Businesses are better off taking an enterprise view of the RPA which is capable of sustained, long-term benefits and operations excellence. Source: Shutterstock

Businesses are better off taking an enterprise view of the RPA which is capable of sustained, long-term benefits and operations excellence. Source: Shutterstock

Step-by-step guide to ensure successful RPA implementation

ROBOTIC process automation or RPA has the power and capability to help organizations increase their throughput and accelerate their digital transformation agenda.

The true benefit of RPA rests on the technology’s ability to increase efficiency while reducing cost.

It takes away repetitive manual tasks from the human workforce and frees them up to focus on more critical strategic functions.

However, businesses are merely deploying RPA as an add-on feature to existing systems within the operations to bring about quick improvements and speed up processes along the way.

For many smaller organizations, this type of quick deployment may be sufficient. But any solution or RPA integration that is hastily put together may not be suitable or sustainable for larger organizations.

As such, businesses are better off taking an enterprise view of the RPA, which is capable of sustained, long-term benefits and operations excellence.

And to do that, companies must take their time to understand their business processes truly and study how and where RPA could be implemented, to reap the maximum benefit.

By taking the enterprise approach, businesses would also be able to address other challenges that typically come with implementing any new transformative initiative. They could better prepare their human workforce to deal with and manage changes.

Beyond that, companies could also devise risk management strategies and solve potential technical limitation that might impede adoption.

Here are seven practical steps that could help businesses ensure a successful RPA implementation:

Step 1 – Build a business case and establish a baseline

Business leaders must first determine if their operations need RPA or not. They need to make sure that there is a solid business case to deploy RPA.

They could deploy automated process discovery tools, and gain insights into their systems as a first step to getting started with RPA.

Step 2 – Refine and test the strategy

Upon getting a thorough insight into the systems, and getting a baseline of the way and speed the business operates, companies must refine their strategies and test their assumptions.

By using appropriate modeling and simulation, business leaders could gauge the potential impact, result, and risk associated with the project.

Step 3 – Scrap unnecessary processes and start the trial

At this point, business leaders need to identify processes that need to be optimized, maintained, or scrapped altogether. A proper process analysis needs to be conducted to remove all the element of wastes, to refine them to be effective.

Upon sufficient refining and optimization, RPA pilot could commence.

Step 4 – Promote and scale up the role of RPA

The project now has to be championed and promoted within the organization. This is mainly to ensure that everyone sees the improvements the technology brought to the operations, and subsequently support the broader adoption of RPA within the business.

At the same time, businesses should also expand and scale the role of RPA within the company.

Step 5 – Train workforce and listen to their feedbacks

Implementing RPA, much like any other transformation initiative, requires change management. Upon implementation, companies should train and educate their staffs on what is necessary to work with RPA as an integral part of the operation.

Beyond that, it is also imperative to listen to the feedback from employees on how the project is working in practice.

Step 6 – Evaluate and monitor performance

Much like any other project, monitoring the performance and how the RPA project is functioning is an important step in ensuring the success of the project.

A robust process monitoring and analysis tools would come in handy for this purpose. Beyond that, any ROI calculation is only possible with relevant metrics and assessments.

Step 7 – Continuously improve

Typically at this point, companies would be able to see and measure the improvement in the processes and operational efficiency brought by RPA.

With these quantifiable metrics, companies should then deploy a continuous improvement plan that the solution could be optimized further, as it becomes an integral part of their operation and business.