Use RPA to Automate and Streamline Lead Generation Data - part 2 - Define & Design with ROM
It is so easy, at least for me, to want to jump into the tech to try and solve an issue but with age hopefully comes some wisdom ;) So let’s ensure we are successful in our RPA POC and do the necessary upfront analysis and design (and then geek out).
As I mentioned in part 1, this simple marketing technology use case could be handled by most RPA tools on the market today, but I am going to use Blue Prism based on personal knowledge and usage of the tool.
A great, somewhat overlooked feature of Blue Prism is their Robotic Operating Model (ROM). Blue Prism’s ROM is a well researched, road tested delivery model for building and managing successful RPA initiatives. ROM is based on 7 foundations, that you can read more about here.
If you have access to the Blue Prism customer portal, you can download detailed ROM documentation and sample templates. For this post, I am not going to go into the entire ROM framework in detail but will refer to foundation 4, Delivery Methodology, which provides a logical SDLC flow from definition to deployment to help guide our POC project.
Within the Define phase, we are focused on understanding our target process. In this phase, a business or process analyst, using the typical tools of subject matter expert (sme) meetings, video capture, and flow charts, captures as much detail as possible about each step in the process. Frameworks like LEAN, Six Sigma, IIBA Babok, and Agile Methodologies are fundamental to great analysis for any kind of technology project, including RPA.
Remember RPA bots are not self-aware. RPA is not AI. Bots are a simple digital workforce that must be configured with exact instructions to achieve the output you desire. RPA can leverage more advanced services and is poised to explode in this area, but that discussion is for another post.
For this MarTech POC, I admittedly have scoped out a straightforward process, but for a first-time RPA project this is a nice size and will serve our needs to get our feet wet and achieve a quick win.
Captured steps from process analysis
The Data Analyst (DA) then opens the spreadsheet
DA opens a web browser
DA logs into CRM (HubSpot)
DA navigates to contact creation page (Contacts -> Contacts -> Create Contact)
DA manually enters data fields
Could copy & past data from spreadsheet into CRM
Could visually replicate data from spreadsheet into CRM
DA clicks submit
DA confirms submission was successful and new contact record was created
DA repeats steps 4 to 7 until end of spreadsheet.
DA creates an email for manager which includes total count of new lead contacts created in CRM.
DA saves spreadsheet in completed folder for archives.
Proposed RPA Solution
Moving into the Design Phase, we are going to take our process discovery work and utilize ROM to develop a solution design. A couple points to call out on this proposed solution. The goal of our POC is to prove the value of RPA to management and fellow marketing team members, promptly, so we do not want to get bogged down in re-engineering every stage of an existing process. Focus on delivering a minimum viable product (MVP) that can add immediate value to your marketing team.
In that context, our proposed design solution will:
keep the existing in-flow of lead data
make notes about the lead aggregation process but leave it as is for our first iteration
focus in on the replacement of manual data entry with RPA
highlight opportunities to leverage the freed up FTE hours.
Any and all discovery will be saved to leverage in future iterations.
This solution design requires a new Blue Prism process called Create CRM Contacts and one new Blue Prism work queue, also called Create CRM Contacts. The Create CRM Contacts process takes cases from the NewCRMLeads excel file located on the //acme/marketing/newleads file share, and for each case it creates a new customer contact in the CRM system.
When a new customer contact cannot be created the case will be made an exception in the Blue Prism work queue, Create CRM Contacts. At the end of each processing run the Create CRM Contacts process will output the exception case details for manual review by the MarTech team. The process will also summarize any relevant metrics and send an email report to applicable team members.
In part three I will dig into the Build and Test phases with some actual code and show you a video demo, thanks!