Leopold, Henrik, van der Aa, Han and Hajo A. Reijers (2018)

Identifying Candidate Tasks for Robotic Process Automation in Textual Process Descriptions

in: Gulden, Jens, Iris Reinhartz-Berger, Rainer Schmidt, Sérgio Guerreiro, Wided Guédria and Palash Bera (ed.): Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling (Proceedings): 318, Springer, (2018), 67-81.

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-91704-7_5

Abstract: The continuous digitization requires organizations to improve the automation of their business processes. Among others, this has lead to an increased interest in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA solutions emerge in the form of software that automatically executes repetitive and routine tasks. While the benefits of RPA on cost savings and other relevant performance indicators have been demonstrated in different contexts, one of the key challenges for RPA endeavors is to effectively identify processes and tasks that are suitable for automation. Textual process descriptions, such as work instructions, provide rich and important insights about this matter. However, organizations often maintain hundreds or even thousands of them, which makes a manual analysis unfeasible for larger organizations. Recognizing the large manual effort required to determine the current degree of automation in an organization’s business processes, we use this paper to propose an approach that is able to automatically do so. More specifically, we leverage supervised machine learning to automatically identify whether a task described in a textual process description is manual, an interaction of a human with an information system or automated. An evaluation with a set of 424 activities from a total of 47 textual process descriptions demonstrates that our approach produces satisfactory results.

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