RPA implementation timelines or automation timelines really depend on projects. Mainly, what we do in order to get the customer an estimate, we take a look at the project and try to put them in three main categories – low complexity, medium complexity, and high complexity projects.
The low complexity projects are actually the ones that don’t involve many steps, don’t have a lot of applications in scope. It’s just simply copying text, altering data in a very straightforward way, not many decisions. Those projects can take somewhere around three weeks. Of course, you can see it even done faster but when we say three weeks, we are thinking about the entire complexity that stands behind in a very well done project that consists of the analysis phase, creating well-done documentation, making sure that the developers have enough time to put the right questions, testing the robot in a very robust manner, making sure that it will work exactly as expected in the production environment and after that, doing a small training for the team that’s going to work with this bot. So overall, all those steps in the process will take somewhere around three weeks. Of course, it may depend on the company. For those that already building inside bots, this can go a bit lower, but you don’t usually expect to see projects that go somewhere around two weeks and are done in an appropriate manner.
There are also medium complexity projects which are a bit more complex than the first category. In that case, we are discussing more decision points, maybe more applications, maybe some of the applications do not respond in an expected manner, so developers need to build a lot more fail-safe ways in which the robot can work and for those projects we are looking at the term somewhere between three and five weeks. It really depends on the projects, but as you can imagine somewhere between this period of time, you will be able to develop a robot that’s actually running great in production.
Finally, going into the third category which is regarding the complex projects, here there is not actually a limit. What you might have seen in the industry is that robots that go beyond 10 weeks of development, for example, tend to be maybe too complex for RPA. At the beginning of each project, you should really think if the RPA is the right solution in terms of the technology that you are going to use. So you had better avoid projects of RPA that go more than 10 weeks because this timeline usually comes with the problem of high complexity in projects. And high complexity brings usually together many applications in which the robots are working. Because of that, the weak points of automation are increasing. So even though you will be able to deliver a project in 12 weeks, for example, you can expect that things will go sideways in the future. Of course, you can deliver it and it can be done but more problems are possible to appear in the post-production period when the robot is live and working. Imagine the fact that any change in all those applications will impact the architecture, will need you to stop the robot and work on it. So it’s actually important to pay very much attention when the complexity of the project is high.
Now you know these timelines, you have a rough idea of how long it takes on average to have a project up and running.