COVID-19 has pushed the RPA popularity to a greater height; it has now very much invaded almost all industries and domains as businesses are seeking innovation to stay vigilant and competitive. But there are too many organizations or businesses finding themselves struggling to implement RPA or stuck in the phase where only minimal bot deployment delivers minimal value.
For a successful RPA implementation, there are several key points we can refer to:
Any new implementation in the organization without strategic planning is bound to fail. For RPA implementation, it is essential to go through the objectives that must be fulfilled. It also requires introducing change management to implement strategies for effective change, control change, and define the employees’ roles around RPA implementation in helping them adapt to change. A detailed plan can help to address issues before RPA is implemented.
Set Realistic Expectation
Misunderstanding the capabilities of RPA can be disastrous and lead to overall project failure. In fact, RPA is a transformational technology that brings many benefits, like reducing cost and gaining productivity without requiring any changes in the organization’s current system.
While the results are impressive, RPA is not meant to deliver 100% automation, and if this expectation is not managed upfront, stakeholders or business leaders may abandon the project by assuming that their expectations are not met, and their processes are not suitable or too complex for automation.
However, the reality is that RPA automates a clearly defined process. Still, many organizations are neither aware of how many business processes they have nor know how many exceptions are in the daily business process. Robots are designed to work on specified user interfaces; they can’t adapt when something unexpected occurs, such as a changed or updated user interface or an unknown pop-up.
The expectation of a workflow running successfully all the time should be managed too because no matter how carefully a workflow is designed and developed, the workflow is unlikely to work all the time. Hence it is critical to anticipate as many exceptions during the development stage to achieve the desired productivity and efficiency.
Preparing Employee / Spreading RPA understanding
For a successful RPA implementation, human operational workers must believe the digital workforce can do its job properly. Employee concerns and fears, for example, changing how things used to be done or the “robot going to replace me” mentality, are hindering the RPA implementation process.
Undoubtedly, there will be resistance in any digital initialization, and RPA is not excluded. It is crucial to address the resistance as much as possible, and there must be consistent communication with the employees in the organization in spreading the correct information about what RPA is, what RPA can do, and what RPA can’t do. Once employees understand what RPA is all about, only then there will be a willingness to adopt and utilize the RPA technology.
Promote Success Story Within Organization
While spreading RPA understanding within the organization is important, promoting RPA success stories within the organization is equally important too. Do not underestimate the impact of this activity as the success stories is a living proof for them to see and believe what they had been told about RPA and its benefits. Promoting success stories can become a driving force within the organization to encourage wider adoption.
Invest in Employee Skillset
It’s not surprising that organizations are not investing in employee skill sets due to budget constraints and believing that there are possibilities to get knowledge from other channels. While this might be true, it very much depends on the quality of the resources and the employee’s efforts to learn while juggling with their existing tasks. Also, the lengthy process of self-learning is possibly slowly taking away their interest and satisfaction, and organizations shall not expect to have ROI as soon as they would expect.
For efficient RPA implementation, investing in the in-house development team for proper training is critical. A skilled development team is a strong foundation for effective RPA deployment and scaling up in the future. One might not have any experienced developers within their organization, but with proper training, they are able to acquire the proper skillset for them to begin with bots design, development, and troubleshooting, alongside recommended bot development best practices.
Make It a Teamwork Process
RPA implementation should be a team effort instead of an individual effort and getting relevant teams like a business team and an IT team participation is the key to successful implementation, where the collaboration allows them to understand each other’s requirements and not undermine the requirements without knowing.
On top of that, getting the business team involved also helps them to be aware of the impact of automation on their working processes, gain their confidence in the bots, educate the team members, and address their concerns regarding the RPA implementation.
Consider a Hybrid Approach
While investing in employee skillsets is critical, the developer(s) still need to go through a series of learning curves before they can develop bots in an effective and efficient manner. By partnering with an experienced consulting firm, it can help the developer to shorten the learning curve by working hand in hand during the early deployment stage and increase the overall effectiveness in bots design, development, delivery, and maintenance. With the consulting firm’s expertise and experience, they can assist the organization in ensuring a smooth transition from manual operations to RPA.
RPA has already been a proven solution for automating routine tasks. Implementing RPA helps businesses to stay resilient and competitive without having to pour a whole lot of investment into replacing their existing systems.
RPA implementations are not simple without the proper resources, tools, and expertise. Following these implementation steps and partnering with the right vendor can help with faster implementation processes.