FGS VOICES: As one of FGS’s Senior Automation Engineers, Thomas Mitchell spends his days developing and implementing end to end automations in a wide range of verticals from manufacturing to insurance as well as digging deep into the needs of horizontals from finance to human resources.

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So, you’ve started your automation journey, that’s great! Your solutions are running seamlessly in production, and you were told to expect ROI in the first year of implementation. Your vision is playing out right in front of you. Until… it doesn’t!

As an RPA Developer, we understand that it’s not if your solution will break but a matter of when; it could be next month or in 5 years’ time. But eventually it will need updates or bug fixes. Do you have a plan of action for when that day occurs?

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Benjamin Franklin

It might be hundreds of years old, but Franklin was right. As a visionary, maybe he knew one day we’d be automating the world of work and he foresaw this as a key challenge for us mere mortals.Often at the beginning of an automation journey, I see organizations underestimating the need for monitoring, support, and maintenance of intelligent automation solutions.

When looking at what causes an automation to break. This could be many things, but from my experience, it can be narrowed down to three common issues:

  1. User interface changes
    RPAhas simplified the challenge of automating a user interface, but when changes occur, your solution will require an update as well.
  2. Business requirements changing
    Business requirements are fluid and RPA resources will be needed to keep up with requests. Any changes also need to be managed in the right way internally. As Harvard Business School’s Tim Stobierski says, “Without effective organizational change management, company transitions can be rocky and expensive in terms of both time and resources.”
  3. Missed business requirements during analysis
    Requirements gathering and analysis can be time consuming and tedious but what are the effects of poor process analysis? Missing business requirements or writing them off as wish list items can be costly.


For instance, imagine a requirement assessment, solution design, and development are all complete. The day before business acceptance testing, a new requirement is added to the project. The requirement is simple and doesn’t require much effort, but it doesn’t fit into the original design. The developer has 2 options; one, delay business testing and redesign the project considering the new requirement. Or two, create a patch job adding the new requirement even though it doesn’t quite fit into the original design.

Perhaps, it’s tempting to proceed with the second option and meet the deadline. But imagine the effects of this option for 5 or 10 new requirements. The code would be a mess! Six months later, not even the original Developer could provide quick bug fixes or maintenance for that process.


My advice is don’t underestimate the need for support and maintenance on your automation journey. From experience, it’s estimated that 30 to 50% of RPA processes will either fail to meet business needs or require some level of support in the first year. This is not a reflection of the technology itself or the quality of the automation solution, merely an insight to mitigate risk.


Ultimately, establishing a reliable monitoring and support model for RPA solutions will be the best option to realize the returns that were expected.

Our automation engineers can proactively monitor and manage your automation ecosystem to ensure optimal performance. This frees you from the day-to-day and allows to you focus on the future.

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