The Process Design Document (PDD) is the most common mechanism used in RPA, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective.
Documents invite delay, bottlenecks, errors, missed requirements, and rework into your process improvement initiatives. Documents are complicated, siloed, hard to collaborate on, impossible to visualize, and aren’t scalable. Plus, they’re a huge time and value suck - business users are slow to make them, developers don’t read them close enough, testers struggle to ensure proper test coverage, and compliance teams are often left out of the mix entirely. No surprise here - no one is happy, and nothing gets done on time.
To effectively and efficiently deliver impactful business solutions, organizations need tools that are more iterative, automated, and collaborative than manual, paper-based, error-prone documents.
Enter the Digital Blueprint.
What is a Digital Blueprint?
A Digital Blueprint encompasses everything you need to effectively and efficiently deliver mission-critical business solutions for your process improvement initiatives. A Digital Blueprint includes highly detailed process flows, functional and non-functional requirements, user stories, regulatory requirements and acceptance test criteria, amongst other critical information, to help you successfully deliver your business solution.
A Digital Blueprint can be used to drive a number of use cases such as RPA, LoCode-NoCode development, the migration of legacy applications, custom development, or for commercial technology implementation.
Why is a Digital Blueprint Better than a PDD?
Managing your RPA initiative in a PDD is like trying to put together a piece of IKEA furniture without having the blueprint of what you’re building and where you’re putting it. Nearly 50% of all RPA projects fail to meet their objectives because organizations are:
1. Targeting robots as a series of automations, rather than an end-to-end change program:
Most organizations take-on RPA as a quick-fix solution. They design business processes for automation within a PDD that doesn’t consider how the bot will fit into the larger enterprise context or how it will interact with other business applications or development architecture. The challenge is that without considering the business process from end-to-end your PDD is going to overlook critical elements that will lead to product delivery delays, bot breaks, cost overruns, and wasted effort.
A Digital Blueprint considers all of the details the PDD ignores. A Digital Blueprint works directly within the enterprise context making it easier to understand how the business process you want to automate flows from end-to-end. This level of visibility enables you to effectively optimize business processes to ensure the bot is reliable, resilient to change, and keeps costs low.
2. Targeting RPA at the wrong processes:
Teams decide which processes are going to be automated by asking themselves questions like:
- How repetitive is the process?
- How complex is the process?
- How standardized is the process?
This method is as effective as a coin flip - every department has their own set of criteria, so every department will choose their own processes to develop which only creates chaos. The PDD only exacerbates the problem by only providing a single perspective on the business process, therefore making it impossible to accurately determine if you’ve chosen the best process for automation.
On the other hand, the Digital Blueprint adds rigor and certainty to process selection. When teams determine which processes they want to automate they can see:
- If this process has already been automated, can it be reused?
- What business applications their automated process will interact with
- What development architecture their automated process will interact with
- What stakeholders will be impacted by this change
This level of granularity ensures that you’re choosing the best process for automation. In addition, with the Digital Blueprint you will be able to reduce the risk of future disruption because you’ve considered the process from end-to-end.
3. Automating too much of a process or not optimizing for RPA:
Forrester research suggests that most organizations cannot describe and have not documented their processes from end-to-end. The PDD skips over a critical step of an RPA implementation - business process analysis- and as a result introduces unnecessary risk because it is working from an incomplete picture of the current-state of the organization.
On the other hand, a Digital Blueprint supports your teams as they work to analyze and optimize business processes before any automation work begins. By giving teams enough context to understand how the process currently works they can effectively design processes that will deliver continuous business value.
These problems stem from improper or inadequate upfront planning and design of RPA projects, which becomes limited due to the use of documents. It’s pretty ironic that RPA, which is based on making high-volume, routine operations more efficient and reliable, is entirely dependent on an outdated and cumbersome means of communication like the PDD. A Digital Blueprint is easily accessible via a digital, and centralized platform that can be integrated within any enterprise architecture to help you deliver higher quality business solutions more effectively. Surely you agree that’s a better alternative.
The Value of a Digital Blueprint
- Significantly improve the quality of your processes: When you have a better way to define what you need in a process flow, a better way to collaborate with your peers, and a better way to manage dependencies and relationships between people, processes, and technologies, you can build significantly better bots. Digital Blueprints inject a level of quality into RPA that is simply not possible using manual documentation.
- Create a single source of truth: A Digital Blueprint allows enterprises to house all key business objectives, enterprise constraints, and regulatory requirements in one location and connects them seamlessly to process improvement opportunities such as RPA, LoCode-NoCode development, and many more.
- Improves collaboration: A Digital Blueprint improves cross-functional collaboration between business and IT stakeholders through features that increase speed and agility, enabling your teams to deliver real business value faster.
- Improves speed of design: A Digital Blueprint quickly ingests information captured by process discovery and mining tools as well as data from unstructured sources, accelerating the speed of process design. In addition, because it is stored within a centralized repository, teams can easily reuse elements from previous projects.
- Simplifies change management: A Digital Blueprint makes change management simple because all critical information is stored within one central and versioned location making it easy to trace both internal and external changes to affected business processes. When there is a change within the Digital Blueprint all impacted team members will be automatically notified of the change.
- Improves speed of development: Digital Blueprints can automatically generate all functional and acceptance test criteria, as well as sync over ‘skeleton’ versions of your process flows directly into your RPA tools of choice through our seamless bi-directional integrations. This not only significantly improves the speed of development, but ensures your developers have the complete context of what it is they’re building.
- Reduces rework and maintenance costs: Given that all optimization activities are captured and completed within the Digital Blueprint, organizations can expect business solutions to be delivered at an accelerated rate with significantly less rework and maintenance costs.
How Blueprint Delivers RPA Success with Digital Blueprints
Blueprint provides large enterprises with all the fundamental capabilities needed to deliver mission-critical business solutions such as RPA by leveraging Digital Blueprints, which reinforces collaboration and alignment and enables an accelerated time-to-value. Blueprint captures and receives information about the current state of business processes from Process Discovery and Mining tools, and unstructured sources like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Visio to make downstream work more efficient. By ingesting this information quickly and translating it into a workable state, organizations can immediately get started on optimizing business processes to deliver real business results faster.
While the benefits of a Digital Blueprint are clear, we understand that some organizations are mandated by internal policy or regulatory obligations to keep a paper copy of the Process Design Document. Blueprint can automatically generate a Process Design Document based on all of the information in your Digital Blueprint.
We know that treating RPA as an end-to-end change program is critical, so Blueprint integrates with leading RPA vendors to enable you to deliver your bots at an accelerated rate with the enterprise context in mind. Blueprint can automatically transfer the information from your Digital Blueprints into your RPA tool of choice, providing clear instructions for bot development to ensure nothing is missed and dramatically reducing future rework.
Going Beyond RPA to Deliver Long-Term Business Value with Digital Blueprints
RPA is just one of many use cases for the Digital Blueprint. Blueprint’s Digital Blueprints allow you to critically analyze business processes within the enterprise context and ensure all decisions are delivering long-term business value. By creating Digital Blueprints of all your processes and storing them in Blueprint’s Enterprise Automation Suite, your organization can easily improve processes, enabling you to run like one powerful team where everyone is on the same page, errors are virtually eliminated, and all business processes are traced back to a specific business objective making things more streamlined and efficient.
Discover how Blueprint’s Digital Blueprint can enable your organizations to deliver mission-critical business solutions faster: