A Beginner’s Guide to Prioritizing Processes for Intelligent Automation: Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation

Explore in:

A Beginner’s Guide to Prioritizing Processes for Intelligent Automation: Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, embracing intelligent automation has become essential for organizations to stay competitive. Technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Process Automation, and Cognitive Automation offer tremendous opportunities to optimize operations, enhance efficiency, and drive digital transformation. However, not all processes are created equal when it comes to automation. To make the most of your intelligent automation journey, it is crucial to identify and prioritize the processes that will yield the greatest benefits.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk beginners through a systematic approach to determine the worthiness of a process for automation. By following these step-by-step guidelines, organizations can ensure that their automation efforts are focused on the right processes and deliver significant value.

Step 1: Identify and List Processes

The initial step in prioritizing processes for automation is to create a comprehensive list of all the processes within your organization. This ensures that no process is overlooked during the evaluation.

• Foster collaboration through workshops and brainstorming sessions involving key stakeholders to capture a holistic view of processes.
• Encourage participants to share their insights and perspectives on the processes under consideration.
• Establish a centralized repository or spreadsheet to document and track all identified processes.
• Categorize processes into core business processes and supporting processes to understand their relative importance and impact on overall operations.

Step 2: Assess Process Characteristics

Assessing process characteristics is crucial to evaluate the suitability of each process for automation. This evaluation involves considering various factors that contribute to the automation potential of a process.

• Develop a scoring system or criteria to objectively evaluate each process based on factors such as complexity, volume, error-proneness, time and cost savings potential, customer impact, scalability, and ROI.
• Assign weights or importance values to each characteristic based on their relevance to your organization’s goals and priorities.
• Evaluate each process against these characteristics and calculate a score or rating for each process. This scoring mechanism helps prioritize processes based on their automation potential.

Step 3: Analyze Dependencies and Interactions

Analyzing process dependencies and interactions allows you to identify processes that are strong candidates for automation due to their impact on overall efficiency.

• Map out the process flow and identify how different processes interact with each other. Visual aids like process flow diagrams or flowcharts can facilitate understanding of relationships and dependencies.
• Identify processes that act as dependencies for other processes or those that have a significant impact on overall operations.
• Prioritize processes that, when automated, can eliminate bottlenecks, streamline operations, and create positive cascading effects on other processes.

Step 4: Align with Strategic Objectives

To ensure that your automation efforts contribute to achieving strategic objectives, it is essential to align your decisions with your organization’s overarching goals.

• Review your organization’s mission, vision, and goals to identify key focus areas.
• Determine which processes, when automated, can directly contribute to the realization of those strategic objectives.
• Prioritize processes that align with strategic objectives and have a significant impact on outcomes such as customer experience, cost reduction, revenue generation, or operational efficiency.

Step 5: Evaluate Implementation Feasibility

Assessing the feasibility of automating each process helps identify processes that can be feasibly automated in the near term.

• Evaluate factors such as data availability, system compatibility, technical requirements, potential integration challenges, and regulatory or compliance considerations.
• Determine if the necessary data required for automation is accessible and available in the required format.
• Assess if existing systems and technologies can integrate with automation tools or if additional infrastructure is needed.
• Evaluate if the process complexity can be effectively handled by automation tools or if advanced technologies are required.
• Identify any potential integration challenges with other systems or processes.
• Ensure that process automation complies with applicable regulations and standards.
• Prioritize processes that have a higher feasibility of implementation, considering available resources, technical capabilities, and potential time-to-value.

Step 6: Engage Stakeholders

Involving relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process ensures that their insights and perspectives are considered, leading to successful automation efforts.

• Engage process owners, managers, and employees who possess a deep understanding of the processes in the decision-making process.
• Conduct interviews, surveys, or focus groups to gather insights on process inefficiencies, pain points, and areas where automation can bring significant benefits.
• Consider stakeholder insights to prioritize processes that have the highest potential for improvement and positive impact.

Step 7: Prioritize and Select the First Process

Based on assessments, analysis, and stakeholder input, prioritize and select the process that emerges as the strongest candidate for automation.

• Evaluate the results of the assessments, analysis, and stakeholder input to prioritize processes for automation.
• Consider the potential impact, feasibility, alignment with strategic objectives, and stakeholder support when selecting the first process to automate.
• Prioritize processes that have higher automation potential, demonstrate quick wins, align with strategic goals, and receive strong backing from key stakeholders.
• Create a roadmap or plan for automation implementation, including timelines, resource allocation, and milestones.


When embarking on the journey of intelligent automation, it is vital to prioritize the right processes for automation. By following these step-by-step guidelines, beginners can make informed decisions and focus their automation efforts on processes that offer maximum benefits to their organization. Remember to strike a balance between short-term gains and long-term strategic goals, considering available resources, budget, and the overall automation roadmap. With a systematic approach, organizations can unlock the transformative power of intelligent automation and achieve their digital transformation objectives.


See how much you could be saving!

Do you know how much your current document processing is costing you?