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How to Build a Successful RPA Implementation Strategy

2 min read
Dec 11, 2020 2:38:36 PM

Setting up an RPA implementation in your company can have many benefits, but its ultimate success depends on several important factors. It demands the right combination of people, processes, and technology, guided by a high-quality automation strategy. A good automation strategy is at the core of every aspect of your automation journey. While building an automation strategy is not "one size fits all," there are some common elements companies must address.

Ensure you have the right skillset in-house

RPA teams need to have a deep understanding of the processes best suited for automation and the skills required to develop those automations. A lack of well-trained or adequately skilled automation specialists can risk an RPA implementation project's success and minimize the opportunity to attain your maximum ROI. Ask yourself, do I have the right subject matter experts (SMEs), process owners, developers, engineers, data analysts, IT, risk, control, and infrastructure support staff in place?

Ensure teams can work cross-functionally

Setting up enterprise-scale RPA strategy requires varying degrees of responsibility and oversight across a multitude of roles. From SMEs, process analysts, developers to heads of business and IT. Ensuring all key stakeholders have clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and the necessary ability to feed into the automation project is crucial to its success.

Ensure you have effective governance procedures in place

Establishing a quality RPA governance strategy is a crucial element of your overarching RPA implementation best addressed in the early stages of your strategy development.

Your bots are a part of your workforce, and much like humans, they require guidance. They are created at a certain point in time, and changes to regulation, rule, policy, or control can negatively impact the bots' expected performance. Unplanned downtime is one of the biggest hindrances to the success of RPA implementations.

Governance should influence the overall vision and standards for RPA at the enterprise level. Ensuring that your risk and control team provides input on what protocols your bots should adhere to when a change occurs, is a best practice for a successful RPA initiative.

Want to learn more about RPA Governance? Read our article Shared Business and IT Ownership: The Only Governance Model for Scaling RPA

Ensure that you're selecting the right processes for automation

Nearly 1/3 of unsuccessful automation projects can be attributed to poor process selection. To ensure that you're choosing the right processes to be automated, a simple framework that aligns the intent of RPA with the organization's strategic objectives should be created. Your framework should look at both the potential risks and the expected value driven by a particular function's automation.

RPA Process Assessment and Candidate Checklist

We know that automation promises significant cost, quality and speed improvements, but realizing those benefits requires action plans. 

In their report, How to Start Executing a Successful Automation Strategy, Gartner guides leaders in executing an automation strategy by identifying required processes, skills, and tooling based on the organization's automation maturity level.