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Best Practices for implementing RPA in your organization

A lot of organizations are entering the RPA bandwagon– now with more than BFSI and BPO organizations considering them and with the democratization of RPA, a lot of non-IT background developers occupying this space. The formalization of a robotics or RPA program is becoming imperative.

In this context what are the learnings and best practices that organizations need to follow? Listing down a couple that we have found essential in this journey –

Treat RPA as a transformation lever. Initially RPA solutions were considered as just tactical fixes. However, as the digital portfolio continues to evolve and gain prominence, RPA is evolving into a transformational lever that combines with cognitive technologies like ML and AI to carry out strategic tasks without impacting the existing IT landscape. The outlook needs to be more strategic and enterprise level. The focus needs to be to not just to automate but to look for elimination, simplification & standardization opportunities.

Drum up internal buy-in. When organizations identify processes that have gone slow, the solution must be RPA. Identifying key decision-makers within the organization whose support is needed along with setting expectations. It is good to follow a dashboard with tasks, timelines and ownership responsibilities. A good place to start is determining scope, creating a business case by defining the project’s objectives. recruiting a senior-level champion and socializing the plan amongst executive stakeholders.

Implementing a governance mechanism. Since this involves a combination of human and machine workforce, a governance mechanism in treating different elements or headcount in the organization is essential. Decisions must be based on People- Processes and Technology in that order. When is a good time to build a CoE in an organization of this kind? Would it be after the first bot is bought and installed or the 10th one. Also, essential to treat governance as a method to optimize the headcount and not so much about maximize.

Ownership of the RPA program.  RPA programs can be a huge success and scaling RPA capability is not a pipe dream. However, organizations need to realize that their human workforce is a lot more adaptable and forgiving than their robotic counterparts. Building out a robotic workforce requires a lot more operational discipline, a technology platform to match, and greater collaboration between the operations and technology teams. Business should run and execute the IT program while IT should completely support this initiative.

Choosing RPA or IPA? RPA is robotic in nature and doesn’t require intelligence to operate. It is a good technology for well-defined, rules-based processes. In contrast, IPA is used for more complex processes that benefit from AI capabilities. This involves combining smart data intake, natural language processing, machine learning and operational analytics with RPA. Both RPA and IPA are valuable in different types of situations and hence a hybrid approach works best.

The focus as an organization is to make the robots cope with high-value, decision-making tasks, as well as repetitive ones. We are sure there are more best practices that you have. Let us know. Drop us an email at marketing@paanini.com

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