Preparing for RPA success in 2021
Pete Gamble, Kainos IA Delivery Lead builds a 4-step robust methodology for Intelligent Automation success, as part of techUK's Intelligent Automation Week #AutomationUK
A robust methodology is a key factor in determining success
With the global RPA market growing by an estimated 19% to $1.8 billion in 2021, there are now more automation players than ever before. As explained in our top automation trends for 2021 blog, this year is set to be a catalyst for change. Throughout this evolution, one rule remains unchanged; regardless of your toolset, a robust and sustainable automation methodology is the key factor in determining the success of your automation project.
Choose the wrong methodology, or worse still, have no clear methodology at all and you risk running into issues such as selecting the wrong process, or selecting the wrong tool and missing key requirements along the way. In the short term this will lead to delays in deploying your automations. In the long term it will lead to a marked reduction in the benefits realised and increased support costs, ultimately having a severe impact on your ability to scale and achieve Hyperautomation.
At Kainos we adopt a process-centric approach to intelligent automation, ensuring that we leverage the optimum toolset for the task at hand. In many cases, there may be more appropriate ways to improve your business such as process optimisation or operational excellence. However, when automation is determined to be the most value-add way forward, we have a proven methodology that builds on our experience.
Agile vs Waterfall
When it comes to the question of an Agile vs Waterfall approach, there is no right answer, instead, it is important that you consider several factors including your team’s experience of each approach and the complexity of the process you are seeking to automate. As a general rule, automating a highly complex process with a team that has no prior experience of working in an Agile fashion is inadvisable; instead a Waterfall approach will offer greater control and governance. That said, for teams that have the experience, working in an Agile manner will often result in shorter delivery times and generate a finished solution that delivers greater business value.
Introducing 4D Automation
Regardless of the approach, Kainos employs the same 4D automation methodology in which each of the four phases represents a core element of the overall automation project.
During the Define phase the team is assembled, the scope defined, and the As-Is process captured in a ‘click by click’ level of detail to ensure that the requirements of the project are clearly understood.
Here is where the transformation of the process definition, into a best of breed design that satisfies all the automation requirements, occurs. The design focuses on three core aspects, the design of the automation script, the automation environment, and the testing.
The Develop phase comprises the rapid delivery of the previously defined automation using a scalable Agile approach to ensure that iterative feedback from the end-users is incorporated into the solution.
Finally, the productionisation of the solution occurs, backed up with suitable ongoing support and maintenance to ensure high availability and robustness. Over time, optimisation activities are completed to maximise the benefits realised.
Prepare for RPA success in 2021
Despite the ever-growing list of RPA software vendors, implementation partners, and 3rd party platform services, embarking on automation in 2021 need not be an intimidating prospect. Understanding and employing the appropriate automation methodology will continue to be the single biggest guarantor of success.
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About the author
Pete Gamble, Kainos IA Delivery Lead has over 9 years’ experience in technology consulting and delivering large-scale projects in Europe and the Middle East
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