If you cannot measure ROI, you cannot manage RPA projects (to paraphrase Peter Drucker). After all, how can you know if your robotic process automation project is delivering results if you don’t measure return on investment?
If you know it is not on track, you can rectify it, change the instructions and values provided to the bots. But if you don’t know, you’ll potentially never recoup your RPA investment.
You know you have to measure, but the real issue is how you measure RPA performance. You see, each company should have a unique position, a specific goal it wants to reach. This is where the power of process mining comes in.
Here is how process mining can help track progress against the four most common goals typical of any RPA project:
- The impact on your workforce
It’s possible that buy-in and loyalty toward your RPA project was limited, so you might need to collect data to show there’s improvement in morale.
This can be shown by your workforce having more time to work on more meaningful projects, while RPA coordinates the lesser menial tasks with ease.
Process mining can compile and segment data from two sets: tasks completed by bots, and tasks completed by your workforce. By entering in parameters to determine everything from productivity to task completions – and taking surveys of what your employees wish they could have more time for – you might get a happier workforce, and a more productive business.
- The impact on your operations
This is often the most common – and simplest – goal of RPA. If you determine the impact on operational efficiency through time-stamped event logs:
- You’ll want to know how fast or slow your deliveries are
- How accurate and efficient invoicing is
- Whether there are bottlenecks in material procurement.
There could be a wealth of other factors to consider depending on the industry you’re in. Through process mining you can monitor your current operations, then your operations with RPA implementation, based on the factors you’ve determined. You’ll then be able to visualize discrepancies and areas of improvement for comparison to qualify the value in RPA.
- The impact on your revenue
RPA costs money. Bot maintenance costs money. Sure, costs get offset due to workload diminishing among your workforce, but by how much? Or how little? Is it enough?
Does the increase in efficiency and speed of throughput in sending your product to customers translate to an increase in more recurring revenue? Process mining will gather the data necessary to crunch the numbers and see if there’s enough profit to qualify RPA as a game changer. If there is enough profit, then for sure your RPA investment is on the right track.
- The impact on your overall business strategy
RPA and process mining might not end with just one production line, group, team or department. They can filter to others as well, but you have to determine whether or not that’s a viable possibility.
For instance, one production line may be completely different from another: two different products, two different teams, two different processes, two different timelines. What you then get are two different sets of data to analyze, and one algorithm designed to measure both won’t come up with accurate results.
Consider what process mining will discover for other areas of your business first before even thinking of scaling RPA further. Will automation benefit, for example, your mailing department? It’s a possibility. But you won’t know for sure until you test it. Gather the data. Do a mock-up even and see if the same numbers can result in the same improvements.
If so, you’ve definitely answered your own questions – you can, in fact, align more of your business with RPA through process mining. That spells success for your business.
How to focus on these four areas
What you’ll need is a CoE (Center of Excellence) housing your process mining analysts as they gather that data. They can bring together process data from across your business to track ROI using process mining – and establish best practices across groups.
Whether you’re early in the RPA game and just need buy-in, or you’re looking to integrate further throughout an entire organization, one thing’s for sure: Your bots will do only what you tell them to do.
Tell them the right things to do with ARIS Process Mining! Learn more below.