Driven by the fast-tracked digitization post-COVID, demand for Robotic Process Automation has reached record heights. Experts believe that 90% of large organizations worldwide will strive for RPA solutions in some places by 2022. Contrarily, Deloitte expects a universal RPA adoption by 2023.
Well! No one has really seen the future, but one cannot disagree how RPA Solutions are steadily finding their way into most organizations. You would be hard-pressed to find an alternate route to digital transformation that can generate the same results as RPA. Yet, there is one point raising concerns among early adopters – Only 65% of RPA initiatives stand at 10 or even fewer processes.
And the only reason for fewer process adoption can be awarded to the absence of best practices for RPA solutions and their implementations. What are they?
10 RPA Solutions Implementation Best Practices to Avoid Failure
As companies gradually open their eyes to the benefits of process automation, demand for RPA solution providers will rise. Since there is nothing like one-size-fits-all, automation expectations for different ventures will differ. But, the best implementation practices for RPA solutions will remain uniform and constant.
Here are a handful of such practices ensuring a successful implementation of RPA.
Start with the End Objective in Mind
What should be your objective when transitioning your processes to automation? Profits, maybe, or ROI. An automation journey is all about results. So, having a clear vision of your end objective is vital to scaling your RPA solutions growth successfully.
Understand the Long-Term OM and Governance Structure
There should be an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE), a proper governance structure, and a long-term operating model in place right from the beginning to ensure a sustainable journey. These models will be responsible for overlooking the proper performance of your RPA solutions, right from designing and developing to maintaining process robots.
Follow a High-Level Framework
In the absence of a comprehensive framework, scaling automation growth in the future might become a tad bit challenging. A developer can never really frame an automation journey without understanding the specifics of the manual processes. Hence, a process design document is created to capture all processes at the workflow and keystroke levels. The framework offers a high-level view of the journey and then unwraps the precise details of each process, including provisions for initialization, cleanup, processing, and error handling.
Break Down Processes into Specific Workflows
Every business process is complex and has many layers comprising bite-sized tasks, each with multiple steps. RPA software solutions need to see each task with its unique workflow. When building the automation framework, developers should focus on breaking each process into specific workflows.
Choose Activities Wisely and Increase Workflow Readability
RPA solution providers agree that picking the most appropriate activities can greatly impact a workflow’s readability. Also, since data enters the system in two forms, namely arguments and variables, they should be accurately defined using comments and annotations.
Create Configurable Files
By embedding change-prone settings inside every configurable file, the developer provides the process owner with complete flexibility to change the values as and when needed. This can be done without an RPA service provider’s intervention.
Store Reusable Components
Business processes usually share common steps. Every process begins with a login. Then, there are emails and data validation to consider. The common information should be shared between RPA solutions for each business process. Hence, creating a central repository containing all reusable automation components will speed up the ongoing development process and better support the automation in production in the future.
Errors can occur once the RPA starts running, like failed logins, nonexistence directories, or no available disk space, stalling the entire automation. Other issues such as a timed-out application, bad data, or a new screen within the application can also stop automation. Hence, there should be provisions for error handling, depending on the type of errors. With the help of proper codes in place, the automation can easily handle the exception and react accordingly. In the event of an unexpected error, the robot notifies a human operator via email, including the error message screenshot, time of the error, and the source of the error.
Start the Pilot Program with the Right Talent
Rushing into the pilot program without having the right talent at your disposal can transcend into failed automation implementation. Inexperienced teams rarely deliver the quick, clean win when deploying RPA solutions to your existing processes. When so much is at stake, nearly 60% of businesses outsource the whole implementation efforts to RPA solution providers.
Control Scope Creep
The sky is never the limit when it comes down to automation opportunities. But, RPA solution providers paid on time and materials can easily expand projects, which often doesn’t make sense from a business or process standpoint. They let scope creep, which adds to the overall cost. Hence, an upfront price tag can prevent them from over-stretching the development process and delivering quality results within the price margin.
RPA solutions can really make a big difference to your business’s overall productivity and annual revenue if implemented accurately. The above-mentioned best practices are like a Bible guiding your automation journey. They should be followed without any comprise. If the change overwhelms your existing team, it is advisable to outsource the pilot program to one of the best RPA solutions providers. They would know the best approach for RPA implementation matching your business objectives and goals.