The approach of Value-driven Robotic Process Automation (RPA), embedded in a larger BPM-Discipline and leveraging agile principles, brings significant advantages compared to an ad-hoc use of this automation technology as often promoted in the market:

  • Fast and sustainable benefits from RPA initiatives
  • Integrated incremental value-realisation and management of return-on-investment (ROI)
  • Realistic expectations regarding benefits from automation stages
  • Minimise risk of not achieving return on a process automation initiative
  • Users are involved incrementally, simplifying change management
  • Saves formal testing time while keeping the automation quality up
  • Innovation becomes part of daily business
  • Drives alignment between business and IT
  • Flexible application of the approach to ongoing initiatives

However, the presented approach for Value-driven RPA is still in an early development and roll-out phase. Hence, it also creates a basis for further research and development opportunities, such as:

  • Integration of RPA into larger automation architectures and appropriate extension of the approach, using AI, OCR, and other technologies
  • Hybrid workforce definition management
  • Process governance for digital processes and alignment with other governance areas, such as data governance or technology governance
  • Use of RPA based process reference models

First practice experiences, at a number of organisations engaged by the authors, with Value-driven RPA and its integration into a larger BPM-Discipline showed positive encouraging results. This clear view of the end-to-end business process combining attention to people and technology aspects, e.g. an integrated Centre of Excellence including Automation (RPA and other approaches), people change management, classical process improvement, etc. avoids RPA silo solutions and delivers real performance improvement. Value-driven RPA is another way the BPM-Discipline makes a difference and advances digital transformation to deliver real business outcomes (Kirchmer, 2018b). This process-led approach delivers fast results at minimal risk. It helps organisations to master another step of their digital transformation journey.

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