There’s a reason why robotic process automation (RPA) has become so popular in the business world. According to a recent survey, the average ROI for cloud-based RPA is 250 percent. The list of benefits that RPA can deliver is long, from unlocking human potential to improving data quality. However, that doesn’t mean that RPA implementation should be rushed into. As well as numerous success stories, there has also been a number of RPA failures. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common reasons why RPA projects fall short:

1. Starting too big

As with any other digital transformation initiative, RPA projects take time. When businesses attempt to rush their RPA implementation, the project can quickly get out of hand and is unlikely to achieve its goals. Partnering with an RPA expert like Ciphix can help you to set realistic ambitions for your RPA project and create a step-by-step plan of how to get there. 

2. Using RPA to automate a broken process

Automating a process is not the same as fixing it. Unfortunately, trying to use RPA to fix a broken business process has led some organizations to abandon RPA initiatives altogether. In order to avoid applying RPA to a broken process, be sure to carefully analyze the process you are looking to automate, collecting employee feedback, and scrutinizing any available data. With the right partner, process optimization will come before automation.

3. A disconnect between business teams and IT

Often, RPA initiatives start with business teams. They do some PoC work but require input from the IT department for bigger projects. If IT is not fully on board when projects are begun, progress can slow, hampered by lengthy technical discussions. Create cross-functional governance teams to ensure different viewpoints are considered. Effective communication, better information sharing, and business-wide alignment can all help ensure that RPA projects progress smoothly. 

4. An inability to scale

RPA initiatives are not always easy to scale. If businesses want to undergo an entire digital transformation process, RPA can help but won’t achieve it on its own. Work with your RPA vendor to determine what you want from your RPA initiative, what business processes it can be applied to, and what technologies it can integrate with. RPA is about more than “building bots.” It comes with vision, governance, roles, and responsibilities. Getting a trusted partner on board can help with these new developments. 

5. Manage expectations

Unfortunately, some RPA projects don’t deliver the results that businesses were hoping for. If that’s the case, don’t give up on RPA. Speak to your RPA provider, analyze your results and assess why the expected benefits weren’t achieved. RPA processes can be surrounded by big business case expectations – ones that sometimes prove unrealistic. With RPA, the first steps should always be around proving the technology works. Creating enthusiasm will naturally follow.


If you want to avoid the kind of RPA pitfalls we’ve listed above, get in touch with Ciphix to see how our RPA experts can bring out the best in your human employees.

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