At a conference recently I was listening to manager talk about how they have deployed RPA (robotic process automation) tools to everyone in their contact center.

  • I asked how much effort had gone into documenting what the current processes are: Response was a blank stare.
  • I then asked how much training had gone into methods to assess and optimize the processes before they were automated: Continued blank stare.

I know for most people the thought of making sure core processes are documented and followed by all, causes searing pain… It is culture change and that is hard. On the other hand I wonder how long it is until there is defined services to untangle the RPA sprawl or service desks see a spike in tickets because unknown automation’s break after an application upgrade.

Value stream mapping, Kaizen events, The Toyota Way even Good to Great all detail the value of analyzing before implementing. I just hope that RPA doesn’t get skewered the same way self service reporting did in the 2000’s. Fingers crossed.