Steps for a Successful RPA First Implementation



The Problem

The first problem is the process, it takes people too long, and they don't like doing it. That is normally the starting point for why companies are looking to implement an RPA solution, and this is an excellent place to start. Many jobs have boring, monotonous parts to them, so why are you paying qualified staff to do the busy work?

If they could be freed up from these tasks then they could spend more time doing the important things that they are qualified and experienced to do.

But often identifying a process that needs improving is the easy part once you have found this, how do you start to move it forward? To do this efficiently requires several things.

1. A Well Documented Process

Initially the existing process should either be well documented, or there should be at least one person in the business who is very familiar with it. As a Business Analyst we can look at your process, but we can't necessarily tell you how things should be done in your line of business. Generally, this comes from having somebody close to the project that knows the who's, why's and where's of this particular process.

2. An RPA Champion

This is normally taken on by the person who knows the process, but it also helps if it is somebody with decision-making power. Although the particular process may be best known by a junior, the implementation of the project can be massively slowed down if there isn't somebody with some decision-making ability on the project team.

3. An Open Mind to Process Change

Generally, a manual process can be migrated to an automated process 1:1. However, there are parts of many processes that can be. However, often with small tweaks a process can be improved or streamlined for maximum benefit. These can often be small changes, for example an existing process may work with printed PDF versions of a document, if the same document is available as a CSV this may work better in an automated solution.

4. Accepting Testers

In my experience, no matter how much testing you do, there are always fringe cases that come out during the testing phase (That's what it's there for right?) When you select staff to test a new process, try to find staff that aren't going to be dismissive straight away. When automating a process, the most difficult part can often be getting staff on board, there is often distrust that comes from implementing technology such as RPA. People often see it as taking jobs or making people redundant, when frankly this is often the case, its main purpose is to free staff up from the monotonous and repetitive tasks that they don't enjoy and allow them to complete work that is more skilled or requires a human input.