9 REASONS WHY YOUR RPA PROJECT MAY FAIL: Automation isn’t Always Perfect!

As more and more industries and sectors across the globe have begun to delegate repetitive computer-based tasks to process robots, the world is now extensively placing its trust on the efficiency and infallibility of these ‘software magicians’. While the same chore done by two different humans, or even done at different times by the same individual can lead to different results, a bot is often perceived to be (and rightly so!) an unmistakably consistent, faultless, almost utopian entity.
Having said that, can RPA bots be so unbelievably perfect as to surpass their imperfect human-creators? Can your process robot ever goof up? And if so, what are the possible reasons for these errors? And how can they be rectified? So we’re back with a blog, and all set to present to you the top reasons for the failure of RPA:

1. Have you designed your design correctly?
“Good design is good business,” says Thomas Watson Jr. And when it comes to RPA, good design makes sensible bots. In order to create good bots, it is important to visualize how and where your bot should function, and what purpose it serves in its domain of concern. When the end-to-end process of design and development, the change-management processes, and the desired end-result is etched out accurately, your process robot can then take birth as a perfect entity.

2. Are you missing the woods for the trees?
The Gestalt theory states that while the comprising parts are important to form the larger picture, the whole is much more than just a sum of its parts. The same holds good for your RPA development process. While it is important to ensure that every stage of the bot development is taken into account with equal importance, your RPA project can turn out to be lopsided and faulty if all other processes are overlooked for the sake of that one step performed to perfection.

3. Phew! Just created my awesome bot. My duty is now over. Err…is it?
Wait! Is it enough to simply create your bot and ensure it functions in the concerned domain? The world is evolving every day, and with the unstoppable changes constantly taking place around us, our bots cannot afford to be old-fashioned. For this reason, it is important to keep track of your bot even after it has been successfully implemented, and modify it whenever required, in accordance with changes in data systems, security aspects, or any other important facet that calls for an update of your process robot. Also, regular maintenance of the bot ensures that it continues to function effectively.

4. Are we all equally supportive of our bots?
More often than not, our innocent bots are feared and shunned by individuals or departments that can significantly contribute to its development and application. A lot of professionals, including accountants, do not provide extensive internal support in their fear of losing their jobs to process robots. It is important to bust these unemployment myths surrounding RPA, and garner their support for the development of bots.

5. Mentally ‘process’ your process. Too simple? Too complex?
The process to achieving the end-result should be microscopically examined before implementation. If your plan is too simple, you probably need to push the boundaries a little further. But don’t push it so far ahead that you have much more in your plate than you can chew! It is important to select a practical, manageable process for designing your bot.

6. On your marks, get-set…not going?
How efficient is your bot? While bots do not have mood-swings and Monday blues, it is possible that they might not be as efficient as you had intended them to be; for the simple reason that there have been errors in coding and designing of the same. With repeated verification and second opinions, nothing is impossible…including your bot’s perfection.

7. Time and tide…you know the rest!
There are always enough instances around us that constantly teach us effective time management. Yes, RPA is a lengthy and time-consuming process. And yes, you would have to exert efforts. And…yes. It’s extremely rewarding. Since end-to-end processes may be exhausting and time-consuming, these must be carried out only when you’re assured of the resources of time and effort.

8. Scale ‘up’ your bot today.
Efficient development of consistent as well as flexible bots is the need of the hour. That’s where scalability comes in. When you make your bot scalable, additional bots can be developed in a cost-effective manner. Plus, new features may be added to the same bot with little inconvenience.

9. Automation for efficiency, or automation for laziness?
“Everything that can be automated, will be automated,” says Robert Cannon, internet law and policy expert. However, it often happens that everything that need not be automated also ends up being assigned to bots. In order to avoid this malpractice, it is important to clearly define the purpose of the RPA development process, and the nature of the task to be performed by the potential bot. Lastly, one must not forget that while bots can be made to perform a few monotonous tasks for humans, they are the result of the human intellect, and can never replace humans in any field.
While the idea of perfection seems utopian in itself, it is still possible to attain a perfect bot if a rational and valid purpose, a systematic process outlined from start to end, and the right amount of time and effort, are all taken care of prior to, during and post its development. A perfectly automated bot can significantly contribute to developing a monotony-free and dynamic future for the world, while faulty automation can pose obstacles to the economy. In the words of W.L.W. Borowiecki:

If you automate a process that has errors, all you’ve done is automate the generation of those errors.

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