Do you want to streamline enterprise operations and reduce costs?
Business operations are characterized by many repetitive tasks especially when dealing with data.
From filling forms for customer admission to extracting financial data at the end of the day for revenue processing, all these tasks can be tedious and error prone.
Robotic Processing Automation comes in to save you this trouble and is part of digital transformation which is empowering businesses to harness digital technology to improve business operations.
Research by Think Automation indicates that highly automated companies are 6x more likely to see revenue growth of more than 15%. Meanwhile, the RPA industry is significantly growing and Deloitte has predicted that RPA will achieve “near universal adoption” if the trend continues.
There’s a chance your competitor is already implementing RPA and enjoying a competitive advantage over you. You cannot afford to ignore learning how to successfully implement RPA.
In this article, I’ll guide you on how to implement a successful RPA endeavour in your enterprise.
Step 1: Identify Processes
To implement RPA, you have to start by determining the right set of processes that need automation in your business.
Conduct a comprehensive assessment of all operations within your business to determine the best candidates for automation.
As you conduct this objective analysis, ensure to have in mind your organization’s strategic goals.
Using attributes like
- The total number of transactions that can be performed without human intervention,
- The ability of parts of a process to be digitized, and
- Possible challenges that might interfere with automation,
you can ascertain the practicality of how to successfully implement RPA.
In addition to that, you can choose processes based on metrics like complexity and return on investment. Picture how it will look like automating a process and how it fits into future plans for the business.
Not every process is suitable for automation. Determining areas that benefit the most is what matters.
For instance, content transformation, which involves transforming content to usable formats, would significantly enhance business data processing if automated.
If implementing various metrics gets complex, you can base your selection on revenue generated and savings expected from automation.
The process selection stage of the RPA implementation steps is also where you can define the objectives of the RPA program.
Agreeing with major stakeholders to invite initial collaboration would set precedence for an unhindered RPA project implementation.
Before you settle on a process, make sure it has the potential to significantly impact business operations to substantiate its application in improving your enterprise.
Step 2: Engage your Team
Automation impacts all team members in an organization from the highest rank to the grassroots. Hence they need to be involved in discussions in your RPA implementation steps.
To begin with, approach the top leadership with a compelling story on the absolute need for automation and how it can influence return on investment.
Engaging with top leadership ensures you have the go-ahead to make changes and the confidence to approach the next challenging task; convincing your employees.
Automation has been labeled as an employment killer, giving a negative connotation to employees. They might be afraid automation will take their jobs away. In fact, 48% of the US adult population believe automation will hurt American workers.
You need to address this perception as soon as possible.
Discuss with employees how to successfully implement RPA to get rid of redundancy and improve work output.
As such, the types of processes to focus on automating should be repetitive and tedious tasks that wouldn’t necessitate the replacement of workers.
For instance, manual Data Extraction from physical documents can be replaced by automation, paving the way for employees to focus more on training the Machine Language Processing (MLP) software to perform high-quality data extraction.
In addition, consider building a cross-departmental team among employees that will overlook RPA implementation. This will help everyone get ready to embrace the change.
Step 3: Choose a Partner
Once most of the business stakeholders agree with the change, you can proceed with acquiring the right RPA Software for automation implementation.
Selecting the right vendor is critical, as you will be collaborating for a long time, and having a vendor you can work with will improve your chances of success.
Depending on an objective evaluation of how to successfully implement RPA in your specific case, you will have unique requirements and priorities. Hence, you need RPA vendors who can understand your needs and offer customized solutions.
Start by inviting vendors who meet your requirements to participate in a real-time demonstration as part of your RPA implementation steps.
During the presentation, ask for a demonstration of the specific functionality you need based on the process you have chosen to automate.
Other parameters you should consider are:
- Time and cost required to deploy software bots
- Plans for encrypting data and maintaining its privacy
- An audit trail feature for performance monitoring.
Having an internal RPA expert during these demonstrations can be instrumental, especially when RPA vendors offer bots and guide you on how to implement them.
Lastly, taking note of the previous associations, development experience, and governance history of the vendor enables you to select an RPA vendor with the best background to take on the project.
You won’t know how to implement a successful RPA endeavour in your enterprise without the right RPA implementation partner.
Step 4: Roll Out the Technology
In this critical stage of how to successfully implement RPA, you tactfully deploy the software or your RPA technology of choice.
Deployment of RPA begins with creating an implementation strategy that defines the limits of the overall process.
In addition, you need to determine the necessities and guiding principles that will direct the application of automation in specific business operations.
Then bring in an implementation partner with the necessary technical know-how to undertake the project. It can be your chosen vendor or an in-house expert who would reduce the implementation cost.
Next, you map out an extensive process system while highlighting the parts you want to automate and involve the affected staff members and departments to ensure they are operating in sync with your RPA implementation steps.
Once you deploy the pilot test, lead your team to select bots outputs randomly and analyze them to find errors, which you can begin rectifying.
Explore each selected use case to discover the capabilities and overall improvement RPA technology can achieve for your business,
Meanwhile, develop a mechanism to enable continued operations, even when the process changes from one process to another.
Any glitches must be eliminated before stakeholders review the project. Ensure the team is well trained and ready for the implementation of automation. In addition, you must know how to set up an RPA infrastructure that can support the project.
Lastly, ensure you document, and track all implementation activities as mapped out in the plan.
Step 5: Measure Performance
How to successfully implement RPA is dependent on the final stage of implementation; measuring performance.
You begin by formulating metrics, which you will use to measure how well you have performed.
The most insightful automation Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are usually based on
- How the deployment affects the business operations
- Whether employee productivity has increased
- The accuracy and rules adherence of the RPA software.
Your KPI should align with your objectives.
Otherwise, you cannot correlate your enterprise performance with the efficiencies of RPA implementation.
Improved metric results indicate that implementing automation will enhance business operations, while dropping metrics suggests you might have to rethink automation on specific parts of the process or revisit your RPA implementation steps.
Conduct an impartial assessment to zero in on the anomalies and prioritize rectifying them in time.
At this point, you can fully deploy the software, where it shows positive results. Or you can combine all automation stages if the overall outcome is a productivity improvement.
As you use the new automation, continuously conduct evaluations to look for errors, which can be corrected to improve the performance of the whole process.
Considering automation relieves employees from redundant work, they can focus on training the RPA software to improve its accuracy.
Applying RPA in your business can be rewarding if you execute a smart implementation strategy.
Your RPA implementation steps would need the involvement of all stakeholders, especially employees who will be directly affected by the change.
Once you discuss and find a common ground, you need to involve them in the transition through training, task allocation, and progress tracking.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on your business objectives to steer the implementation in the right direction.
Now that you know how to implement a successful RPA endeavour in your enterprise, why not start an assessment on your processes to see what can be automated?
Taking this simple step will set you off on a journey to take your business to the next level.