Be Intelligent About Intelligent Automation

Pascal BakerBlog

Business goals act as the compass for your Future of Work journey. They come in various forms, covering global or area-specific processes, with either short or long term scopes. Either way, a good understanding of your business plan assists in setting targeted goals that maximize the benefits of tools like RPA.

7 Common Business Goals

So, what is it you want to achieve?  Below are some goals that have been shown to have great potential in the Future of Work journey.

The 7 Benefits of RPA

1. Quality

Process consistency reduces error rates and leads to time spent on valuable work, rather than on error handling tasks. This is seen as a non-cashable benefit, but could tangentially lead to significant financial benefits (for example, companies could be fined for mistakes or make overpayments that they cannot recover). In the case of one of our clients, the application of RPA to a process in which overpayments were made, is projected to save an annual $2 million.

2. Compliance

Too often, employees will stray from the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and develop individual workarounds. Sometimes system and process updates occur without update of the SOPs. Occasionally, SOPs don’t exist! Forming intuitive and streamlined processes with clear instructions reduces organisational risk, instils confidence in employees and promotes core business values.

3. Speed

Fluid processes and well-integrated departments reduce latency, allowing swifter responses to internal and client requests. Cohesive systems that utilize modern automation technologies run processes faster than people, with the added bonus of increased accuracy.

4. Agility

The ability to adapt existing processes and systems without major difficulties is valuable in both cost and efficiency. Flexibility also allows greater options for future development.

5. Insight

Simplifying and focusing procedures permits a greater scope for documentation of activities. Increased visibility and high quality data can be used to gain a holistic business understanding, pin-point problem areas and foster informed decision making and planning.

6. Cost

Financial benefits are key to growing and developing your business. Well-defined processes make it easier to staff departments to optimal capacity. Faster processing times allow for a reduced or reallocated head count, and improved data management means that a greater number of customers can be taken on and managed successfully.

7. Improved Employee and Client Satisfaction

When FoW technology is utilized well, people are left with more interesting, stimulating and rewarding work. Better processes give employees a better understanding that can be used to meet the clients’ needs with clarity and confidence. This focused and bespoke service combined with greater accuracy and faster delivery leads to happier and better-served customers.

It is worth noting that many of these benefits go hand-in-hand. For example, improving compliance minimises process complexities and inconsistencies, thus leading to a process that delivers quicker results. Insight is also intertwined with quality, through the various improvements that can be made with high quality and holistic data.

The SMART Mentality

The SMART acronym sets out the five qualities of good goals. Try to keep these qualities in mind in order to set well-defined and achievable goals:

  • Specific – Focus your goals using clear and concise definitions. The better a goal is understood, the easier it will be to envision the end result and create ways to reach it.
    • A compass with misted-over glass makes it difficult to navigate the journey.
  • Measurable – Assign figures to make the goal and end-result specific and tangible.
    • Knowing the destination is x degrees and y kilometres from your starting point lets you know when you’ve reached it.
  • Action-Oriented – Once you understand your goal you can determine the requirements and set out a detailed strategy.
    • Once you know the destination coordinates, you can gather your equipment and plan the route to get there.
  • Realistic – There might be a lot of objectives you want to achieve, but are they goals or pipe dreams? Resources, current process state, and budget all need to be considered to understand where there is potential and what is impossible.
    • Know whether the resources available allow the destination to be reached.
  • Time-boxed – Provide a time limit in order for you to focus on laying the foundations of the FoW and to ensure your goals are kept on track.
    • Set aside time to ensure the journey is made with focus and commitment.

This approach to goal setting is widely known and is just as valuable in Future of Work planning as in other business strategies.

*Note: the adjectives in the acronym can vary according to different sources. The purpose and overarching meaning is equivalent.

Goal Setting With RPA

RPA is often the first Future of Work technology to be deployed due to its ability to handle high volume and time-consuming tasks. It is important to understand what Future of Work technologies are capable of in order to set relevant SMART goals.

From RPA you can expect:

  • 100% consistency and accuracy – given instructions and a standard input, an automation will complete every iteration of a task in an identical manner.
  • Faster processing time – it is reasonable to assume, for an automatable task, that an RPA solution will complete around 5 times the amount of work than human associates can in the same amount of time.
  • RPA tends to achieve ROI relatively quickly – it is typical for ROI to be achieved within 12-18 months of the start of an implementation.
  • Automation can work 24/7 if required – it can process large quantities of work regardless of what time the customer begins a request. (This can help you serve the global market.)
  • The opportunity for FTE reduction or reallocation – saving resource costs or taking on new customers to grow profits.

Summary

Knowing your goals is vital to setting a good business strategy. Combining SMART goals with business insight can help show you the way to get from your current “As-Is” state to your desired “To-Be” business.

Using SMART goals to reach your business objectives

There are an uncountable number of ways in which you can combine people, processes and technology for the Future of Work; but it is your goals that allow you to strategize, resource and determine the bespoke, optimal combination that works for you.

This is part 3 of a 13-part blog series by leading experts at Symphony Ventures. We share the most important business considerations in the Future of Work and explain how to best prepare for digital transformation.

Be sure to read the previous blog: Do You Know Your Business Like the Back of Your Hand?

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