This is like walking down a street full of RPA professionals, as a roving reporter with a microphone and a cameraman, asking one simple question.
But, are people really that open and frank in front of a camera, when you can see their name and face?
Our weekly online surveys are anonymous - so we get a different level of transparency and honesty. Yes, we’d love to dig deeper, but one simple question can reveal a lot.
Last week’s question was "What would you do differently? (Or where did you go wrong?)”
It could also have been “What is the one bit of advice you’d give anyone setting off down the RPA journey?"
The clear headlines are:
Expectations are key! The “cheap, easy, and fast” myth is getting exposed for the lie that it is. Let’s at least get the marketing guys saying, “cheaper, easier, and faster” than alternatives.
We hear stories of projects where the leadership has said “we’ll deliver by November” and the developers have pushed back and said “February”, and guess who was proven right!
Maybe the advice from this is “start off with limited expectations”. Be confident RPA will work and drive value - but that, until you can understand your platform and clearly see how you can get to scale, you can’t have real expectations. Of course, the corporate world won’t give you that freedom - but it is worth playing back to your leadership the dangers of too high expectations.
The best news of all = the choice of platform is not the source of your concern. Respondents feel pretty comfortable with their choice of technology. If this answer had been different, there would be a real issue in the market. So this is the most reassuring response.
Nor is anyone really complaining about bad leadership. If expectations are not aligned, it is largely because of naivety around the marketing messages and reality. It is not due to incompetence. We’re all pioneering to a certain extent with RPA, so respondents are pretty understanding.
#2 issue identified is Governance. Certainly, given the responses, this is an area for deeper investigation. I don’t think we’d see different results if we looked at projects in other fields. However, it is also one of the most fixable of problems. Go back and look at your RPA platform’s methodology and do a quick audit. In fact, get each of your team to take 30 minutes to do this today, and schedule a team meeting for tomorrow to discuss and implement the results.
Support and Mentoring. Bear in mind that RPA is a new frontier for 90+% of the world. Your boss and colleagues are not likely to know much more than you do. But there are people out there who do have experience and wisdom to share - it is just very hard to find and tap in to in a way that doesn’t disrupt the work they are doing. However, if you could do this, you would! [Note - watch out for our announcements in this late-summer].