Ensuring Success in your Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Deployment
Today, we can see early RPA adopters in the financial services moving past the proof-of-concept and pilot phase to implementing RPA enterprise wide. Large corporations from many other industries ranging from telco to logistics and healthcare are quickly embarking on their RPA journey. There is a lot of hype in this new promising technology to yield unprecedented efficiencies and cost savings since the old days of offshoring and outsourcing. There is also additional advantages in accuracy and controls as robots don’t make human errors.
Amidst all the excitement, there is always this nagging question:
“Are we doing this right?”.
First, we must understand that RPA is not just a technology implementation where your IT department take charge to select a software, hire consultants and form an internal project team to run through the cycles of system deployment. RPA is much wider than an “IT solution”. It’s a new digital workforce that you are introducing to your organization. It would impact your organization, processes, governance, people etc. Your whole organization must support and collaborate in the RPA initiative to enable it to yield its intended benefits.
Here are 5 key areas you would need to address:
1. How would the digital workforce fits into your organization?
RPA robots would become the new colleagues for your human workers. The new digital workforce and how it would work with your existing human workforce needs to be defined.
2. How would RPA risk be mitigated?
As with the introduction of any strategic new innovations, it always comes with a unique set of risks. You would need to identify the RPA risks that are relevant to your regulatory and business environment. A risk appetite needs to be defined and risk strategies implemented to mitigate the risk identified.
3. How to ensure that the most appropriate processes are picked for RPA?
This is a very well documented need with many RPA articles addressing this concern. Common strategies include conducting discovery workshops to garner bottom-up participation and process assessment criteria to pick the right process for RPA.
4. How to select the most appropriate RPA software?
This question comes up at the start of the RPA journey. RPA is often the first step in the Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) journey and the RPA software must have good features and most importantly the potential to move towards cognitive RPA and deeper A.I. A good guide would be reputable vendor evaluation like the Forrester WaveTM.
5. How do we manage this strategic change?
With the plentiful fear-inducing articles in news and social medias depicting RPA as the “job snatcher”, “replacing humans” are creating fear and panic in the work place. To nip the resentment at the bud and creating a positive and supportive environment is key to the success of RPA. Hence, having a robust and agile change management strategy and plan that is suitable for your corporate culture is essential to the success of RPA in your organization.
From the 5 quick points above, the RPA journey seems onerous and complicated. However, it is a necessary effort that would take your RPA deployment on the right track to yield the intended benefits and set the stage for scaling up the A.I. ladder. Moreover, with the right consultants who understands your industry well and have full RPA capabilities the journey can be easier and smooth sailing.
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