I was reading a post by Emiliano Sutil recently that touched on “Value Stream Mapping”. It is a lean-management method for examining the impact of a process on outcomes. I think it is particularly suitable when considering automation of repetitive routine work that could be performed by RPA software robots.
The freeing of people’s capacity through automation enables an organization to accomplish one or more of the following outcomes:
- Absorb additional work without increasing staff
- Reduce temporary or contract staffing
- Create better work/life balance by reducing hours worked
- Focus people on more interesting work that deals with exceptions, the unusual and enables judgement to be used
- Enables the process to be performed when people are not available (e.g. overnight, weekends)
The value proposition for automation with RPA software robots has often been centred on the reduction in cost to perform the work, however techniques like “Value Stream Mapping” can really highlight that many repetitive “Administration” tasks add very little “Perceived” value to the end deliverable or outcome as seen by a customer.
Looking at a process from the start. Would you build a business activity that required skilled people to do repetitive “low skilled” work or would you automate it with a software robot?
The alignment of costs with with added value is a reasonable business goal and one way to look at the value proposition for automation when considering the implementation of RPA software robots to free up manual work from repetitive routine work.