5 proven ways to track and maximize your RPA success

Implemented well, robotic process automation (RPA) can deliver transformative benefits – from dramatic efficiency gains to higher job satisfaction as your people focus on more meaningful work.

But how do you ensure your RPA deployment keeps driving value and exceeds that initial business case you pitched?

This expert guide will walk you through 5 crucial ways to measure and maximize success after implementation:

  1. Calculate ROI
  2. Track automated processes
  3. Launch an RPA Center of Excellence
  4. Manage impacts on workforce
  5. Invest in training

Properly tracking these metrics will ensure you continuously improve, scale your program, and achieve the full promise of intelligent automation.

1. Calculate ROI to prove RPA’s business value

The most fundamental success metric is return on investment (ROI). As a 2022 McKinsey survey found, 9 in 10 organizations say documenting a positive ROI is vital to continued RPA funding.

Calculating ROI allows you to quantify the hard dollar benefits delivered in a language the C-suite understands.

According to Gartner, the average ROI for initial RPA projects is about 30% in the first year. However, that masks dramatic variation – from 50-70% at top performers to low single digits for starters.

Your ROI depends heavily on how effectively RPA was targeted, designed and deployed in your unique environment.

Here are 3 proven ways to calculate that all-important ROI:

Compare productivity/output before and after

Look at metrics like:

  • Contracts processed per day
  • Claims approved per hour
  • Invoices handled per month

The lift post-RPA quantifies productivity gains.

For example, if your accounts payable team handled 2000 invoices per month manually, and after RPA bot deployment they process 5000, then productivity rose 150%.

Track labor savings

Document how many full-time employees (FTEs) you reassigned or no longer had to hire thanks to RPA. Multiply by their full loaded costs.

At one bank, RPA automated the equivalent of 46 FTEs in the first year. With an average cost of $100k per FTE, that delivered $4.6 million in labor savings.

Tally cost reductions

Compare costs before and after RPA like:

  • Processing cost per transaction
  • Error correction costs
  • Fees for missed SLAs
  • IT support costs

One insurer achieved a 70% reduction in certificate issuance costs with RPA.

Multiply those per transaction savings by volume for full impact.

In addition, monitor these ROI metrics over the first 12-18 months. As bots expand to more processes, the benefits compound quickly.

Proving a solid ROI not only cements RPA‘s value, it builds appetite from business leaders to double down on automation.

2. Track your RPA inventory to prevent redundant work

Don’t allow IT projects to reinvent solutions your bots have already automated. This costly overlap undermines ROI.

Maintain a master list of processes automated with RPA. Review it before launching any new development effort.

Catalog details like:

  • Process name
  • Department
  • Use case
  • Bot name
  • Attended vs. unattended
  • Key metrics improved

Regularly review with IT teams and check during solution design.

This inventory also aids future enhancement of your bots when needed.

At companies scaling RPA efficiently, bot reuse rates reach above 50% by the second year.

3. Launch an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE)

An RPA CoE provides critical governance, best practices, training and support as you scale automation across the enterprise.

Firms with a mature CoE achieve over 3X higher RPA ROI on average, per 2022 HFS Research.

Your CoE can help:

Set strategy

  • Document RPA vision, target use cases, roadmap, and success metrics.

Enable citizen developers

  • Train business users on “low-code” platforms like UiPath StudioX and Automation Anywhere Bot Insight.

Audit bots

  • Check bots meet standards for efficiency, accuracy, security and documentation.

Support implementation

  • Manage resources like bot libraries, pipelines and deployment.

Monitor performance

  • Track KPIs and continuously improve with updates, enhancements and new automations.

However, it’s crucial business units retain ownership over their bots rather than offloading to the CoE. The CoE provides advice and best practices, while business teams actively manage automations day-to-day.

4. Carefully manage workforce impacts

Though often feared, RPA doesn’t have to mean broad job loss. Still, you must plan carefully.

Proactively identify roles at risk of reducing due to automation. How many staff affected? How could their skills be applied in new roles?

With advance notice, HR can cross-train and transition staff before bots go live. This thoughtful approach maintains productivity and morale.

Be transparent about how work will change. Provide ample communication and training.

In one example, an insurance firm worked closely with claims agents to transition 30% of staff to customer service as bots took over policy processing tasks.

Monitor employee sentiment and reassigned staff productivity. Ensure they feel engaged and empowered by the technology, not displaced.

5. Invest in ongoing RPA and workforce training

Continuous learning is critical to maximize RPA success over the long-term.

As processes evolve, bots need enhancements. New use cases emerge. Staff need updated skills.

Companies achieving automation at scale dedicate over 50 hours of RPA training per team member annually.

Prioritize enablement for both technical teams and business users:

Developers – Master leading tools via UiPath Academy, Automation Anywhere University, etc. Explore advanced integration with AI and analytics.

Citizen developers – Empower business users to build simple automations through low-code tools and support.

End users – Train staff managing bots on monitoring, exceptions, and enhancing workflows.

RPA teams – Develop expertise in scaling enterprise automation, change management, communications and more.

Leverage free vendor training plus targeted team development through conferences, certifications and mentoring.

Ongoing learning ensures you maximize value from existing bots while continuously expanding your automation capability.

Takeaways: Track these metrics to drive RPA success

To recap, carefully gauge RPA outcomes across these 5 areas:

  • ROI – Hard benefits like productivity gains, cost/labor reductions prove value.
  • Automation inventory – Prevents inefficient duplicate efforts between RPA and IT.
  • CoE maturity – Drives strategy, training, governance and scaling.
  • Workforce impact – Responsible planning maintains productivity and morale.
  • Training – Continuous learning enables continuous improvement.

Proper success tracking provides visibility to optimize your automation program and unlock RPA’s full potential.

For a deep dive on managing and maximizing RPA success, download our comprehensive whitepaper:

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Or reach out if you need help planning an automation roadmap tailored to your unique goals:

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With the right approach, you can build on early RPA achievements to transform operations for years to come. I wish you the best in your intelligent automation journey!

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