My topic today is something that I have been asked. Why do over 75% RPA and Digital programs fail? Or do not give the return we expected.
Of course there is no one answer to this. Much of what you face today could be a result of technical choices you made. I however, am convinced that the answer in in History and Psychology of similar initiatives in your organization.
Look within. Did earlier initiatives such as ISO 9001, Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean, ERP etc succeed in your organization? If they did, then chances are RPA and Digital will work too. If they didn’t, then please introspect.
Winning is a habit and it needs an ecosystem of leadership, people, process, and systems. None of these alone can help you win. It is a chemical combination of these ingredients that makes the ecosystem click. And only you and your organization know what makes you click.
Several years ago I was invited to discuss a Six Sigma assignment with a large Indian Cement company. I was pleased to see the owner and CEO sitting across the table. He was quite a public figure and I had a bit of celebrity moment. What followed was a bit amusing. He asked me – can you assure me that Six Sigma will work in my organization? The question was loaded with a threat that we will award the assignment only if you guarantee success. As a Consultant doing Business Development I knew my answer should be a YES. But I asked a counter question – did other earlier initiatives such as ISO 9001, Kaizen, and Continual Quality Improvement do well in your organization? His response was very revealing of the history and psychology that I spoke about earlier. He said – no, they didn’t. Those methods were not for my organization. I had no hesitation in saying a clear NO to this assignment and said – if those initiatives did not work why do you think this will work? What has changed?
Moral of the story – winning is a habit and needs an ecosystem. If simpler initiatives didn’t work then don’t burn your money on more complex initiatives. Fix the fundamentals and then try. And don’t blame the tool. If many others are getting it right then surely you could look within for answers.
~ Anshuman Tiwari
Helping Operations go Digital | Digital Process Excellence | Fellow, ASQ