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5 RPA Implementation Best Practices for a Successful Hyperautomation Journey

Author

Eduardo Diquez

https://www.linkedin.com/in/eduardo-diquez-aa170819/
eduardo.diquez@auxis.com

Managing Director of Intelligent Automation, Auxis

As 2021 sets, it’s hard to find an enterprise that hasn’t joined – or started to explore – the journey to hyperautomation. But despite the challenges many companies have experienced, hyperautomation isn’t difficult – if you follow a clear and detailed roadmap of RPA implementation best practices.

Demand for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has reached record territory, driven by fast-tracked digitization after COVID and the desire to control costs while freeing human staff for higher-value initiatives. Valued at $1.57 billion in 2020, the RPA market is expected to reach nearly $14 billion by 2028 with a 33% CAGR.

Gartner predicts RPA adoption across 90% of large organizations worldwide by 2022 – and Deloitte expects universal adoption the next year. The UiPath platform stands out as the go-to solution, with a significantly greater customer base than other vendors and revenue that’s jumped a whopping 81% over the last fiscal year.

You’d be hard-pressed to find another transformation that can achieve the same quick benefits as RPA – when it’s implemented effectively. But despite RPA’s promise, it’s no secret that 65% of initiatives stall at 10 or fewer processes.

Let’s examine 5 RPA implementation best practices that can take your organization beyond Proof of Concept to company-wide hyperautomation.

RPA implementation best practices help you avoid common challenges

1. Start with the end goal in mind.

An automation journey is about results. Having a clear vision from the start is vital to growing your RPA program successfully.

Consider these key questions:

  • What are you trying to achieve by implementing RPA?
  • What tools and investment do you need to get there?
  • What does your automation roadmap look like at a high level?

Cost savings are important, but RPA also offers more. In their rush to solve today’s problems, most organizations don’t stop to consider long-term benefits.

Take time to identify your key business drivers for automation and how they align with corporate strategy. Whether the end goal is saving money, quality control, revenue enablement, real-time reporting to achieve one version of the truth, or another business driver, crystallizing a clear vision up front focuses your RPA journey and builds the most effective business case.

While course adjustments may be made along the way, knowing your endgame helps you plot a high-level roadmap for how to get there. It makes it easier to determine automation priorities, high-value business areas, the best process candidates, and the right combination of tools to bolster success.

2. Understand the long-term operating model and governance structure needed to achieve your RPA vision.

An outstanding RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) is essential to a sustainable journey – responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining your company’s process robots. Here are five key considerations for building your CoE operating model:

  • What service catalog should your CoE provide? The best catalogs are tailored to your RPA vision, incorporating critical roles like automation governance, idea generation, skill development, process assessment, and change management.
  • Should you outsource your CoE, keep it in-house, or opt for a hybrid solution? While internal teams may appear less costly than hiring a third-party provider, this approach works best for large global organizations with deep pockets and sizable workforces. The severe IT labor shortage in the U.S. also makes hiring RPA staff a costly headache. Most companies find that a hybrid approach leveraging the resources, knowledge, and experience of a reputable partner with the business expertise of in-house staff delivers the best outcome.
  • Why are centralized governance and business process design critical to successful RPA? Without strategic oversight, a tangled mess of isolated RPA projects can develop: robots targeted at the wrong tasks, overlapping solutions, and a random mix of tools and techniques that hinder future scaling. Tapping business analysis experts that know how to optimize processes and anticipate exceptions during the design phase is also key to ensuring robots achieve desired productivity and efficiency.
  • Why do most enterprises underestimate the cost of internal teams? Most organizations find out the hard way that internal CoEs can spiral into budget overruns after experiencing the number of hours required for training, recruiting, support, and maintenance. Internal CoEs also require a substantial pipeline of projects to drive ROI.
  • What’s the role of IT? While RPA projects are business-driven, IT support is essential to a sustainable program. IT brings advanced technical knowledge of existing infrastructure, testing and maintenance capabilities, data security oversight, and more. Onboarding IT early in the journey helps tech teams visualize the role RPA can play in attaining company goals – ensuring automation scalability becomes part of IT strategy.

3. Don’t start a pilot program without the right talent.

Get your pilot right and it’s a showcase success: building