Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the latest evolution in business transformation, especially for shared services and outsource providers who are beginning to recognize its full potential. However, as with any change, implementing RPA still needs proper planning, engagement with key stakeholders, clear management of change and human resources, all supported by new operating models and frameworks in order to function optimally. For those who get this right, the benefits to the organization can be extended far into the future as the technology continues to mature.
Drawing upon our extensive experience and knowledge base in the areas of technology-enabled business transformation and shared services, we would like to share some of the best practices and lessons learned for implementing RPA solutions.
Transform – Don’t just Automate, look to also “Eliminate, Simplify & Standardize”
It’s often better to think in terms of an overall “Digital Transformation”, rather than simply automated mimicry or automation alone (although this can and does have its place too). It’s important to consider what within the end-to-end processes can be Eliminated, Simplified and Standardized, rather than simply automated. Combine RPA with traditional business transformation disciplines and use Intelligent Automation as a catalyst for better process design.
Why, What & When – Have clear objectives and follow strong project management disciplines (also helps when selecting RPA vendors & tools)
Be clear what you want to achieve, and be realistic. It’s ok make a quick start and explore the potential for automation, but agree the why, what and when for your transformation journey. The most successful results are achieved by aiming for a triple-win for your employees, customers and shareholders.
Operating Model & Governance Framework – IT security policy & managing the digital workforce essential
Get foundations in place for the Operating Model, defining who’s going to build and manage your new digital workforce, where and how – and Governance Framework, with operations driving automation initiatives, and IT owning the IT security and network. Be sure to address any system access protocols very early on to avoid downstream implementation issues.
Engagement & Expectations – Involve key stakeholders, decision makers and influencers, from the start
Don’t underestimate the power and need for effective change management and communication. Engage early with Stakeholders, especially IT, set expectations and address concerns regularly. The most successful journeys have full support and adoption from the C-Suite, acknowledging that Intelligent Automation is best used as an enabler in a wider transformation program.