In an era where organizations are struggling to automate mundane tasks, enhance productivity, and minimize the risks of costly errors, Cognitive Process Automation paves the way for improved reliability, accuracy, and consistency.
By mimicking human activities and automating them for an accelerated turn-around, it frees humans to leverage their emotional intelligence, reasoning, and judgment capabilities to improve decision-making and customer experience.
From automating double data entry tasks to creating regulatory reports, connecting legacy systems to carrying out validation and audits, streamlining order/payroll processes to quicker onboarding – the realm of Cognitive Process Automation is fast expanding. Embracing the technology to improve process cycle times and reduce the burden on IT is a widespread requirement. However, it also requires organizations to tread on the path with utmost care and planning.
Top Mistakes to Avoid with Cognitive Process Automation Initiatives
Given that the wrong foot forward can lead to several irreplaceable mistakes, here are five mistakes to avoid with your Cognitive Process Automation initiatives:
Mistake 1: Not involving senior management
Since any enterprise project begins with strong leadership, your Cognitive Process Automation strategy needs full and continuous support from the senior management. Such support will help the project in receiving the required executive sponsorship. It will also enable leaders to champion the effort, build a robust business case, and ensure that necessary resources are available for successful and timely project completion. Senior management support can also help quickly resolve expected challenges and provide the right direction for better outcomes.
To get undying support from your C-suite, make sure to educate them about the need for Cognitive Process Automation and quantify the benefits the organizations will achieve – when implemented properly.
Mistake 2: Not choosing the right processes for automation
When it comes to Cognitive Process Automation, it is easy to get carried away with the idea of automating every process across the organization. Unfortunately, the real benefits of automation can be achieved only for processes that help automate mundane, repetitive tasks that take up crucial human time. Automating processes that have no impact on your bottom line or using automation as a magic wand for fixing broken processes is sure to do more harm than good. To ensure the success of your Cognitive Process Automation initiatives, make sure to critically look at each process, and evaluate the benefits you are likely to accrue if they are automated.
As a thumb rule, choose processes, which when automated, will result in better revenue generation, decent cost reduction, substantial efficiency improvements, or enhanced quality.
Mistake 3: Not taking your staff into confidence
A common obstacle that is likely to hinder the success of your Cognitive Process Automation initiative is user antipathy. There is a lot of hullabaloo about automation replacing humans and eating into their jobs. Therefore, while introducing automation, it is important to take your staff into confidence. Begin by educating the importance of automation and the benefits it is likely to bring.
To avoid resentment, hostility, or turnover, make sure to constantly communicate with your staff about the changes that automation will bring to their day-to-day tasks: from how they can get rid of mundane, time-consuming tasks and focus on more critical areas of the business while improving the accuracy and timeliness of the decisions they make.
Mistake 4: Not building the solution for scalability
Most organizations that embark on the Cognitive Process Automation journey start experiencing immediate benefits from their continued efforts. But the minute they have to scale the solution, they hit a roadblock because of a lack of long-term vision. The absence of a long-term enterprise-wide strategy is sure to impede the ability to scale.
Therefore, to ensure your Cognitive Process Automation solution scales seamlessly, make sure to establish shared ownership or CoE between business and IT. Such ownership helps in overcoming the different departmental silos that exist in the organization.
It also allows all stakeholders to bring in their collective expertise for selecting the right processes, prioritizing their automation, and planning for their scalability.
Mistake 5: Not testing the solution enough
There is no doubt about the fact that Cognitive Process Automation can lead to substantial business gains for modern enterprises. But for the automation solution to work as intended, it is important it is tested thoroughly – before it is implemented across the organization. Not testing the solution enough or sidestepping some critical tasks in the testing lifecycle can result in the solution not working to its full capacity.
While defining testing scenarios and test cases, make sure to involve your SMEs. Also, make it a point to use modern testing tools and technologies to test your solution and allow sufficient time for testing as well as for possible rework or workarounds.
Introducing Cognitive Process Automation into the business can lead to a substantial increase in operational throughput, process efficiency, employee productivity, and time-to-market. But these benefits can only be realized when organizations plan their initiatives well. Getting much-needed support from senior management, choosing the right processes for automation, testing the solution sufficiently, building it for scalability, and taking staff into confidence are all critical aspects that will define the success rate of your Cognitive Process Automation initiatives.
In addition, engaging with a qualified and experienced automation partner is also crucial to ensure continued success and maximum ROI.