Long-term Improvements – A property analysis for Process Automation
Automation projects with high complexity and benefits similar to those of Low-Hanging-Fruit (LHF) projects are referred to as Long-Term Improvements (LTI). These projects, however, usually bear slightly greater benefits compared to LHFs but ought to be left for long-term planning after Must-Do Improvements and Quick Wins have been successfully converted. A more detailed analysis within the process assessment matrix can be found in the (BCH) Process Assessment Matrix for your RPA journey.
Properties of RPA long-term improvements
Based on some pre-defined measures involving input methods, application type, free text (unstructured information flow), environment and the number of applications, Long-Term Improvements reach complex levels in most or all these categories. Additionally, their benefit-complexity ratio is rather low. This can be calculated by considering potential FTE savings derived from parameters like percentage of rule-based steps or input method. For example, if a process has structure-based rules to only a small degree, it will have to provide proportionally higher benefits to compensate for the increased complexity. If this is not the case, the process might be a Long-Term Improvement and will be left for a later stage during the automation journey.
To complete the automation landscape
Thus, Long-Term Improvements require programming skills, string manipulation, complex ERP interface applications and usually take significantly longer than six weeks for implementation. If this time investment is not met with an increase in the benefit-complexity ratio as discussed above, then the project is referred to as a Long-Term Improvement and will be conducted after all other projects are successfully finished. However, under some special circumstances, Long-Term Improvements might be preferable: If one (1) wants to complete the automation landscape or (2) if the process has a high strategic value e.g., for a specific stakeholder where benefits are not directly related to profits, but automation of the process must be implemented now.