Automation is increasingly informing digital strategies of enterprises around the world. Perhaps, the technology that’s saving the maximum number of man hours is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). But quantifying the success of an RPA inclusion does not come easy. Most businesses believe the success of automation lies in the successful implementation of the technology, which is right by all estimates. However, successful implementation is more than mere integration.
RPA yields the most dividends when the momentum is strategically built. If you want to gear a business toward sustainably progressive ROI, you must keep automating more and more complex business processes. To bring this full circle, here is a collection of the best practices for RPA that have worked well for a range of companies in different industries.
Get an executive sponsor
Unlike popular rumors, RPA does not require a total rip of your existing systems and technological infrastructure. Leading RPA vendors are making tools that are already intuitive so that organizations can blend them into their processes without rigorous IT support. That does not undermine the fact that the present IT environment can evolve even further to accommodate automation of the future.
You can step farther by integrating RPA holistically in the whole organization rather than just one process. We will talk about that in detail in a minute. Nevertheless, overcoming the infrastructure issues becomes easier by appointing someone as the executive sponsor. This should be someone that’s high enough in the hierarchy to decide on budgets and deal with other important issues. More than anything else, the executive sponsor will have a thorough understanding of the potential of RPA and stay committed to the organization’s vision with respect to automation.
Make space for a chief RPA officer
At times, RPA might be beyond just another process and be more of an integral pivot for business growth. On such occasions, you can skip the executive sponsor portfolio and appoint a chief RPA officer. This applies more to the companies that are on the verge of the organization-wide rollout of RPA under a personnel that oversees an entire department and informs the company directors regarding progress. The chief RPA officer usually reports to the CIO or the CEO.
Make or reconsider the business plan
How often does this happen in the industry? Organizations start with one business plan to see how it goes and then switch on to the next, mixing some RPA here and there in individual plans. The odds are that the plans will see success if there’s decent execution. However, the magnanimity of RPA will inadvertently present the problem of scale. How do you make RPA an organic part of the success of an organization as a whole? There has to be a master strategic plan that is either built by or is developed in partnership with an RPA center of excellence.
Give training to everyone involved
Right at the offset, you will have to understand that RPA is different from other technologies that either miss or hit. Once RPA sets foot in the operations of a business, it spreads rapidly. There will be multiple opportunities to use RPA to drive higher productivity and greater efficiency, opening up cost-saving opportunities at every stage.
To bring about all that, it is absolutely imperative that the employees of the company (from the top down) receive the requisite training. To be honest, this involves everybody from the senior management to the last person working on emails – even if they are not directly related to RPA or automation or do not come from a technical background. The easiest way to achieve such change is to start by training the trainers. The trainers need a firm grip on the nitty-gritty of RPA and pass down all that knowledge to the employees. Futran Solutions has partnered with Automation Anywhere to provide staff with stellar training on RPA solutions and help enterprises implement RPA solutions across the board.
Always draw lines among test, development and production environments
The best practice to follow in product development cycles is to develop and test in a different environment from the production. That means only those bots and applications that are ready to go into production go into production. The ideal process is to develop the bots in the development environment. From there, send them over to the test environment for functional testing.
It is critical to send bots to the production environment/server only after a go-ahead by the testing team.
Bring the team on board
Perhaps the most important element of your RPA strategy is to make sure that everybody has common goals. More importantly, everyone within the organization must be fully aligned with those goals. This indicates that some sort of objective framework is in place – that dictates which automation takes precedence over others. The team or unit that is trusted with the deployment of RPA must first present a case on the business impact of the same. That way, the RPA head(s) within the organization can prioritize automation initiatives and roll out a more disciplined implantation.
Keep evaluating the RPA strategy
I don’t mind laying it the umpteenth time. RPA is not a one-time process. There has to be regular communication with business users to make sure that products and processes are automated correctly. Two things can go wrong with RPA implementation. A good process can be automated poorly, or a bad process can be automated unnecessarily. In either case, there can be multiple errors resulting in direct or indirect losses.
First off, you need a sound business process. The process should not slow down the enterprise because of the inaccuracy of past legacy systems. Before automating such a process, making amends to the process itself would be a better idea.
Map RPA success
To be fair, RPA is still a sensitive subject. That is all the more the reason you’ll have to make a case for it whenever you get the chance. You should impart training to employees and lay out the capabilities of RPA to them. This must be a key objective in your RPA rollout plan.
Workers and employees will always be concerned that RPA will take away their employment. To overcome this sense of dubiety, clearly lay out the RPA rollout that you are planning. Also, make sure you highlight the advantages of automation for the human workforce. If at all some jobs at put stake, make sure to retrain such employees to make them suitable for re-employment.
Futran Solutions specializes in delivering composite RPA solutions and resources. To expand upon a wholesome list of RPA offerings, Futran recently partnered with Automation Anywhere – a leading platform for implementation of automation solutions across the industry.