Top 4 automation challenges during BPA deployment

Launching any new project comes with a host of early challenges to overcome. Business process automation (BPA) deployment is no different.

You know the benefits of using BPA, you’ve found a solution that fits, and you’re looking to implement it across one or many processes and teams. But first, knowing the automation challenges you may face can help you put your best foot forward.

So, here are the top four automation challenges during a typical BPA deployment.

1.      Need for planning

A lack of a clear vision of what will — and what won’t — get automated will stall any BPA rollout. As part of this, one of the key automation challenges you can expect to face is finding the right balance between automated versus manual processes.

Over-automating can remove the human touch from your organisation. It also fuels automation anxiety in your teams. Under-automating, however, means you aren’t unlocking the full benefits of your new software.

So, alleviate this challenge with effective pre-planning. A successful automation deployment isn’t rushed. Take the time to decide what to automate. Start small, with high-frequency, low-skill processes. Then, you can work with teams to build up your automated processes over time.

2.      Broken processes

Automation isn’t a silver bullet. By itself, it cannot fix problem processes and faulty workflows. This means that when deploying automation, any broken processes will remain broken – even when automated.

The BPA tool will complete processes as per your direct instructions. (Via ‘if this, then that’ rules.) So, even if those instructions form part of an ineffectively handled process, the BPA tool will follow them.

Address this challenge by taking time to analyse your workflows, test your automations, and fix the processes that don’t work effectively. View it as an opportunity to re-engineer process flows to better suit your new automation deployment.

3.      Change management

BPA deployment can be disruptive for your teams in the short term. As such, one of the automation challenges you may face is getting employees on board. You’ll need to make sure everyone can navigate the changing workplace landscape and use the software where appropriate.

Some team members may have automation anxiety — the fear that technology will take their job or make it insecure. Some team members may also be less tech-savvy. These issues compound into a reluctance to use the automation technology available.

You can address this challenge by introducing automation advocates and/or change agents to your team. These are people that support your teams and highlight how automation will help them. You should also make sure that everyone that needs it gets adequate automation training.

4.      Integration

One thing automation is great for is assisting with system integration. But integration also represents one of the short-term automation challenges you face during BPA deployment.

Namely, if you have siloed systems, you’ll need to spend time automating across them.

Automation can assist with IT bridging, helping to dissolve your siloes and get things running more smoothly. But to do that, you’ll need to restructure and redesign your workflows to support a more integrated organisation.

Automation challenges

Nothing worth having comes without its challenges. The challenges you may face during a BPA project are ones that only present short term teething pains when managed well.

Once your teams are settled, the solution is integrated, and your processes are running smoothly in the background, you know you’ve gotten past the automation challenges that come with BPA deployment.

Useful links

The secret to a successful automation rollout

A beginner’s guide to BPR

The top 5 automation pitfalls to avoid