So, you want to deploy Robotic Process Automation in your business? Great! It can boost efficiency, help to ensure compliance, and free up employee’s time to focus on value-add tasks. But beware, the failure rate of RPA implementation and adoption is 30-50%, according to EY.
They fail because the RPA implementation process is complex. If you’re going to introduce digital workers into your business to automate processes, there are a few things that you need to consider…
Make sense of data for your bots
According to Deloitte, the top challenge when it comes to RPA implementation is process standardization. This is due to the large amounts of unstructured data that businesses are trying to automate.
As explained in our previous blog about using Bizagi with RPA, it’s important to bring logic to this unstructured data and orchestrate the information to get it ready to be used by the bots. This is where one of our customers is making use of Bizagi as an enabler for RPA.
The American bank has successfully rolled out RPA implementation in their commercial lending process with the help of Bizagi. The primary roadblock to delivering RPA was the data coming into the bank. The data in their workflow systems didn’t initially support digital workers, so they needed to ensure data was digitized and ready for the robots to work with. Bizagi digitized that data to drive enablement.
They have now optimized the end-to-end commercial loan process (onboarding, maintenance and closing of loans), with digital workers touching over 50% of their commercial loan portfolio. Any net new customer to the commercial lending platform is now automated in workflow with all processes initiated and tracked through Bizagi, and executed through Bizagi and RPA.
Center of Excellence
Only 12% of businesses integrate RPA in the IT function, while 53% integrate RPA in a business unit, according to PWC. The technology should be seen as a shared business function, with each team following best practice. This can be enforced by creating a Center of Excellence.
A CoE helps to make sure that the RPA implementation is in line with the strategy planned for the initiative and that both the business and IT function are operating on the right framework. A good CoE helps to both manage operations and ensure quality, particularly when organizations plan to scale up their RPA operations.
- Managing the operation of the RPA intuitive – Business and IT functions driving the roll-out and implementation of RPA across the business
- Ensuring quality – Set well-defined standards, procedures and guidelines
- Prioritization – line up processes with automation potential and assess whether RPA is the right tool for optimizing of particular processes
- Developing talent – Training of employees who work with RPA
- Communicating with stakeholders – Coordinated communication effort
- Ensuring compliance – Robots and processes comply with guidelines issued by compliance and security
Change management and robot personalization
The misnomer of robots stealing employees jobs is not as prevalent as it used to be. In fact, a recent survey showed that over 70% of individuals are not concerned that robots will be capable of replacing them in the workplace.
Companies are better serving their employees by automating their low-value tasks. The more you educate people about technology, the more accepting they are of it. But just because employees are not worried about robots stealing their job, doesn’t mean they are comfortable working with it. Change management is an important part of successful RPA implementation.
Head of RPA and iBPMS development at the bank who have deployed RPA across their commercial loan portfolio says that they have created a “confluence of robots and people, not a conflict.” They do this by personalizing the bots and making it clear what tasks they are fulfilling.
“If you take a look at our organizational chart there are robots within that org chart… it’s about honest communication. What does that future landscape mean and what skills do our current workforce need to enhance, retain or focus on so that our digital workforce is more efficient?”
The bank even has framed pictures of all their robots that complete processes hanging on the walls and a name the robot competition for employees. It’s a fun way of personalizing the technology and making workers comfortable with the change.
53% of respondents to Deloitte’s 2018 Global RPA Survey say they have already started their RPA journey. This is expected to increase to 72% in the next two years. So, before you go any further with your RPA implementation, ensure that your data is RPA-ready. Otherwise, you will fail at the first hurdle.
Then you should establish a Center of Excellence early in the process to ensure everything is managed effectively. And perhaps most importantly, while you’re thinking about robots, don’t forget about humans! Your employees are one of your most valuable assets, so use RPA to help them work smarter as you integrate it into your business processes.