The first RPA blog in a series of three. 

Where do you begin with Robotic Process Automation?

Unless you occupy the C-Suite of your organization and are responsible for long-term strategic planning, you will need to find an executive sponsor or sponsors to assign your exploration of RPA. Look to the leaders of the Operations, Logistics, Innovation and Strategic Support teams you work with as primary stakeholders. You may need additional resources assigned as part of a project team whose members should represent expertise from different areas of the organization. If a project team is not possible, ask leaders to identify Subject Matter Experts (SME) from those areas to answer questions as you explore options.

Once your project team is established, begin by examining the current capabilities of your business. Is it critical to assess your current technological capabilities and the status of business processes in order to determine your readiness for RPA?

Examine Documented Business Processes

A key to the success of implementing RPA is to look for quick wins in current business processes. Consult your company’s Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs) for the most current approved business process documentation that describes activities across business units. Defining the scope of work is essential.

Here are some questions to consider in choosing where to start with the implementation of RPA:

  • How many independent business processes exist?
  • Which processes take the most time and cost the company the most in materials and employee resources?
  • Does current documentation provide an accurate picture of how business processes truly happen?
  • What software solutions are used by your company? How are they integrated?
  • Which business processes highly repetitive and are best suited for automation? Example: manual data entry processing.
  • Which processes could benefit most from intelligent document capture and RPA?
  • How would operations be impacted by RPA implementation in the short term?

Your team should plan to create a concise analysis of processes, formulating a plan for grading current process readiness and quick wins that will make an immediate impact across business units. Ideally, the first process to move to RPA should be able to be done in a sprint and tested for a few weeks, not months. Your analysis can act as a starting point for scheduling onboarding of other processes and business units to RPA in the future.

Stay tuned for our next blog on RPA: How to Pinpoint Your First Use Case for RPA.