RPA is like an oven, you need a baker to test what's going on every once in a while. Source: Shutterstock

RPA is like an oven, you need a baker to test what’s going on every once in a while. Source: Shutterstock

Can governance help you take your RPA solution to the next level?

AUTOMATION helps organizations achieve all sorts of goals, from reducing costs to increasing efficiencies.

For most organizations, the first step to automation is an RPA solution. RPA, short for robotic process automation, is a software robot that can be used out-of-the-box with little to no programming.

For those familiar with Microsoft Office, RPA is like recording a macro to perform a series of tasks in a set fashion. It’s as simple as that, and therefore, usually requires no help from IT.

With the support of vendors, businesses have been enabling different divisions to deploy RPA bots that lighten their load and re-focus their staff on more analytical tasks.

However, by itself, RPA is like an electric oven. Based on the settings provided, it performs a task — but you really need a baker every once in a while to check on the quality of the output.

Compared to a clay oven, it does a better job adhering to standards, but there’s really no way to tell if that’s the best outcome in the first place — the batter could be missing critical ingredients or the bread might crack because it has too much yeast.

In other words, while an RPA bot does what it is taught, there’s no guarantee that output will be perfect. Hence, some sort of quality control is generally helpful.

In fact, organizations that establish an RPA-bot governance process find that it really helps take their RPA solution to the next level and allows them to gain more from their automation deployments.

What is RPA governance?

As highlighted previously, RPA is like a macro. Employees record the steps they take to achieve a goal.

Say an accounting executive’s job involves digitizing invoices received via email. An RPA bot can be taught to check the email inbox, pick up relevant emails, download attachments, look for important details, and make entries to the company’s accounting software.

Now, that might save the company ten man-days per month which might be quite incredible in itself. However, with governance, the organization might be able to get twice as much from the bot.

What RPA governance does is simple. It audits automated processes to ensure that the bot is not only performing to standards but is also meeting benchmarks.

Further, it uses data to find more efficient ways to perform the same task and then alters the bot’s path to deliver on those efficiencies.

As a result, organizations that have an RPA governance team find that they’re able to take their overall RPA solution to the next level — delivering higher returns across the enterprise.