Abstract

Digitalisation has transformed the way organisations operate. New digital tools are available with increasing regularity – and many of them have the potential for a major impact. They enable the transformation of business processes to become more efficient, agile, meet compliance requirements, enhance customer experience or improve the general quality of deliverables. They may help achieve a level of process performance not previously envisaged. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of those digital enablers which has been applied, or at least discussed in many organisations as practice reports and conference presentations show. This process technology is becoming a mainstream trend, relevant for many businesses. However, many organisations struggle to realise the full potential of RPA. According to newer statistics even 30-50% of RPA initiatives fail completely.  This is partly attributable to the fact that vendors and journalists are constantly hyping its capabilities to the point where it becomes like the proverbial hammer, to which every problem looks like a nail. The paper discusses opportunities and challenges of applying RPA as process improvement approach. The approach of Value-driven Robotic Process Automation addresses the challenges and realised the identified opportunities. It proposes an approach that helps to focus on the right sub-processes to automate, improve those business processes considering the end-to-end process context and sustain the results through appropriate governance and hybrid workforce management. Agile principles are combined with the required focus and direction. Value-driven RPA is a part of a discipline of process-led digital transformation management, leveraging the capabilities of Business Process Management (BPM) to realise the full value of digital initiatives, fast and at minimal risk.