BPS outsourcing industry has always been heavily dependent on IT, to enable its services and make it more efficient. Automation of voice and back office processes have been around for a long time, be it IVRs, web services for voice or OCR, add on applications for back office, macros creation to automate steps of a process (this is the closest we had to the current RPA platform structures), etc.
With the introduction of RPA platforms, a new focus area has been introduced to the field, non-invasive automations, which results in lower cost of implementation and faster lead times. And still delivers some serious savings to the business, in a robust manner.
These non-invasive automations are more business focussed, operations dependent, do not have a huge IT capex investment and usually fall under the operations budgets and savings in most organisations. The impact on revenues would also be on BPS partners managing outsourced work, primarily these automation offerings are led and delivered by BPS organizations themselves. The automation projects and their approach, are evolving. Automation projects are under the purview of BPS organisations and not under core IT organisations. There is a definitive need for business transition team to play an important role.
This, however would need flexibility from the team and rethinking of approach, evaluation of areas where contribution can be made. A one size fits all approach would not work always. Business transitions and automation implementation cannot be done in the same manner. In automation, the project delivery approach and execution should be led by an IT Project Manager supported with business teams like Quality, Information Security and Operations. The methodology also would need some tweaking, especially in the implementation phase. A Program Management Office is where the Business Transition team can contribute, and which could act as a wrapper for the support of delivery teams.
With Hexaware’s DMS (Digital Managed Services) and DMS Lite Go-To-Market offerings, the Transition team is already playing a key supporting role, in successful execution of projects. While the DMS offering has a business transition component in it, which is a known area for business transition team, the automation aspect of it, along with DMS Lite which is a pure automation offering, is where the role has evolved.
The DMS and DMS Lite offerings have been managed/supported by the business transition team successfully for one of the large banking client. Hexaware Transition team played a major role in the business transition and program management for the automation project.
Listed below are few of the areas, amongst others, which have been supported by the Business Transition Team at Hexaware, as part of their Automation offerings-
1. Act as a bridge:
- Between the Operational and IT teams involved, ensuring requirements capture, process mapping and baselining are carried out in an accurate and time bound manner. Interpreting IT terminology for the Operational resources and more importantly sensitising the teams on importance of certain activities
- Looping in other support teams as per need, including Information Security, training, quality, WFM to help in various activities
2. Governance practices:
- Establishing governance and periodic checks throughout the various phases of the projects
- Ensuring and driving proactive as well as continuous communications on various aspects of the project
- Regular tracking of the overall project plan and evaluating progress on actual vs planned
- Publishing progress updates on a regular basis, ensures visibility to the project team, steering committee and project sponsors
- Risk and issue management is another important aspect which should be tracked, both from an IT as well as business perspective, ensuring timely closure of risks and issues
3. Framework definition:
- Transition team, by nature of its job, is a process driven team that can help come up with the automation implementation framework. The framework would be a mix of business transition setup and IT project management approaches
- Ensure that there are compliance frameworks built around the implementation approach, namely around Information Security, Quality monitoring
- Lastly, an important piece that should be considered is the reporting and monitoring aspect of BOT performance and how it fits into the end to end process, TAT/ SLA measurement and impact assessment. The role played by Operations, Work Force Management and IT teams should be evaluated and a robust framework should be built around it.
The automation focus is only going to intensify over the next few years, with additional cognitive focussed technologies and platforms. The above mentioned points are a few aspects, which need to be put in place from a Program Management and delivery standpoint. The Transition team can play an important role in supporting the success of these initiatives.