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Thinking about deploying some bots into your processes because everyone around you is talking about RPA? Might be a good idea, but let's take a closer look to find out.
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a recent technology that enables companies to take boring and mundane tasks off the shoulders of their employees. Bots are software solutions programmed to execute basic and repetitive tasks with a lower risk of error, and able to run (almost) 24/7.
Plenty of researchers and consultant companies have seen RPA as a way of boosting companies' efficiency and employee engagement, predicting the rise of the market in the upcoming years.
(Eager to see the concrete numbers? We mentioned them in our previous article here)
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Now, you are probably asking yourselves: should I be in with the crowd and start an RPA initiative?
You should definitely consider it if you want to keep running with the competition or even outsmart them. The real question is where to start. How can you identify processes that are suitable for RPA and those that are better left bot-free, at least for now?
We put together a list of 7 questions that will help you navigate the decision-making into the right direction and pinpoint the right candidates.
1. Do I really need bots for this process?
First and foremost, ask the very basic question. Because sometimes, putting away legacy systems or developing API interface is enough.
2. Can you maybe improve the process first?
Ill-working processes won't improve even when bots are deployed and running. More so, RPA will exponentially highlight the errors and issues that already exist. Learn more about analyzing your processes with Process Mining. LINK
3. What is the impact of the process on our business?
To really make a difference and get everyone on board, you definitely want to impress the key stakeholders with the first proof of concept of your RPA initiative. So, think about automating those processes that really have an impact on day-to-day operations and occur in high volume, and get tangible results such as shortening the approval process from 5 days to 1 day.
4. How deeply are your employees involved in the process?
If the process is too complex and needs a lot of human input, decision making, and a high-level, cognitive approach when solving difficult issues, there's not much space for automation.
5. Do you have the process clearly defined?
Unclear, uncertain processes with a lot of deviations and variants will make deploying the bots almost impossible. FIrst, outline the processes end-to-end.
6. Do you tend to change the user interface?
If so, how often? RPA is based on screen scraping technology, replicating everything a human worker is doing on the screen – opening an email, copying information, including attachment. If you program a bot and then tweak any button even slightly, it won't work anymore and the results will be more negative than positive.
7. Is the process standardized?
For bots to be designed and deployed properly into your operations, your processes must follow set rules. The space for automation shrinks when one employee is executing their tasks this way, while others have their own ways. Not sure how to find out? Process Mining could come in handy here.
Surely, these questions provide you with basic guideline principles when considering RPA for your company. They can give you a glimpse of how to approach such an initiative and where to look.
In case your mind desires a deeper dive into the problematics, be sure to read our e-book on how to get Robotic Process Automation right in 2019 or watch our webinar from presented at RPA & AI Live 2019.
And have you decided to see how to approach RPA - and Process Mining as the first and essential step - just ping us and we'll gladly guide you through the journey.