Collaborating Author: Ravi Narayan
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will change the way you conduct business by helping automate your processes in a controlled, flexible and scalable way. With RPA, you can expect to see increased revenues, improved client satisfaction rates, reduced costs and decreased errors and rework. However, RPA doesn’t provide a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
How should you navigate the tricky ‘first steps’ in adopting intelligent automation? The key to intelligent automation lies in an integrated strategy and agile implementation framework. If you are looking to develop an RPA strategy, the following five steps are a great place to start:
- Assess your opportunities for automation – Begin by assessing your processes to identify areas that are highly rules-based, structured and repetitive. RPA has applications across organizational functions with a range of potential benefits. Choosing the ‘right areas’ for your organization will drive efficiencies and maximize savings.
- Develop a proof of concept – Build a business case and select 1-2 pilot processes to automate first. Make sure to measure performance changes and use this pilot test as a learning opportunity for everyone involved. Pilots can also help obtain buy-in from your stakeholders, improve understanding of both the potential and the limitations of automation and identify the key success factors across the enterprise.
- Determine the operating model – Decide whether your goal is to establish a strategic automation capability or to achieve some automation efficiencies with minimal effort and investment. The outcome of this decision will affect the automation operating model and determine sourcing options.
- Identify automation partner(s) – Approach the selection of automation partner(s) the same way you would with any other technology, considering both current and future needs. Select the partner that best fits your needs and don’t forget to ensure that their pricing models are aligned to your automation objectives. For more information on selecting technology partners, refer to this helpful blog post.
- Plan the RPA roadmap – Start slowly with simple processes to build momentum and demonstrate value. Then scale up to support more complex business areas. Successful RPA implementations should result in long term strategic gains. The roadmap for automation must look beyond the initial deployment and set out how automation will grow across the organization.
RPA has enormous transformative potential. It can be tempting to implement new, exciting technologies quickly. But, in order to ensure your automation journey begins smoothly, take the time to think through your first steps.