. It’s important to maintain your focus on the value proposition of these tools and not get distracted by potential capabilities or extended features that do not move you forward in your long-term strategy. Your business will gain a great deal of value through the automation of repetitive and mundane manual tasks in legacy applications. At the same time, you should also focus on the long-term strategic value delivered by increasing the speed-of-delivery with new, strategic capabilities that can be achieved through testing automation.

Take the digital enablement strategic initiative as an example...

Digital enablement is a critical and foundational capability that supports the flexibility of applications necessary to quickly sense and respond to disruption. One key challenge you must take into account is while you are working on the digital enablement strategic initiative, the market continues with disruption waves which must be addressed. The best RPA tools support repetitive business process automation that allows you to react to the waves of disruption and, at the same time, supports end-to-end process testing automation necessary to speed the delivery of digital enablement.

RPA marketing initiatives are focused on automation of repetitive manual processes, most times across legacy applications. It seems you can’t open a newsletter without some report of how another business used RPA to eliminate manual tasks to support disruption resulting from the pandemic. What you don’t really read about is the value achieved when a company delivers a strategic initiative (such as digital enablement) quicker, and with higher quality.

Basic lean principles demonstrate the way to improve process and increase value is to eliminate repetitive and non-value-add tasks. Automating process flows is an easy demonstration towards ROI. In comparison, a lower focus and priority is to automate the testing process. Generally speaking, testing is often buried in the strategic initiative as an ‘art’ to deliver a quality product. Though not adding value in the same way as other business and customer facing processes, It is important to remember that testing is also a process and can also deliver improvements through a lean evaluation. The right RPA tool can automate the test processes that are not adding value in the same way as other business and customer facing processes.

This is why I suggest that the RPA tool evaluation should include both business/customer facing process automation AND testing automation. The value proposition allows the ability to address short-term demands, while at the same time, speeding the delivery of strategic initiatives that move your business forward. This is where it gets a bit tricky however because all RPA tool vendors claim support of both capabilities. You must focus on the “-ilities”’ (flexibility, extendibility, supportability, etc.) in order to identify the best tool for your needs. It is also best to work with an expert partner that can first help you define your strategy (the what) so then you can select the tools to deliver the strategy (the how). This expert partner will help you eliminate all the guesswork and quickly identify the correct tool to meet your needs.

Tom Brouillette



Thank you for reading my post on NCSP or LinkedIn. On my blog I regularly write about management and technology trends- find me on LinkedIn and click 'Follow'

Tom Brouillette discusses supply chain trends and provides strategic business & technology advice to his followers and companies.

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