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3 Key Lessons in Scaling Your Automation Program

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This year’s UiPath Forward III Conference brought together hundreds of companies sharing how to transform every aspect of their business with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). We were honored to join an outstanding collection of panelists, industry experts, and customers to discuss wins and challenges with digital transformation.

At our roundtable, “Scaling Your Automation Program,” we presented a number of key considerations in the areas of strategy, governance, people, and operations. During our discussions, we came away with three key lessons when scaling your intelligent automation program:  

 

1. People are one of the most important parts of your scaling strategy.

One very important factor that can make or break your automation program is people. Throughout the conversation, a frequent question was asked: How do we evangelize, reach out and educate the organization? Automation is first about getting everyone involved; technology will not take root if people don’t understand or trust it.

When it comes to creating a strategy for their automation program, many of the roundtable participants echoed their thoughts and experiences, such as:

  • Bot capabilities are great, but the bots will have more access than any other employee.
  • We must be very careful with open source accounts and limit the bots to task-oriented functions. We do not grow one bot to do 300 things; we build 300 different automations.
  • We must anticipate challenges when creating service accounts.

 

2. Operations need to be established in order to support your model.

Much of the focus has been placed on how easy it is to build a bot, but neglects the effort it takes to manage the bot environment. A considerable amount of the conversation centered around that in order to gain the right support, there needs to be communication and the right messaging and education campaign before moving forward.

Getting the right people on board is not only the most important part of operations, but also the hardest. Operations need to be established for a support model. Some of the ideas the group had for getting people on board were:

  • Work from the top down. Educate the CEO and SVPs, and encourage them to socialize through weekly monthly meetings.
  • However, you must not solely rely on a top down approach, but also build from a grassroots perspective.
  • It is important to identify champions who have seen how the bots can be successful.

 

3. You want frictionless governance.

Governance - with its balance of guidance, tools, processes, policy, and delivery - is like having a good set of guardrails that ensures your organization stays on the road to RPA success. Frictionless governance is the idea that you want to win the hearts and minds of your stakeholders by providing a value-added menu of capabilities that enable them to be successful while also controlling risks to the organization.

Because you care about the technology and its benefit to the company, you want to plan efficiently as you grow and determine that guardrails are established from the start. Figure out where the risks are, and put guardrails - in an easy to understand and easy to use format - around that.

Early on in governance, a use case management tool is key. When asked for any other thoughts about governance, our participants stated that:

  • There needs to be normal guidelines when relying on key employees to build the governance model.
  • An effective method is partnering with your people and bringing them into the fold.
  • Governance means auditability.

 

Scaling your program might feel intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Very few organizations are going to implement every capability into their program, but at the start, select one or two must-have capabilities to focus on from strategy, governance, people, and operations.

Once the basic foundation is in place, do some planning to identify where the program needs to go and how soon. Then as it expands, employ operations to add to your capabilities. However, in order to ensure that you are staying just ahead of the needs of the organization, always plan to have those capabilities arrive near to the time that you will need them and narrow your focus on a few things that are both timely and relevant rather than trying to attack everything at once.

 

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