In this webinar, we will discuss how organizations can start to formulate an RPA strategy, what are the core components of the RPA strategy, and determine how to build a clear business case for RPA.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of software that mimics the activity of a human being in carrying out a task within a process. It is described as a software – robot – that can do repetitive stuff more quickly, accurately, and tirelessly than humans. In the workplace, employees execute a series of steps to accomplish the daily tasks assigned, such as solving tickets on a help desk, producing sales quotations, or sending out invoices. RPA robots investigate these processes of carrying out a task and find out how we can find a pattern to automate these processes.
Furthermore, RPA plays a significant role in freeing employees to execute other tasks that require human strengths such as emotional intelligence, reasoning, judgment, and interaction with customers. It is a cross-domain, cross-department, cross-functional solution. As RPA has a much broader application, it can be applied in most areas within an organization to improve overall business performance.
The four major categories of key areas of RPA shown below are critical for organizations to understand the benefits and the role of RPA to drive business:
Internal Operations. In any large organization, there are departments and operations that are needed primarily to support business. These business functions are characterized as highly process-oriented and key target areas for RPA and are frequently considered as cost centers in businesses which required to be taken under firm cost control. By implementing RPA, it can achieve cost-saving.
Technology Enhancement. Mundane tasks that must be done repeatedly are inevitable as systems do not communicate. Technology enhancement can be achieved by system integration because robots (software) allow data to move from one system to another system. By implementing RPA, it can drive technology.
Accountability and Audit. Robots (software) perform exactly as how it is programmed to do and it does not make mistakes. In this situation, every piece of data that goes through the system could be tracked and monitored by organizations. RPA take a leading role in accountability, audit, privacy, and security regulations. By implementing RPA, all data could be tracked and monitored.
Data Analytics and Reporting. Robots (software) are good at running automated reports, structuring data, and querying through large amounts of data. By implementing RPA, a larger number of data can be obtained and analyzed to make informed decisions.
Figure 1: Key areas of RPA
1. Start Defining an RPA strategy from Organizational Strategy.
Building an RPA strategy is in line with the organizational strategy, it needs to be embedded as part of the organizational strategy as the RPA strategy is one of the aspects that ensure the overall strategic objectives are met. Organizations can start defining the RPA strategy with several following steps:
Step 1: Review Business Objective
Step 2: Match Business Objective with RPA Benefits
Step 3: Identify Use Cases
Step 4: Build Business Case
After defining an RPA strategy, the organization will recognize the strong vision and what to achieve in terms of automation.
2. Assess RPA Capability.
Once the organization have identified the number of use cases that believe to improve or contribute to the organizational objectives and business benefit, the next step would be assessing the RPA capability. By assessing the RPA capability, it helps the organization to find out the gap between where the organization envisions to be and where there currently are. These are the elements that use to assess the RPA capability:
The maturity model below represents best practice thinking on how best to gauge the evolution of RPA programs and the types of indicators and milestones needed to convey progress in improving and growing RPA capabilities.
Figure 2: RPA Maturity Model
3. Start Building Capability through Use Cases.
The use cases are basically described as a new learning project. The knowledge gained during one of the previous use cases can be used to implement in the new cases. The figure below shows the complete cycle of how you can build your capability through use cases.
Figure 3: Cycle of how you can build your capability through use cases
Moving throughout increasing the organizational capabilities and maturity levels, it is basically running this cycle over and over again. It increases organizational capabilities by gaining new knowledge from every project and cycle over time.
4. Keep Refining the Business Case.
The initial business case can be made very simple as we can look into existing business processes in an organization and calculate the exact financial value. However, as more robots are implemented in the RPA journey, the business case becomes more complex which requires organizations to keep refining the business case. Different additional aspects would need to be included in the business case to create a more comprehensive RPA program:
Security and privacy processes
Monitoring and reporting
The webinar will end with a Q&A session, where participants can ask questions about RPA concepts, the new examination and certification scheme, or any other questions related to Robotic Process Automation.