Courtesy of BPM-D's Dr. Mathias Kirchmer, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Robotic Process Automation – Powerful Solution or Dangerous Illusion?' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at RPA & Intelligent Automation Live.
Robotic Process Automation – Powerful Solution or Dangerous Illusion?
Digitalization changes dramatically the way organizations operate. New digital tools are available almost every day; they enable the transformation of business processes to become more efficient, agile, meet compliance requirements, enhance customer experience, or improve the general quality of deliverables.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of those digital enablers which has been applied, or at least discussed in many organizations as a possible solution to help achieve new levels of process performance. However, many organizations struggle to realize the full potential of RPA. According to newer statistics, 30-50% of RPA initiatives fail completely.
This presentation will discuss the typical value of RPA and how to focus on the right sub-processes to automate, improve those business processes considering the end-to-end process context and sustain the results through appropriate governance and hybrid work force management.
Key topics addressed:
Kirsch Murray's coming to Georgia, lead us through the journey of transformation from a business process management and intelligent automation perspective. So, doctor MIT, yes, please do join us. Turn on your camera as I introduce you to our audience. And for those of you who follow us for the last few years, probably have watched doctor Mathias sharing his knowledge and expertise about business process management. And should they did, he is his title. The title of his talk is Robotic Process Automation, Powerful Solution, or a Dangerous Illusion. So we're all very eager to hear the message here. Doctor ... is an experienced leader, and the in the field of digital transformation and business process management.
He co-founded: BPM D, a consulting company focused on process performance, and the gel is Digitalization by leveraging the discipline of BPM. Previously, he was the managing director of BPM at Accenture and the CEO of the Americas at IDS year. Doctor Pierce Schumer has published 11 books and over 150 50 articles on the subject.
He teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Weidner University, doctor .... It's always a pleasure to hear and learn from you.
Yes, thank you very much, Jose, and welcome, everybody, and thanks for your interest.
So I hope you can see my screen now.
Looks good, OK, perfect.
So far for the next half hour we're going to talk a bit about the subtopic of digitalization and digital transformation. And a topic that has been for the last 2, 3 years heavily discussed and really become something like a buzzword. Everybody talks about robotic process automation about RPA.
Most of the large and mid-sized companies have initiatives in that area going on. And now even many smaller organizations look at a robotic process automation tool to help them become more efficient and more effective.
However, what you often don't hear about is that there's also a lot of organizations that's stuck with that topic. Let me give you a little example.
The few months ago, we worked with insurance company, and the CIO, very excited about the first real RPA initiative for they support. It's a wonder of that key processes with the Twitter bots. Are very happy that's the whole initiative went on budget in time, Emily. Emily, Seeing Life, So really great. At doing that. They also set up, really do the RPA center of excellence, puts people to cases, so had some internal know-how and then ready to move that automation and improvement approach into the conversation.
However, they didn't get a real demand. So they talk to executives.
And I said business unit spots, little to no trench.
So they asked us, well, to check out what the issue was and help them to educate people, to understand the potential and all that.
And when we talked then to the Responsible Vice President, whether it's a first initiative, took place, he had a very different view on things. You said, yeah, you know what?
We went through all this automation initiative spent quite a bit of time and money on it. But if I look now at my of processes, I don't see real change. Of course, we have those 12 bots life.
But if I look at the number of people in my unit, it's the same as before, if I look at my psyche time. Well, it has not really changed. Of course, there are some people who have now less manual work to do, maybe they can take a break, but it didn't have a real impact on my business.
And that is the situation.
I have seen more and more, people start very enthusiastically gets RPA up and running, but they don't get real, yeah, a real benefit out of it, and let us now spend the next half an hour to see, well, how can you address and avoid such situations.
I've structured the discussion into four points that you see here on the screen.
So first, a brief comment about your RPA and its value you can get out of it. Then, we talk about, to focus RPA on the right opportunities, the right processes, how to improve in an appropriate process, end to end context using RPA, and then a couple of comments, How to sustain to achieve benefits, and keep the process performance up.
It says as the technology, while it's a real password, as mentioned, but it's not, that's a new I remember even 15, 20 years ago, we did similar that we basically worked recent application on the user interface of other applications. And be referred to it as a scripting, but of course that's not very **** term So it was by far, not as popular as today. So I think RPA is not just that it's now the new technology. And of course it has been proofed since that time. But it's also about, Here marketing it's much, much better.
And with this, Project Pauses Automation, and that's basically the heat, that we move robotics from the factory into the office, that is something that's really made it attractive. And if you look at all the players, UI powers and automation, anywhere, I'm a ... advice out there.
They're all growing at every month, new clients, so really, really, a hot topic, and that has, Of course, it's its reasons, uh, most talk about here, reduce reduction of cost. He claims was as we could reduce the present cost by 50%, plus, or we could reduce the cost and cycle time of our procure to pay process. Less arrows and bless my new And, that's the typical stories be told me, good success stories be here.
On the other hand, that comes more and, more, also, discussion around benefits. That's RPA. Really, leafs leads to quality. Improvements improve the services that we deliver by really speeding up activities in a call, send in a client on boarding.
So that's equality speed aspect becomes more and more important, and an aspect that is often still a bit underestimate it is the whole field around creating a better ability to manage our pauses and to cover. And it's because if you have a set of bots, those activities you have, then it clearly under control, or no questions about business, continuity, reduction of leakage and seeks gets forgotten. So the boats, you get a better handle around your process. And.
It becomes more straightforward to keep it on track.
All those topics, very, very big opportunities.
So really, something that shows that RPA can be a powerful solution.
However, we also have to seen, as I explained, in the little xander at the beginning, that's, there is a big number of RPA initiatives, especially enterprise RPA initiatives. That's the trail that don't deliver the expected value. And I would even go a step further advanced statistics out there that's up to 50% of the initiative sprays. So they stop the pods again. The number of the ones where the initiative kind of work but doesn't deliver all the expected benefits that number is even higher.
And if I read here, research reports like from the dark net Coupe, then Only 1% of organizations have their processes enough under control. That they realize the full potential of digital technologies. And I clearly see that this is the case also here in the RPA area.
And, uh, the very big issue that pops up all the time, is, that's, people don't have enough knowledge and enough insights into the end to end process context, and that's a big financial institution.
And I talk with the CIO some while ago and so, she explained to me that, whether they were an early adopter of RPA and within a year they oversell. It wasn't boats live, everybody was excited. And, well enough, a year later, they stopped all the books.
Because she said, that's the initiative and create many more issues than solutions. And the estimated that many of the process is changed much more often than they had expected, So they, they were not prepared a trusting the bots appropriately. In the time Then, they could fix some bottlenecks. But they, did, you know, that they created a much, larger ones downstream, and people and departments, were not prepared for that, though. Again, huge business disruption. So, that's, that's missing knowledge around to premises context.
Stopped the whole initiative.
NASA situation, we often see that people targets, the process is and not from a technology point of view. Of course, you will, you know, then, you can automate some, some data, and trends, or some contrast between organizations. But if you do such initiatives in commodity processes that have little to no impact on your goals, then, well, did, you may see that the RPA books, but you just don't achieve the benefits you are looking for. And that's, especially of the case, when the RPA small run as technology initiative is a proof of concept.
And we show how they report to really revolutionize the organization, but with out a clear business case behind it, so that it can never lead to, ooh, two results that move our company forward.
Once we're live with those sports, like, in the case, that there had been more and more issues, because they couldn't adjust the boats fast enough, that shows also another challenge that organizations tend to underestimate, and that's the whole topic around what's happens.
When we live, how do we keep those boats up to date? What do we do directly in business? What's the car part of the activities? We pull in our IT department, to we need them at all. So, how to keep things on track. And keep on adjusting to changing environments. And that's a very, very important topic.
Directly related to that. Also, the whole field, around people, change management. And, Well, I know, we talk about automation, we talk about here.
Bots, that's, don't need the human attention unintended bots. So why do we need much change management?
Good, RPA implementation, automates your straightforward cases, maitre exceptions, But the tricky exceptions. They still have to be handled by humans.
And that means people who were used to spend big part of that time on routine routine transactions. Suddenly, they have to spend most of their time on handling a tricky exceptions. So they may need an upgrade of, that, know, how they need to adjust the working style. So RPA can have a significant impact on the map force. And we have to manage that.
And so, with all that, of course, as often here, quick use of RPA, push school, many of the vendors, without having a real strategy and automation strategy around that, which also leads to a situation that we don't achieve the pauses performance, we are really looking for audits, Jessica, Lord of men, so it's lead to delays. And we cannot really achieve the time to value that we were looking for, so a lot of pitfalls that such a RPA initiatives can have and that lets us know of a fluke how we can address those.
The first point is, that's why we need, like, this every improvement and automation initiative, that we need to take a step back and figure out, where are the areas in my organization that's most important to address? And that has nothing to do with RPA or intelligent automation, or whatever. That's just a general question. Where do we need to improve?
Index is very solid research.
That's an organization only, competes, who about 15 to 20% of their processes, 15 to 20%. That means 80 plus percent pure commodity processes. If we are as good as the industry average in those areas, that's fine. If you Yeah, really automate and improve debate. You order your office material, you may not really achieve an impact on your P&L.
What is important that you first have a look at your high impact processes? So those 15 20 percent and that Madame moles. And among those, the ones with the low maturity level. So where we are doing worse than the industry average. These are the ones to focus on. And when we look for an impactful use of RPA, and thus the automation techniques, it's really important to have a clear idea about high impact, low maturity areas, so that you get the most bang for the buck.
Once we have in the defy those, then we can have another look and see where those processes suited for RPA. So they're really repetitive transactions to be high for high transaction volume.
So all the smart technology related aspects that's, yeah, that's ensure that RPA can really make a difference. And this is something that wasn't, on one hand, You can, of course, goes who sucks checklists. And what you see here is really a collection of key points that you will find in all those RPA checklists, but even easier. You find nowadays already, for most of the processes, like your ..., to pay your claims handling. Whatever you, you find, here lists, with a typical RPA usage scenarios, so that you can, very quickly identify the high impact, a process that we have identified for improvement initiative, really suited for this RPA technology.
Once we know where to focus on, it's important to understand that that process, and I know it as a lot of discussion, all of these, we know, that you enter your data by dou B loot. Suction. process, discovery session by to be needs. Such as's analysis. and what is the example I mentioned before, a missed, the downstream effects are often the upstream automation.
That is a good example by for an enterprise wide use of RPA, it's so important to get transparency over the existing processes and T an example of a pretty straightforward analysis of underwriting processes and then you check out what are the automation effect. You see, the blue boxes are these areas that we can automate. That means the activities are still that, but they can be done school, full, 100% automation, of the activities with the red triangles that we really don't need anymore. We don't need to check things on spreadsheets and sent them back and forth. So there may be even some concrete walls that the it can cut out. So so that's the transparency over processes, We can take an intelligent and informed decision about our automation approach about our automation strategy.
And Vera RPA really makes most sense, and that does not, we know, when we have 10 possibilities for RPA, that you have to do all of them at once. It is fine to have something like an RPA click start, and just pick out one and start there and gets its working, However, do that in the context of your process.
Understanding what's the impact and effect on areas of the process, and to get the insights That can nowadays also be further simplified skua techniques like process mining.
You basically then gets the insights where you spend a lot of time on entering data on moving data from one application to the ASA. You get you get that in.
In real line, the real underlying data mining system basically takes out your information into different system locks, and then shows how your process instances look. Like.
Where are the bottlenecks are and where those bottlenecks are Created school activities that RPA can support Section mining approach is especially interesting for enterprise, whites, automation, and RPA initiatives to get a quick idea where the real opportunities, but also to caution of bits. In some cases, you can get that information fast. That's very quick traditional analysis, as I've shown before, because then you don't need to create or the adopt us. And then, so, if it's just for discovery, that can be often a bit of overkill.
However, if you then seek a step further, how to use that information after RPA in place to keep on governing your processes, then the story changes. And then as such a mining is really, really important component, delivering first benefits in the analysis, but then even more in the ongoing governance of your process. So a topic, if you move towards RPA topic, surely bursts to look at.
And of course then there's us similar techniques like task mining, where you go through the screens and see how people, for example, use the office applications. And there's even the ideas of students at task mining. You can create information that then can trigger more or less, automate its development of simple thoughts. So a lot happening at the moment, in this whole field of process and task mind.
And whatever you do there in your automation, important to keep in mind that normally.
Only 20% of the process handles 90% of the transaction.
That's basically the happy path, And your first RPA applications are best in this happy path, because then they have, of course, the highest impact, and then you can step by step to examine the exception cases and identify which exceptions have a volume. That's it's still averse to keep on automating, keep on, extending the functionality of my, the use of my bots. And we said, you can come to a real, let us say agile process approach, where you have to first pools a tsunami or around the happy path and the related benefits. Then the second Pulitzer scenario, where you etch the key exceptions and you have, again, the business case and the pauses scenario about it, so you can manage your automation. Really two watts. The outcomes, and the fruit, and see all. The next scenario wouldn't deliver the value I am looking for, but then you just.
You just stop out and say, OK, these are the scenarios we had to manually.
And to take those decisions with the automation for a specific scenario, makes sense or not. That is an area where we have made very, very good experience using a pragmatic, straightforward process, simulation, like here, in that case, in an insurance company. Where we had looked at this poses as we just discussed it, then defined to be, that basically addresses the.
The improvement opportunities and then close time attributes behind those different activities puts probabilities. It's the decision points and then see, OK, what is the difference between biases. And to be situation that in that specific case, we could show that you can reduce about 80% of the administrate. If F font that you can reduce your process costs basically.
By half that, you are a number of tasks, has been cut by half that, you are, scalability, can be improved by a factor nine, all that you get just upfront by comparing .... And to be a process motors based on the data that you got, is us who interviews us with the mining activities. I just explained.
So to have transparency over your processes to have then the, the quick access on to the data. Let's show you what the impact of your automation would be. That leads to a situation that you really use RPA and that you automate what matters for your organization and what brings the real benefits and to get those benefits. And we also need to be realistic, it's, in most of the cases, not just the school RPA, but it's a combination of different automation components. That's why, there's this whole term around type of automation, all over the place. So that's also the reason why we need something like an overall automation strategy. That we have a set of tools that we can apply in the context of our process to get really the, the best value out of our initiatives.
So, think, beyond just RPA is think about how it fits into the bigger picture and when you look at the end to end process or the sub process.
What are the opportunities in general, for automation, and then determine the right combination of automation technologies.
For Dennis, importance, to already think chewing this transformation journey about what comes next And there's that whole topic around what is often referred to as Hybrid Workforce Management. So, a two day minute Joe for business, you will need of our claims handling of our underwriting, is used to deal with more or less human workforce in the future. There will be a hybrid workforce consisting of humans and bots. That means we need to adjust, not only to change management, but there may be a Hindu our processes on a day-to-day basis.
We need to build up the skills to do a simple adjustments of our bots in the IT, in the business department, without calling IT in, for every activity. So, there is a heavy at transfer of those activities from IT into the business, just as you use your spreadsheets today, and the future, you, you really trust your bots. But, again, that means people need to be trained to them, and also, management needs to be trained to recognize that, and provide the appropriate guidance.
And to make that, we can meet also, some of the more traditional techniques. We need a functioning governance around our processes.
If we don't have anybody who really owns the end to end process and triggers, adjustments, triggers, a new improvement in automation activities, we have, we have a challenge, and that's by chewing such an automation initiative during our RPA roll out in the organization. It's important to think about who owns the process.
Where is, where is the supports, gives the guidance to, We have some, Here, Process Center of Excellence, He has, then, that's, guidelines are defined, and, appropriate guidance is given. So, it's not just about getting the technology in place. It's about thinking. How do we organize the book around our pools as is? How do we keep them on track? And that whole topic around the process.
governance has become very, very important, and more and more organizations recognize that, because without the governance, you cannot realize the agility that you really want to achieve and to make that governance efficient. That brings us back to the rights to support. That you have fewer structural information about your processes in your repository, that you can manage towards that, configure your bots and automation, based on those models.
But then, that you were collect the information about your actual process instances. Get your performance information.
Do we need our KPIs and your conformance information to be really follow the process that we have defined the Point B, basically compare what really happens and what EFT Fine, and to make sure, we have you really follow our plan. And we have not missed any bottlenecks or any issues or any exceptions. So, to have good said, digital environment for the process of process management or for your governance process helps you in the ...
of your intelligent automation, and helps you to get value out of your RPA, and beset be at the end of this. very short overview. So, it's important to focus on what's the what matters most. Then, we automate and create our RPA in the organization into the process context, so that we don't miss any up or downstream issues. We have a clear idea about the business impact of school, different mining, and simulation techniques. And we think about the work after the transformation organize, the pauses governance, to keep our performance on track.
And if we pull all that together, we establish, basically a business process management disagree.
And with that, thank you very much for your attention. And I think we still have a little bit of time for questions. But feel free to check out. Here are white papers and publications. You can get all of them a school webpage, And most of them also for free. So no problem at all, or feel free to reach out to me Directly, always happy to talk. Thank you very much.
Thank you so much, doctor .... We are actually at the time for the session now. So I have a comment and a question that you have addressed already on the on the slide that you're sharing here. So I'm going to ask you to stop showing your presentation screen at this time, so they can see us on the bigger screen on camera.
And doctor Matthews, as you do that, I will I'll highlight some of the comments from the audience. And the and the comment is that this is a masterclass on intelligent automation, appropriately, implemented in organizations, and some of the common sense that say that this should be required, pre work for an organization moving into our transformation journey.
Because so many organizations jump into it without, know, intentionally, and the understanding the, some of the foundational items that you so well described in your presentation. So, thank you so much for sharing that with us, and the question was partially addressed, I think, on your last slide, What is the best way for the audience to connect with you, and Andrea, and, and learn directly from you, and what you're doing at BPM deep?
Yeah, the best way is surely is still the traditional e-mail.
It's Mathias ..., dot ..., like Mary, ER, X P P M hyphen V dot com. And I'm normally very, very good in answering e-mails in a timely manner. ..., check out our webpage at WWW dot P P M hyphen V dot com. You can also.
You will also get an answer, and, as I said, very glad to to hear from you, and say you should be a master class. Initiatives. And we really have such an executive session, half day session, one day session that we deliver very regularly, even an e-learning module about that. So there are lots of ways of spreading that knowledge at the beginning or from the initiative.
Well, thank you so much.
On behalf of nearly 2500 global participants and registrants who are part of this journey with us. We're all so much better off as a result of the learnings and insights you have shared with us. Thank you so much for sharing that expertise today.
No. Thank you very much, Jose, and thank you very much to the audience. I appreciate the discussion and looking forward to our collaborations in the future.
Ladies and gentlemen, that was doctor Mathiason, ...
leader for BP, M D, And the author of 11 books on the subject over 150 publish articles on the subject of Transformation, Business Process Management, and the true intelligent automation, in the full sense of the word Intelligent.
Now, we are going to get geared up for the next session at the top of the Hour. And in that session, We're going to bring some of the best in the industry when it comes to the intelligent implementation of Robotic Process Automation. And I'm talking about Brandon ... and his team at UI Path, who are going to share with us through a panel where he is going to bring some of the customers, have been using UI app, UI paths, RPA, to, to discuss, you know, what are the obstacles to accelerate your your automation program, and how to overcome those obstacles.
Effectively, he, he is going to discuss a number of the items that doctor ... has has brought up in terms of the challenges and the opportunities for successful and effective RPM. ERP implementation. So we're gonna take a break now. I'll see you all back with UI path at the top of the hour.
Dr. Mathias Kirchmer,
Managing Director and Co-CEO,
Dr. Kirchmer is an experienced practitioner and thought leader in the field of Digital Transformation and Business Process Management (BPM). He co-founded BPM-D, a consulting company focusing on digital process transformation, operational excellence and customer experience by leveraging the discipline of BPM. Before he was Managing Director and Global Lead of BPM at Accenture, and CEO of the Americas and Japan of IDS Scheer, known for its ARIS Process Software.
Dr. Kirchmer has led numerous transformation and process improvement initiatives and has worked with hundreds of clients in technology, financial, health, consumer goods and manufacturing industries. He has published 11 books and over 150 articles. He is affiliated faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and received a research and teaching fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
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