Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software tool that uses a combination of robotics, and more recently machine learning, to automate a business management process.
RPA can benefit organizations in various ways and has many uses. If organizations can manage RPA initiatives effectively, they will see a considerable boost in their ROI and productivity.
Are you inspired yet? Here are the top 5 tips for managing your RPA initiative.
Tip #1: Identify the Problems that an RPA can Solve
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has remained one of the hottest tech trends of the last few years.
Still, if you do not know what RPA is and the benefits of RPA, you should learn the basics and focus on what problems it can identify and solve.
The benefits of RPA are numerous. Since the technology was first introduced in the mid-2000s, it has been used mainly by Enterprises to help streamline operations and increase productivity.
With recent developments and newer pricing models, RPA is now more cost effective and affordable for small to medium businesses.
The main benefits of implementing RPA software for your company include:
- Reduced costs.
- Lower operational risk.
- Better customer experience.
- Improved internal processes, etc.
RPA has become a popular technology to deploy for a variety of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to financial services.
Various processes have been standardised, and then automated using RPA. From opening bank accounts, processing mortgage applications, insurance proceedings, operating transport systems, and dealing with various businesses, RPA can assist almost every organization, especially the transport sector, IT services, supply chain management, finance, banking, and accounting areas, as well as health and injury claims.
There are various ways in which RPA can help organizations become efficient by:
- Handling repetitive, time consuming tasks.
- Efficiently processing high-volume tasks.
- Effectively reducing human error.
- Improving the sanity and happiness of employees (and reducing brain drain)
How to identify a good RPA use case?
While many experienced RPA practitioners are well familiar with the typical use cases for different industries.
Not every process is the same, and the ability to identify the best use cases for your Automation Pipeline can mean the difference between successful adoption of the technology, or a failed attempt. Check out our article, 5 Reasons Automation Can Get You Into Trouble.
If you are not sure how to identify a good RPA use case, here are a few questions to ask:
- Does a particular task take a lot of time and require manual human work?
- Does the task involve performing rules-based actions with specific software applications and systems?
- Is the task high-volume?
- Is it something that occurs not just in one location, but carried out globally?
- Will there be no upcoming IT improvements to the process?
- Would it be too expensive/time-consuming for a full IT change?
- Is the process well-documented and understood, good paths, bad paths and exceptions?
SilkFlo’s RPA management platform takes all of this into account. Add all of your employees and enable them to share their ideas on what they would like automated. Our in-built algorithms give you instant feedback, scoring each idea on their process Fitness, how Primed the environment is, and an overall Idea Score. Filtering all of those ideas has never been this easy.
Tip #2: Choosing the right processes for automation
RPA can play a vital role in improving the efficiency of processes within organisations and dramatically reducing costs. However, the most critical aspect of RPA is knowing which processes are worth automating.
Some organizations prefer to start with a simple, easy task – a quick win. At the same time, various businesses automate the complex processes first to try to gain a more significant Return On Investment (ROI).
There are numerous, albeit basic calculators out there for scoring, assessing and qualifying ideas for automation, these can be useful, but aren’t completely accurate.
Which factors play a vital role in determining the best processes to automate? Here are a few:
The Fitness of the process
First, you’ll need to understand how “Fit” the process itself is for automation. This involves gaining a good understanding of:
- The stability of the process (upcoming process changes),
- How well documented it is,
- How digitised the data is,
- How structured said data is,
- How standardised it is.
The list is actually quite extensive, depending on your organisation’s appetite for risk.
Are the applications and environment Primed?
Next, we have the primed score. This is largely based on factors such as the stability of the technical environment, applications used, among others. It is necessary for understanding how often robots could break if the underlying environment changes, whether from an application update, or UI change. Ideally, you should seek ideas where the environment is relatively stable, as it helps with maintenance costs and saves time later on!
Understanding your costs (Total Cost of Ownership)
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is one of the most critical metrics and something we at SilkFlo strive to showcase on our platform.
However, this kind of metric is not exactly easy to determine. How much were the initial consulting fees for your RPA journey? What about software licence fees; server costs; implementation costs for each automation; maintenance fees and all the other costs therein.
You can imagine how difficult this is considering each organisation’s foray into automation started differently. Yet, it is a crucial component in determining the success, or failure, of your RPA program. Your CFO will be especially interested in it!
At SilkFlo, we’ve made this crucial part of the RPA lifecycle extremely easy. After a detailed assessment, each idea is scored automatically for automation potential, the difficulty to implement and all of the advanced benefit calculations are already completed for you. SilkFlo helps you to build a viable business case in no time!
Tip 3#: Hire the right talent
Hiring the right people is the foundation of any successful team and the key to successful project management. Without an outstanding human team, RPA failure can occur, derailing your fledgling automation journey.
It is a big misconception that RPA can automate every digital process and no human intervention is required. The fact is, RPA technology should be implemented, controlled and monitored by an expert team of automation professionals.
As with any hiring process, the best developers are not always the most academic, the best BAs are not always the ones with the most accredited.
We’ve found throughout the years that the best candidates have a mix of experience, and personal drive. They should have war wounds from past projects, should be able to easily explain what went well, and what didn’t. They should also have some personal projects that they’ve undertaken in the automation space.
For example, an RPA developer could have created a bot for a family friend, or his own use, and is able to demonstrate and walk you through the process and tech used in an online interview.
This kind of ingenuity and doggedness to try something new is usually a good precursor to a great and valuable team member.
Tip #4: Train your team
Aside from hiring, you also need to do more than simply find great people and throw them together on the same team. You need to train them to perform at the highest level possible.
If you want to train your team to be experts in RPA implementation within your organization, you can hire a consultant to help out, or you can do it yourself.
An RPA project is often initially outsourced to a technology partner / managed service provider that will accomplish the task at hand, and that vendor may not be in your control.
The good news is that various RPA software vendors already provide great online training, the majority of which is free, available to all, and includes certification. Check with your current RPA software vendor to see if they have any plans available for you and your team. This should be enough to hit the ground running.
However, if you would like some more hands-on, extensive training, then there are many leading training organisations and service partners that can provide comprehensive, “been there, done that” courses. Leveraging an established RPA team could help also your team gain experience quickly, without having to learn by trial and error.
Tip #5: Choose the best software for managing Robotic Process Automation
Project management is a huge challenge, especially when you need to make sure your RPA project stays on track. One of the common questions asked by those who are new to RPA is “What are the best tools to manage the RPA workflow?” You allocate a budget to use the best RPA vendors that suit your needs, but what about equipping your Automation team with the right tools to implement and manage an RPA project end to end?
With 11 out of 12 automation projects failing, your team will need any advantage they can get. So what should you be using?
Features to look out for:
You’ll want a platform that enables your team to gather automation ideas from process experts easily, in less time, than traditional email and chat methods.
You’ll also want something that does not require any technical knowledge and is easy to pick up and use – yet also keeps your employees engaged in your automation program.
One source of truth
You should look for a product that serves as the only centralized RPA repository for your organisation. It’s ironic to think that the majority of Intelligent Automation projects are still managed via spreadsheets and various document storage solutions! Bring all of your employees, documentation and analytics into one place to ensure a standardised, fast and efficient RPA lifecycle.
The selected software for automation must have relevant and real-time analytics on the current automation program and its performance over time.
- How many ideas have you gathered this month compared to last month?
- How many automations in your pipeline are graded as Easy to Implement?
- How much in benefits (FTE or monetary) do you have currently in your Build pipeline?
- How much in benefits are you expecting to realise in the next 3 months?
Usually, this kind of data can take months to develop manually and can be another project in itself.
Bonus tip #6: Market your wins!
Once you’ve identified, assessed, qualified and implemented your automation, demonstrate and market your ‘win’ as soon as possible. One great way to share what’s happening in your automation program is to contact key stakeholders about it. This will build your relationship with major decision-makers and can increase buy-in. The Executive Sponsor and Champions are key to ensuring the longevity of your RPA initiative, so ensure they’re included early on!
Do you want to develop a perfect RPA automation development life cycle?
SilkFlo is the management and collaboration platform that allows your organisation to proceed with successful digital automation. It ensures RPA success by making it easy to identify the right opportunities, providing a data-driven program performance and structured implementation method.
Here is why you should prefer SilkFlo for ultimate automation management.
- Increase your program’s ROI by prioritizing the best automations.
- Build and manage a great automation pipeline end to end – ditch spreadsheets!
- Engage your employees and keep them involved.
- Drive adoption by empowering anyone organization-wide to submit automation ideas.
- Generate reports at the click of a button.
- Easily track progress and KPIs.
- & much more!
So if you also want to increase the success of your digital automation program, claim your spot right now!