It is indeed true that implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and moving towards a digital workforce can result in significant enterprise wide upheaval; but the same is also true for many new technologies, software upgrades or process improvement initiatives. A successful transition requires carefully laying the groundwork, investing in appropriate training, managing expectations and timely communication.
Given the short implementation times and quick wins RPA can provide, organizational change management in support of RPA initiatives is commonly overlooked or granted only “nice to have” status – as opposed to recognizing that it forms a critical and vital enabler of such a potentially significant change program. Leadership teams that fail to have a change management plan in place may find RPA projects derailed early on.
The SSON Analytics’ 2019 State of the Global Shared Services Market Report highlights that a lack of effective change management is one of the leading causes of RPA failure.[2019 State of the Global Shared Services Market Report (source: SSON Analytics)]
For clarification, there are really two types of Change Management:
- Information Technology (IT) Change Management, which is the process for controlling the lifecycle of all technology changes, enabling benefits and services while minimizing disruptions to IT services.
- Organizational Change Management, which deals with the people aspect of change. Obtaining the acceptance of change prior, during and after a change is implemented.
The two can overlap to a certain degree, depending on the type of technology change being introduced and the organizational impact, but they are also uniquely different. This article addresses three core factors and effective tools to support Organization Change Management, to help everything come together smoothly and ensure a successful RPA program.
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