Series 3 – Beginning the Journey with Robotic Process Automation
Welcome to Part 3 of the Business Systems blog series – ‘An Insider’s Guide to Robotic Process Automation’.
In this series:
- RPA – Do it in-house or out-source it?
- Building the team
- Identifying processes for Automation
- How to embrace change
- Keeping the RPA momentum going
RPA – Do in-house or outsource it?
What is the best approach for creating and staffing your automation team? Should you be outsourcing this work? Or would you prefer to keep it in-house? This section outlines the process behind implementing Robotic Process Automation within your organisation.
If speed is of the essence to your organisation, then out-sourcing the work will be a lot faster than building a team in-house to do it.
Keep in mind that this is the approach with the highest total cost of ownership and you won’t be the one who owns the knowledge asset once the work is finished. One of the downsides of the ‘out-source’ scenario.
With an ‘’in-house’ approach when it comes to RPA, you have a lower cost of ownership and you own the knowledge asset. Tick in the box. However, with in-house jobs, can you track the amount of time invested? The hassle of unexpected problems occurring?
The in-house approach for launching your automation initiative will always take longer and the thought process behind it will not be as proficient as a professional who has experience.
In order to tackle this, the experts and the in-house team should be working together.
One of the best ways to embed a new technology into your organisation is through a healthy combination of in-house and external knowledge, where your in-house team learn from the hired experts and vice versa. This is essentially an on-the-job training approach with your in-house team and the expert’s collaborating on development.
It will cost more to take this approach. However, once your in-house team has grasped the technology, the total cost of ownership lessens as your team achieves competency faster and more efficiently.
Building the team
Who in your organisation should be involved? Put simply, it should be a mix of those who are familiar with IT and those who are already involved in the business areas where automation is to take precedence.
Depending on the area in which your team is working, other job functions may need to be involved. E.g. compliance and legal specialists. Ever thought about how great RPA could be for generating compliance reports that need data from multiple sources? As well as this, the legal and risk team may also have an opinion about replacing certain human tasks with robots, so this is also important to consider when rolling out RPA within your organisation.
Not everyone on the team should be an expert when it comes to RPA. If someone is an expert at delivering a process, they might not be the best person to design a solution for the average processor.
Identifying processes for Automation
Which desktop processes are the best candidate for automation?
As you scope the areas in need of automation, you’ll want to focus on areas that require little or no human decision making and are manual. E.g. cutting and pasting, updating the same data in multiple places. Also, keep an eye out for those tasks involving multiple systems that employees have to access separately.
When first starting out with RPA, begin with the projects that can be deployed quickly and successfully. A high-volume process is a good start. It’s best to steer clear of the complicated processes at first, so go for the high-volume but less complex. You’ll find that success will appear a lot more quickly with a positive reception from the team.
How to embrace change
As RPA involves uprooting processes and systems, embracing change can be challenging. People are used to doing things in a certain way, they like to remain in their comfort zones where processes are familiar. Even if the changes introduced will improve the way they work, you could still come up against objections as many people still like to remain in their comfort zone.
The first way to help embrace change is making sure your RPA solutions work well. This will encourage an ethos of positivity. If the solution is unstable or difficult to use, you’re less likely to get everyone on board!
As well as this, it’s important to remember that users of the systems should be well informed and reminded of the benefits RPA will deliver for them. Users need a solid benefit in terms of how it will make their lives easier or more fulfilling.
RPA is a process improvement. There’s always room for improvement. The best RPA solutions are tools not only for building automation programmes, but for identifying and planning before the implementation and monitoring going forward.
Keep tuned for series 4 in the Insider’s Guide to Robotic Process Automation –Automation Design.
Looking to explore Robotic Process Automation capabilities within your organisation? Contact our team!