CIODigital Disruption

How to Start an RPA Program

Robotic process automation (RPA) is the future, but for the boldest businesses, RPA is right now. You stand to gain a big step over the competition if you can get RPA up and running sooner rather than later. In an article for InformationWeek, Jean Paul Baritugo provides the advice you need to get started on a reliable path.

Automated Excellence

Baritugo explains that there are actually three types of RPA. The first type simply automates discrete tasks. The second type is more general-purpose and attempts to mimic human workflows to complete tasks. The final type taps into AI and machine learning for heavy-duty work. You should start simple and only gradually work toward more complexity. Focus on a couple well-defined processes in the business to use as a proof of concept, from which you will likely learn a lot.

When the time comes to scale up and there is sufficient executive support to at least begin, Baritugo outlines seven steps that must be taken:

  1. Agree on the total opportunity size of RPA and the level of effort involved in its implementation.
  2. Develop your automation strategy.
  3. Develop a comprehensive business case.
  4. Partner with IT as early as possible.
  5. Create a future governance and operating model.
  6. Define the support model.
  7. Obtain leadership support.

Here is what Baritugo has to say specifically about automation strategy and the business case:

Develop your automation strategy. Articulate the vision and rationale of the RPA transformation and the outcomes you plan to achieve. Consider functional appetite, roll out strategy (center of excellence vs. functionally led), and the tool selection approach in developing this strategy.

Develop a comprehensive business case. Ensure the total benefits justify the needed investments. Quantify the benefits including savings from resource rationalization, decreased rework, reduced overtime, and increased compliance. Additionally, quantify key cost drivers including provisioning of RPA licenses and other IT resources, and any external services required.

There are actually a lot more tips where that came from, so for even more advice on how to begin with RPA, you can view the original article here:

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