1.0 Introduction – Overview

Most organisations have started digital transformation initiatives or at least plan for them (Kirchmer, Franz, Lotterer, Antonucci, Laengle 2016). New digital tools are available with increasing regularity – and many of them have the potential for a major business 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 seen before. 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 (Scheer 2018) (Accenture, 2017) (McKinsey, 2017). This process technology is about to become a mainstream trend relevant for many businesses. However, many organisations don’t realise the full potential of RPA. According to newer statistics as many as 30-50% of RPA initiatives fail completely (Cantara, 2015) (Kirchmer, 2017a). The approach of Value-driven RPA addresses this challenge. It proposes an approach that helps to focus on the right sub-processes to automate through RPA, improve those business processes considering the end-to-end process context and sustain the results through appropriate governance and hybrid workforce management (Kirchmer, Franz, 2017b). 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 (Franz, Kirchmer, 2012). The article defines RPA and explains it significance. Then it introduces an approach for Value- driven RPA, combining academic findings and practical project experience. The conclusion shows a possible way forward and highlights related research opportunities. This paper was first published BMSD 2019 conference Proceedings (Kirchmer, Franz, 2019)
and is a further revision of this paper.

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