B is for Business Case | Business Analyst | Business Outcomes | Business Continuity Planning | Bots | Buy-in | BPM

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B is for Business Case | Business Analyst | Business Outcomes | Business Continuity Planning | Bots | Buy-in | BPM

B is for Business Case | Business Analyst | Business Outcomes | Business Continuity Planning | Bots | Buy-in | BPM

Welcome to the second in the series of 26 separate articles on the A – Z of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Automation (IA) and Digital Transformation (DT).

Today’s letter is the letter B. This article highlights all things relating to intelligent automation and digital transformation beginning with the letter ‘B’.

Business Case:

There are many key ‘Bs’ when it comes to RPA and IA enabled digital transformation but none is more important than ‘Business Case’.

If your digital transformation program does not stack up financially then stop. The financial ROI derived from completing your RPA | IA program must ‘vastly’ outweigh the cost of undertaking the program itself. Building a business case for intelligent automation is a difficult process. If you have never built a business case for your RPA | IA program then seek expert advice.

“The first step of the RPA and IA journey, is to create a strong business case. The business case should include specific process-candidates for automation followed by all the required metrics (volumes, cases per day, average manual handling time, peaks, forecast volumes, exception rates, etc.). It should be created along with a Partner (consulting company or a smaller boutique), for companies without any internal knowledge, since it is the first and most important step on your journey.”

Konstantinos Vogiatzakis, Global RPA Lead at Babylon Health

Business Analyst:

Business analysts (BAs) play a key role in RPA/IA digital transformation programs. They bring the big ideas and solutions from SMEs and end users. Analysts are the human face of digital transformation.

BAs understand and assess; client plans, pains and needs; assess business needs and manage project teams; they help shape future state design; undertake analysis; support define business requirements; business case development; share knowledge of process automation and process redesign (e.g. Design Thinking; Lean for Digital); develop implementation plans; guide business readiness and deployment; as well as provide guidance and support so their ‘digital assistants’ meet business needs and deliver the business outcomes the SME desires.

‘Business Analysts need to have the ability to think business and robot. Your BA will spend a lot of time meeting the business and reviewing their processes for automation potential. Not all processes will be suitable for automation right out of the gate. The BA needs to be able to understand the business need and be able to redesign processes for automation, ensuring the robot can handle the process whilst still meeting the business need.’

Matthew Coffey, RPA Delivery Lead at Pearson

Business Outcomes:

RPA and IA should never be implemented because it is the latest trend; or because it seems like the right thing to do. The entire organisation must be focused on delivering business outcomes at all time (e.g. head count reduction; reduced risk; improve employee experience.).

Business Continuity Planning:

One of the most fundamental ‘back end’ tasks in any IT program, but key in an RPA | IA transformation, is business continuity planning. As bots come into play and knowledge becomes codified in scripts, it is natural for people who previously did the job the bot is now doing, to lose that skill or knowledge.

In the case of unattended automation, where the process is undertaken in an unseen data centre, this risk is higher. Business continuity and risk management teams must codify process knowledge that is visible, and invisible, to ensure that a firm is prepared in the event of a BCP/DR event. Human to robots hand offs may also be enforced, even if not strictly necessarily, to ensure a process has human oversight and, in the case of well practised risk management, human sign off. Constant engagement, no matter how small, with a process encourages process managers engagement, and BCP planning, in that process.


Bots, robots, co-bots, web-bots, digital assistants and digital workers are just some of the names given to the software that runs your automation scripts. Bots are a key component of your platform and IA program. Bots can run 3-8 times faster than a person (though this is application, network and process dependant); work 24/7 (subject to application, network and back up down time), without breaks, holidays or the need to gossip at the photocopier.

‘Some of the most successful RPP/IA programs have seen teams give their bots human names. This has been seen to encourage the adoption of co-bots (robot coworkers) with teams now offloading boring, repetitive, mundane work to ‘R2D2′ as opposed to seeing bots as cold pieces of code that steel their or their colleagues jobs’.

Gourav Datta, RPA and Intelligent Automation Delivery Lead

Buy In:

Quite often people, not the processes, are the most challenging part of any digital transformation program. Gaining employee buy-in for an RPA | IA program is not an easy task. It is key is to involve staff from the very start of any change program and genuinely take on board their emotions, feelings, fears and concerns. You must win support.

It is incumbent on the executive team to communicate the ‘why’ behind the transformation program before and during the event. The key to helping staff become comfortable with change is selling the benefits of the IA program.

As people gain an understanding of how RPA and IA works, they will then begin to understand operational improvement opportunities and how RPA helps them on a personal level. And once they start to see what’s in it for them, they’ll be more likely to embrace it.

‘RPA requires buy-in from all levels of the business, but for it to be successful firm-wide, it needs to start at the top. I’ve seen many examples of where the wrong stakeholder have been engaged from the start and this has led to a failure in getting traction on the automation journey.’

Amyn Jaffer – Head of Intelligent Automation at Ultima


There’s a difference between Business Process Management (BPM) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). While both technologies support automation one is not a substitute for the other. RPA and BPM are complementary to each other. For many years, BPM technologies have been a core part of many organisations’ digital transformation strategies.

BPM software can encompass a wide combination of business analytics, workflow engines, business rules, web forms and collaboration tools that are combined to optimise business processes. Whereas RPA automates manual, repetitive, and rule-based tasks that do not require complex decision making. BPM is used to support re-engineer process flows to eliminate bottlenecks, connect systems, and increase productivity enterprise-wide. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) works within those processes to automate the repetitive process tasks, such as data entry, exponentially boosting the gains achieved with a traditional BPM system.

What B practices do you consider essential for a successful intelligent automation program?

If you like this article then you may find these useful too.

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  6. If you are not willing to go all in, then don’t put on your RPA swimsuit.
  7. The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success
  8. 40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform
  9. The A-Z of RPA, AI and Digital Transformation
  10. 9 Key Roles in your Robotic Process Automation Centre of Expertise

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Further Help: If I can help you in any way please do reach out.

Note: The views expressed above are my views and not those of my employ

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