Key considerations and challenges of RPA

a man sat working with multiple screens of code

Learn how to determine if RPA is right for your organisation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an extremely powerful way to boost your business’ efficiency – when it’s deployed correctly. It’s important to have the right strategies in place to ensure a successful RPA implementation from the get-go.

RPA can be akin to layering concrete onto your existing processes and applications. Once automated, change control needs to be considered for the automated processes as well as the applications they run on. When thinking about large automation at scale, RPA will be considered a major IT change programme.

Get your automation transformation off on the right foot with our list of key considerations and challenges you need to keep in mind when determining if RPA is right for your organisation:

Control and governance

A lack of control and governance is particularly prevalent with attended RPA when citizen developers are given free rein to create automated processes to use in their departments. Similar to Excel macros, these tools can be very powerful in the right hands and consideration should be made to who will be building your processes.

Don’t just accept your existing processes

RPA presents the opportunity to enhance and improve your processes. You should consider if automation of the status quo really is the right solution, or if alternative improvements would lead to a better overall scenario. Re-analyse and de-compose your processes so you thoroughly understand how they can be improved.

Cultural and organisational change

RPA is as much a cultural change as it is a technological one. Business users, especially end users who will be working with bots, need to be comfortable and accepting that bots are here to make their lives easier and not replace their jobs. Speak with your staff regularly, provide any technical training needed, and reinforce the benefits of automation to the people who will be using it every day. You can read more advice in our guide to how automation affects company culture.

Balance expectation and enthusiasm with realistic ROI

Realistic expectations need to be set. Like all automation, an investment needs to be made upfront and implementation will be slow at first. The first processes that are automated should also be low risk, which may mean low reward. But jumping in with your most complex processes out of the gate is a recipe for a failed project.

Creation of an entirely new capability and support function

RPA at scale requires the creation of an entirely new capability and support function. Good exception handling needs to be built into all processes. Something that can often be forgotten if only the happy path is considered by stakeholders. It’s also important to understand who owns the automated process. post-implementation: the business or IT.

Develop a data strategy

Automation will sometimes require bots to process and handle confidential information. This must be handled with the right level of sensitivity and not via the easiest route, such as Excel files and standard emails. Governance and the ability to audit processes are essential, particularly when handling sensitive information, and must be considered when building your platform.

It’s not just about the tools

The lack of suitable documentation for existing manual processes can present a significant challenge for automation. Does everyone in your department perform a manual process in the same way? Are there any flaws that need to be resolved within the scenarios prior to automation?

Find RPA talent without the hassle

RPA is still a relatively new technology, meaning quality developers can be expensive and few and far between. Learn how the Ten10 Academy can provide you with expertly-trained RPA consultants so you have the talent you need to succeed from day one.

RPA evaluation

To fully release the value of effective RPA implementation, it’s important to have a robust evaluation framework in place. The analysis of an automated workflow is just as important as the code itself. Below you can read our recommended process:

Our recommended RPA evaluation process

Identify an initial list of automation candidates that the business believes has automation potential.

Create current state process flows and gather relevant information to determine automation feasibility.

Review the scoring results and process selection order.

Participants will discuss and provide input on the initial prioritisation list and process selection.

Evaluate what tools are most suitable based on processes identified for automation, likely automation potential and budget.

Update the prioritisation list and begin development work on a prioritised process as part of a Proof of Concept.

A simplified evaluation process would involve the identification of an initial list of automation candidates that the business believes has high automation potential, the documentation of steps and challenge areas of each process, followed by a review to establish the complexity and potential business benefit to determine priority. Once this is known, select an RPA toolset most suited to your finalised list and start development work for a Proof of Concept.

Accelerate your automation adoption with our expert RPA consultants

We hope we’ve provided clarity on what your organisation should consider before implementing RPA and how to evaluate automation opportunities. Learn how Ten10 can help you on your automation journey by reading about our RPA consultancy services.