The old days of employees struggling with mundane and repetitive tasks are now gone, with Robotic Process Automation taking over the way businesses operate. Today, the focus is to maximize productivity with the minimum required human efforts. Especially in the most error-prone and time-consuming processes, investing in RPA has become a must.

Businesses have realized the need to eliminate all legacy ways of labor-intensive operations and are pushing further to automate their system. Grave situations like the pandemic or frequent labor strikes have escalated the demand for automation. The urge to quickly embark on the path of digital transformation can sometimes be a double-sided sword.

RPA is undoubtedly the way ahead in the future as an excellent fit for all tedious and repetitive processes. But, RPA systems will fail to fix a process that is fundamentally broken or not fully understood. That’s a basic – robust need-analysis mechanism is a must to avoid all missteps that can lead to an RPA project failure.

Predicting, preparing, and promptly accommodating all exceptions and variants is another crucial factor to avoid the failure of RPA projects. Looking for rule-based, predictable processes that occur repetitively can simplify the business operations by replacing all of them cautiously with RPA. It is critical for businesses to realize that the dynamic processes that do not follow a predictable path are the worst match for RPA.

Let’s now look at the four major factors as the reason Why RPA Projects Fail.

Need Identification and Planning Failure

Investing in the wrong places is the biggest pitfall as some processes can never be automated. Such processes pre-dominantly need a human touch to analyze and implement the decisions on a case-to-case basis. The dynamicity of the environment is essential to predict the issues associated with the implementation of RPA.

Humans better handle all tasks that require creativity, brainstorming, innovation, and interaction with the physical world. Implementing a workflow automation tool can assist in the repetitive steps of a process, but still, human involvement in the skill and decision-making will be a must.

To assure the success of RPA implementation, businesses need to acknowledge the fact that nobody likes working on mundane or repetitive work. Identifying the business-related benefits is critical before choosing the process that requires automation and implementing it across the process. A robust approach to RPA implementation is necessary, focusing on environment availability, robot’s availability, security, degree of human involvement, etc. This will ensure the feasibility of RPA adoption and avoid unnecessary resource wastage.

[Also Read: 20 Unparalleled Benefits of RPA and AI To Digital Business ]

Missing Out on the Testing

RPA implementation incurs some firm financial and operational decisions across business requirements-related and RPA-related scenarios. This necessitates detailed testing, including as many negative scenarios as possible. Implementing RPA disrupts the years-old style of business operations so to develop confidence in its key benefit areas testing environments cannot be missed out on.

In the testing phase, users can map the benefits accurately with the business requirements and expectations to explore all ‘physical’ output delivered by the bot and request cosmetic changes if required. So, developers need to elaborately check in with users about their satisfaction with testing results, along with the effort to incorporate suggested changes.

Testing should never be limited to the pre-implementation stage, but it should play a crucial role in the processes’ continuous improvement. After the RPA robot has been deployed, constant monitoring will assure that they execute the strategy as triggered. If the bots fail to match KPIs’ expected results, they need to be reworked to assure effectiveness and maximize productivity.

Lack of ‘Digitization Culture’

Digital transformation is a long-drawn process that needs to be backed by a mindset change incorporating the ‘digitization culture’ across the organization. Before investing in any automation or RPA tools, the organization’s people need to be sure about its need. Also, they should find the funding for it justified!

Those who buy into RPA and automation need to go beyond the ‘no reason not to do it’ factor. To assure the successful implementation of RPA, people across the organization’s hierarchy must be convinced fully about its urgency and requirement, coupled with the benefits that RPA will unveil to make their lives easy. Without buy-in from the right, responsible people, RPA projects will quickly come to a standstill. Before engaging in such RPA implementation projects, it’s recommended to think hard about all potential blockers and how to build the ‘digitization culture’ to overcome any fears related to RPA adoption.

Also, there should be perfect alignment amongst all the stakeholders to avoid the scope of RPA failure. Political implications can’t be underestimated as they are the true kingpin to RPA’s alignment with business goals and success.

Unrealistic Business Expectations

RPA is a tech-driven tool to ease out human efforts and not to eradicate human involvement altogether. Any technology to be successful needs human supervision, expertise, experience, and thorough involvement. RPA specifically to be successful should never be treated as the ‘go-to’ solution for every business problem. Pulling out ‘human intelligence’ from the equation will cease the Robotic Process Automation solution’s success.

Before judging the expected KPI for automation success, the metrics to measure the results need to be justified and well-thought. In simple words, the goals need to be achievable and just. Remember, screwdrivers can’t hammer a nail. Robots can’t be humans; they are just designed to simplify human efforts.

[Also Read: 10 tips for successful Robotic Process Automation ]


Now that the major pitfalls to RPA failure have been unveiled, businesses need to be stringent and critical about each one of them. It is all about intricately weighing the costs against the business benefits, but the silver lining is to – take a futuristic vision towards long-term success.

[Also Read: eBook CIO’s Guide for RPA Evaluation ]

Taking the necessary time to decide on ‘why’ and ‘how’ to implement RPA will enhance the probability of success. RPA adoption’s decision should be driven by the efficiencies unlocked by the RPA solution, measured against the cost of implementation and maintenance.

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