9 ways for successful RPA implementation
It’s not a secret that robotic process automation (RPA) has become a hot topic in the modern enterprise. Just look at some of the recent news stories about how companies like Walmart and Bank of America are using RPA technology to streamline their businesses and save money. But while everyone is talking about RPA, few people are actually doing it effectively. In this blog post, we’ll go over some dos and don’ts when implementing RPA in your organization — so you can avoid common pitfalls that many companies face when they first embark on their own RPA program.
RPA is not the answer to everything
RPA is not the answer to everything, and it’s important to understand how much—and how little—the technology can do for your organization. It’s not a silver bullet, nor is it a replacement for people. RPA helps you automate repetitive tasks, but it won’t do everything.
It’s also important to know that RPA isn’t a magic wand: You still have to make sure your processes are well laid out and documented so that the software knows what to do when it encounters them in real time. It can’t be used as an excuse for sloppy workflows!
Identify processes that are ripe for automation
You will want to identify processes that are repetitive and/or manual. If a process can be completed faster, more accurately, or both by a robot, it’s a good candidate for automation.
You’ll also want to identify processes (or portions of them) that are not core to your business. If you’re not sure whether something is core or not, ask yourself “Would we still exist if we didn’t do this?” A good rule of thumb: if the answer isn’t yes—maybe it’s time for an RPA initiative!
Have a detailed business case with measurable metrics and expected ROI
Having a detailed business case with measurable metrics and expected ROI is essential for success. “The key to any successful RPA implementation is having a strong, clear and measurable business case,” and “This should be tied to the organization’s strategic objectives.”
ROI is one of the most common measurements of success for any IT project. It’s easy to calculate and understand. Your RPA project should include an analysis of cost savings that can be achieved by automating tasks previously performed by humans. For example, if there are 100 people who spend their days doing data entry, you can see how much money will be saved if they’re no longer needed after implementing automation technology like RPA or AI.
Identify stakeholders and develop a governance model
Identify, manage and communicate with all stakeholders
Stakeholder management is a key component of successful RPA projects. Stakeholder analysis is an ongoing process and should be conducted at the beginning of an organization’s journey to improve their business processes using robotic process automation. This dataset will help define what stakeholders are involved in each process, as well as their roles and responsibilities. Once you have identified these individual’s persona, it’s important to develop strategies for managing them throughout the implementation phase of your RPA project.
Plan and execute a pilot with RPA technology
Following are steps for RPA Pilot.
- The importance of a good pilot
- What makes for a good pilot?
- How do you choose your RPA technology?
- What should you look for in the vendors that you consider?
Select the right vendor to implementation partner with
Selecting the right vendor is a crucial step in your RPA implementation and should not be taken lightly. You want to choose a vendor that can provide a seamless integration with your existing systems, has a track record of successful implementations, and is willing to work profound with you during the implementation process.
The first step in choosing the right vendor is finding out what type of partner they are:
- A turnkey solution provider will have everything ready for you upfront, including their own framework and methodologies with SOP’s and Processes in place. This type of provider will manage all aspects of the project through to completion so that it’s ready for use within some days instead of months or years like other models would require. Move into agility instead of traditional models.
Use your current IT staff to start building applications
- Make sure your IT staff is up to speed with RPA technology and tools
- Give them the right tools
- Ensure they understand business objectives and processes
- Train them appropriately for maintenance purpose
Scale up your RPA program in line with business objectives
So, now that you know what RPA is and how it can help your business, what’s next?
Well, you have to make sure that you scale your implementation program in line with your business objectives. By this we mean that you should look at the processes that are inefficient or manual and use RPA as a catalyst for change. This will ensure that not only do you get better results but also reduce costs associated with these tasks being performed manually by an employee.
Integrate with other technologies in your stack to augment robotic capabilities
Integrating RPA with other technologies in your stack can help you to augment robotic capabilities. For example, if you have a warehouse full of inventory-tracking robots but no way to quickly identify items that are out of stock or missing from inventory, integrating an automatic product recognition system will enable your robots to identify missing items and find new ones faster.
Integration is also key when it comes to human/robot interactions. When implementing RPA, it’s important that the implementation team has experience working with both humans and machines at the same time—and that they know how each side should interact with the other during implementation.
RPA is not a magic bullet that will solve all of your problems. But, it can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. As with any technology, it’s important to understand the capabilities and limitations of RPA before implementing it.
RPA should also be used in conjunction with other technologies to help deliver better results across the entire enterprise. For example, you may use automation to handle repeatable processes and then have human experts take care of exceptions or modify parameters as needed. Or you may use advanced analytics to detect anomalies that require human intervention while automating more routine tasks around them. Finally, RPA should be part of an overall digital transformation strategy—not treated as a one-size-fits-all solution for all processes across the organization