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Potential analysis of RPA

Michał Forystek CEO

The high level of interest in RPA results from the large business potential of implementing this technology. This key word - "potential", is being changed by all cases. In this article I will try to introduce our Brainhint methodology of the initial evaluation of the automation potential of the process, based on the process compliance index. 

Process susceptibility is a percentage indicating which part of the analyzed process is suitable for automation. This means that if the indicator is 100%, the necessity of human presence in the process will be eliminated. On the other hand, if the indicator is 0%, the process is not suitable for automation.

How to calculate the value of vulnerability

The methodology of our work is largely based on shadowing sessions involving the observation of a specialist's work in natural conditions. As part of the shadowing session, we measure the time needed by the specialist to complete the process. During the measurement, we also take split times for individual parts of the process. The measurement should be repeated several times in order to calculate the average values. The ability to record a user session greatly facilitates this type of analysis.

With having a summary of the split time, the analyst must assess, which parts of the process are suitable for automation and which are not. Parts of the process are evaluated in the same way as the entire process. You can read here whether the process or in this case its part is suitable for automation. 

The final step is to sum the split times for elements that are suitable for automation and dividing them by the time of the entire process. For example, imagine a process in which a specialist logs into the web system using a two-part login (SMS), finds the sought value, enters it into a document that he prints and puts in a file. The analyst has measured the following lapses:

  •         Opening the browser and login page - 10s;
  •         Entering username and password - 8s;
  •         Waiting and entering the SMS code - 20s;
  •         Acquisition of the sought variable - 15s;
  •         Opening a file, rewriting a variable, print order - 18s;
  •         Printout and attachment to a binder - 12s.

Points 3 and 6 in this case are not suitable for automation, therefore the total time for automation is 51s, and the entire process lasts 83s. The suitability for this process is 61%.

Significance of the indicator

Vulnerability is an important indicator because it shows the maximum automation potential. If the indicator is 61%, you will not be able to save more than 61% of the time on the process. At this point we can decide whether we make a detailed cost-benefit analysis or not.

However, we need to be careful, because the process's susceptibility does not take into account its volume, ease of automation, potential improvement of quality - high susceptibility can’t decide on the final choice of the process in the implementation of RPA. From time to time, we analyze processes that have a 90% compliance rate, and automation has no chance of saving due to the low process volume and high level of complexity. On the other hand, there are processes with an index of 5%, where automation brings a lot of benefits because it is simple and the process is massive.