As it is a new market for many stakeholders, defining the metrics of an RPA project is not obvious. As our business model for SAP Intelligent RPA is based on usage, you have to find the number of automations that will run now, and guess the workload of the project because it also enters the equation.
But the good news is that it’s becoming easy as soon as you’ve understood 2 principles:
How to determine real volumes and decrypt complexity!
As RPA is intended to automate operational tasks, I guess you can ask the Business to provide you with the numbers. If you work on an “Invoice 2 ERP” project, I’m sure your customer knows how many invoices he has to handle every year or every month. Same with the onboarding of new clients, or … absolutely every case, even if some people are saying they don’t know.
I’ve never encountered a company where business managers have no clear idea of the volume they’re managing!
Then you can discuss if you automate the whole process or just the standard cases (because some are too complex) and you finally obtain your Magic Number!
Since you have the volume, try to measure the human time spent on doing the tasks you think you can automate: it will give you the most useful trick to prove the Return On Investment of the project. So, yes, don’t forget to have this info!
So now you can calculate the amount of automations, what we call Transactions, to prepare the License proposal.
Some customers will say their processes are not very complicated, then they will give you an impressive list of exception rules … Other customers will say you their processes are so complicated, they can’t imagine any kind of automation.
So, Yes, you’re dazzled into what Jeffery Kluger calls Simplexity 😉
The fact is, respectfully to their employees, no process is a real nightmare of rules. So, let’s first ask how many applications are in use and you have the first key. In fact, if they just use 2 applications, you can guess it is far simpler than if they use 15 applications with completely different technologies. Then you can discuss around the repetitiveness of actions, and you can be sure that the more it is repetitive, the less the rules are complex.
Now you’re more confident, you can use our T-shirt Sizing model:
- 2 applications, few rules = Small and easy project of roughly 10 man/days of integration
- 3 or 4 applications and some rules = Medium … 25 man/days of integration
- More than 5 applications, lot of rules = Large … 35 man/days of integration
And if you think it’s an XL project, begin to slice it into smaller projects (something that doesn’t work with real T-shirts 😉 )
Now you have the volume, the time consumption and the T-shirt size of the project … let’s use the ROI calculation to see quickly the benefits of the project.
Multiply the number of minutes for the task by the number of times it is performed per year, then divide the result by 92400 (60 minutes, 7 hours and 220 days a year, adjust if needed in your region)… the result is the number of FTE spent on the task.
Then multiply this result by 50K (or the average cost of an FTE doing that task in your country) and you have the cost for the enterprise … you can now compare to the project costs.
Project costs are integration cost for the first year and subscription for every year.
Integration cost is Man/Days
- A task performed 100 000 times a year, which lasts 3 minutes is equivalent to 3,25 FTEs or 160 K€
- The 20 man/days project will cost 16K€ and the subscription 54 K€
- Every year the enterprise will save approximately 100 K€
The ROI is done in … 6 months!
Now you have all the tips and tricks to better measure an automation project and convince your customer … hope you’ll enjoy a lot of successes !
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