Identify the best business processes for robotic process automation
Credit unions were among the early adopters of robotic process automation (RPA) and initially had little difficulty identifying which repetitive, rule-based business processes were the best candidates for automation. But as obvious processes like member onboarding and accounts payable have been automated, it has become increasingly difficult for credit unions to determine which processes should be automated next.
Clearly, RPA has the potential to reduce costs, improve productivity, and spur innovation. The catch, however, is that automation is only effective when it can be applied to business processes that showcase its strengths. Typically this means processes that depend on clearly identified predictive business rules; use structured and readable input (such as Excel spreadsheets or PDF files) and occur frequently.
Business processes that have low or no exception rates, require re-entry of data across multiple systems, and impact member satisfaction are also strong candidates for automation.
To identify the best processes (although not necessarily the most obvious) to automate, many credit unions turn to task capture or process mining software for help. Using these tools can go a long way in identifying all the processes currently in use, as well as the associated tasks required to perform each end-to-end process, drive automation, and maximize process efficiency and continuous improvement throughout. the company. . But do credit unions need both software tools, and if not, which one will be more beneficial?
Let’s start with job capture, which is a complementary technology used to process mining. Task capture software enables credit unions to discover, understand, and analyze all of the individual actions (or tasks) required to complete a specific step in a business process. Traditionally performed by a business analyst monitoring employee actions and then mapping the results, job capture software uses a manual recorder to capture employee interactions in each of the apps they use, taking screenshots and recording. logging data such as keystrokes, clicks and data entry.
This information is then combined with context recognition to identify low-level details of how specific tasks are performed based on metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) set by the credit union. KPIs can potentially include a decrease in completion time for a specific task or a reduction in errors made while performing the task. Ultimately, all of this information will provide guidance for RPA developers to automate each of these tasks, driving operational efficiency and better results, while reducing errors and allowing employees to spend more time on tasks. engaging and value-added activities.
Beyond speeding up the entire automation process, job capture software allows users to create a comprehensive database of job and process documentation that captures even the most complex workflows. . This institutional knowledge, in turn, can be used to inform all future developments, ensuring that the work of business analysts and RPA developers is aligned.
In contrast, process exploration software discovers entire business processes – that is, any group of related, structured jobs in which a specific sequence of activities produces a product or service for a particular member. Processing monthly statements, for example, is a business process.
While interviews and workshops were traditionally used to monitor and analyze processes, process exploration software automates this procedure by using tools to investigate data stored in enterprise systems event logs (these databanks that store information such as software connections in the company’s technology stack, interactions in that software, and disconnections) to determine the end-to-end processes that a credit union performs to complete the job. These digital fingerprints are then analyzed by the software to present the process that has been operated successfully, along with process variants and suggestions on how to optimize and automate this process.
Perhaps its greatest strength is Process Mining’s ability to take an in-depth look at processes across the enterprise, targeting bottlenecks and inefficient processes, and improving compliance and efficiency. strength. Unfortunately, this ability to produce heaps of data can be overwhelming and may require users to need the help of data scientists to make sense of it all. Process exploration software is also very expensive, especially compared to job capture software.
The bottom line for credit unions is that job capture and process extraction provide tangible value. While both are capable of contributing to higher level outcomes such as improved efficiency and increased automation, they serve different use cases. So, if a credit union already has an appropriate governance framework and budget, and is primarily interested in identifying end-to-end business processes, process exploration software may be the preferred choice. .
If, on the other hand, a credit union focuses more on identifying the tasks its employees perform to improve workforce efficiency, gain a better understanding of the current processes in use, and determine business opportunities. further automation, job capture software is probably a better option. Since many of the automation opportunities identified by task capture are less complex than those captured by process exploration, they represent good candidates for citizen designers. As such, they are ideal for credit unions looking for a more cost effective and user-friendly approach.
Dan Shimmerman is President / CEO of Blueprint Software Systems, a provider of digital process design and management solutions based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.