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Intelligent Automation Speed and Project Staffing

Introduction

Setting up a Center of Excellence for Intelligent Automation can provide companies with the needed infrastructure to design and implement solutions for Shared Services and, in some instances, across a wide range of business processes.   While the concept makes sense, the creation of Centers of Excellence is still in its infancy, even at the most advanced companies.  And flushing out the details for how to get started can be challenging.  For example, knowing how many people to allocate to developing bots, and how many bots a team can implement in a year, aren’t easy questions to answer.  However, it doesn’t have to be a complete guess, since many of these building-block questions can be answered by knowing the actual experiences of your peers.

This research paper is a top-level summary of a recent poll that was conducted in Peeriosity’s Intelligent Automation research area.  For Peeriosity members, full visibility to all the details of the poll is available, including the ability to interact directly with participating peers.

iPollingTM Results Review

Recently, Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used by an Automation COE Expert at member company to understand the staffing sizes and implementation speeds specifically related to bots. Responses were posted real-time, with visibility to company responses available to all Peeriosity members, allowing for direct communication with peers using Peeriosity’s integrated Peer MailTM capabilities.

The first polling question on staffing size asked for details on the number of people member companies currently have allocated to developing bots.  While 19% don’t have anyone allocated because they haven’t started yet, 43% indicated they have 3 to 5 people allocated to developing bots.  19% report having more than 6, and the remaining 19% have 1 or 2 people allocated.  Here are the details:

While it is a bit of an estimate for how many bots the COE development team can implement in a year on average, it can be helpful to know what the general parameters are for companies with implementation experience.  While 39% indicate that it’s too early to tell, 26% report they expect their team to implement more than 20 bots per year, 9% think number is between 10 and 15, and the remaining 26% expect the number to be between 1 and 5.

Here are some comments from responding companies:

  • I have found that bot counts are very deceiving. It depends on the process being automated (complexity, systems, SME engagement, etc).
  • The number of bots (Automations) delivered in a year can vary depending on the complexity of the process. Small processes can be delivered in less that 10 weeks from start to finish and bigger automations take longer. Also, we do not have a team of full time Automator’s, we use external service providers to do the automations and that gives us flexibility on capacity.
  • Our IT group is currently researching the possibility of RPA for our entire Finance org. We are assessing how RPA could possibly work for us.
  • Not only is this about standing up the bot but it’s the resources required to monitor and maintain the bots after they are in your production environment. For our operations, these are not 100% “dedicated” resources to this effort. They still have other duties and responsibilities.
  • We are building up the structure to have a scrum team build 4 medium complexity bots in a 6-week period, so at that rate, we could build many in a year, just depends on process owner availability and how many developers or external consultants we want to throw at it.
  • Too early to tell for how many we can implement in a year.  We have 3 up and running in 2018, now scaling to around 40 in 2019.
  • In 2018, we reached 2 bots, but we are expecting to ramp up in 2019.

Closing Summary

For new technologies and new processes where companies have little practical experience, knowing how to staff, and having an idea of the results that can be expected, is often very much a matter of estimating resources and outcomes, and fine-tuning as you get experience.  While differences will exist between companies, having first-hand knowledge of the experience of leading peers can be an excellent guide that takes out much of the guess-work for setting staffing levels and estimating the speed of implementation. 

Does your company have a Center of Excellence for Intelligent Automation?  How many people do you currently have allocated to develop bots, and how many bots per year do you think your team will be able to implement?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

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“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into www.peeriosity.com to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

 



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