A Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Implementation of RPA
The benefits of robotic process automation or RPA delivery for businesses are mostly clear. Still, when it comes to the practical implementation of RPA, there are a lot of both business and technical challenges your company can face. That’s why RPA implementation always implies a procuring strategy of automating the processes one by one, and in this article, we will shed light on how to build RPA practice step by step.
- Briefly About RPA Implementation
- RPA Implementation Process
- How to Build RPA Practice Step by Step
- RPA Implementation Challenges
Briefly About RPA Implementation
RPA or robotic process automation stands for the way of digitally transforming the routine tasks of an organization with the help of Robot as a Service (RaaS) solutions. As a rule, RPA is an integral part of business process automation (BPA), being responsible for a certain part of the process that takes the most time and effort of employees, and that’s why it has to be automated first.
The most frequent use cases of RPA cover the routine tasks of supply chain management, customer service, human resource management, finances, and accounting. However, because of the flexibility and versatility of the technology, it can be tailored to most of the day-after-day processes the company faces. 77% of organizations have already built an RPA practice considering it a part of their digital transformation strategy.
RPA Implementation Process
One of the main things to keep in mind about RPA and its implementation is that it isn’t a one-time task. Instead, RPA implementation is an ongoing process that should be scaled step-by-step, according to the company’s priorities. Here is how the RPA implementation process looks like, according to Deloitte:
Let’s consider some of the common processes that are suitable for RPA:
Set a far-reaching goal.
RPA implementation and adoption need a holistic digital transformation vision shared by executives and employees. The first is welcome to think big, set ambitious goals, and treat RPA as a beneficial opportunity to deploy on the enterprise scale.
Ensure strong tech support.
Getting started with robotic process automation is impossible without string tech support from both the in-house IT team and the third-party vendor.
Deliver high-velocity change.
At this stage of the robotic process automation journey, it is necessary to establish responsive governance, support, and maintenance of your RPA solution but still stay agile and flexible.
Measure the results and automate the next task.
At this stage, the process of RPA implementation should get back to the beginning but be inspired by the new goal in the framework of another high-priority process. Also, don’t forget to measure the results of the RPA implementation according to the preset success metrics to avoid costly mistakes (if any) on the way to ultimate digital transformation.
How to Build RPA Practice Step by Step
Stage 1 – Planning
- Define the goal, timeline, and budget. The general goal of integrating a robotic process into your workflows is automating routine tasks, so at this stage, you have to identify the ones to automate more precisely. Automating the most time and labor-consuming tasks makes the most sense, but sometimes companies decide to automate lower-priority processes to test the ways RPA can work for their business. Also, you have to set a reasonable deadline for RPA implementation and wisely evaluate the resources you need to deploy RPA infrastructure.
- Choose the right RPA partnership model. There are several approaches to building RPA practice. As an option, you can buy a ready-made RaaS solution, but in this case, you have to be sure that the robotic software is well-tailored to the business case. You can consider developing and deploying custom RPA software as a more advanced tactic, following onshore or offshore software development models. Skelia, for example, can become your reliable partner in building RPA infrastructure within your organization.
Stage 2 – Assessing
- Evaluate the current automation level. At the second stage of RPA implementation, begin with accessing the current level of automation to identify the ways your company uses technologies for business process optimization. Define strong and weak points, plus suggest the ways to automate the process better, being guided by the previous experience.
- Choose the process to automate with RPA. RPA solutions can cover a lot of use cases, including but not limited to supply chain management, accounting, customer support, and procurement. However, the process that can be effectively automated with their help should have the following features to perfectly match with RPA essence:
- Repeatable. The essence of automation with RPA is to run the repeatable process for as long as it is needed. So, the process you have to choose should be a kind of an everyday routine the employees spend time and effort on.
- Algorithm-based. The task that can be automated with RPA should have an algorithm-based nature which means that the logic of its performance shouldn’t change.
- Measurable. The possibility of measuring the ROI from automating the process with RPA is another core feature to take into account when choosing the task to streamline with its help.
Stage 3 – Implementation and deployment
The process of RPA implementation usually begins with testing the practical feasibility of the solution to find out whether it is actually capable of delivering business value in a certain environment and within a framework of the business process. After evaluating the way it works for your business, you may need to add more custom features and deploy the RPA solution to make the whole process automated and standardized.
When running a pilot RPA project, you have to carefully evaluate the software’s performance, keep track of the essential metrics, and measure the actual performance, comparing the indicators with the one you had when performing an already automated task manually. The insights gained with the help of reporting and analysis will be especially valuable when choosing the next digital transformation priority and streamlining the next process with the help of RPA.
RPA Implementation Challenges
Despite the seeming simplicity of RPA implementation, especially when you are guided by a tech-savvy RPA vendor, there are still some pitfalls and challenges you should be aware of before getting started.
Unclear goals and expectations.
While most companies have a clear idea of the value RPA can deliver, setting clear goals and the right expectations is the first step to meet them. According to Deloitte, 86% of organizations that implemented RPA met and exceeded their business goals, and clarifying them from the very beginning was the main starting point for them.
The more complex the process is, the more challenging it becomes to automate it. That’s why it is necessary to break up the process into standardizable tasks and automate them step by step, achieving 100% process standardization.
Being supported with the latest tech expertise is essential for the companies on the path towards digital transformation. Lack of IT support is a challenge that can be solved by partnering with a tech-savvy vendor responsible not only for the solution development but also for providing flexible, engaging models.
Culture and mindset.
While only 17% of organizations running pilot RPA projects faced resistance among employees, changes in the company’s culture and employees’ mindset are still necessary to ensure the seamless adoption of RPA. In practice, it means assigning the employees replaced with RPA with more creative tasks that can’t be automated.
Implementing RPA is an ongoing process for companies on their way to transforming digitally. Usually, this is the first step towards automating the business process as a whole, so getting support from the company with the highest-end RPA expertise makes sense.
We at Skelia are strongly focused on building automated workflows, leveraging the latest technologies and tools for better efficiency.
Get in touch with us now for more help!