From process excellence to robotic process automation
With its promise of significant savings in staff costs, reduced repetitive work, and fewer errors and rework, robotic process automation is becoming increasingly common in all sorts of organizations. However, it can be all too easy for companies to rush into building an RPA workforce, without a clear understanding of exactly what problem they are trying to solve, and why RPA is the solution.
The missing link is an in-depth understanding of the way a business actually operates. Without effective and transparent processes, organizations run the risk of continuing outdated or ineffective practices, just using the power of RPA to do them more quickly!
In this sense, the first step towards a successful RPA implementation has nothing to do with robots, or automation; instead, it’s all about putting the ‘P’ in RPA. Once your processes are optimized and functioning smoothly, you can move on to the next step, and actually introduce robots to your workforce.
HR for robots: Building an RPA workforce
Imagine you are employing a new person in your organization. They are recruited because they have a particular set of skills, to fill a specific role, with a set of requirements and activities to judge their success. Well, RPA is no different. Just as you would when establishing a new role and employing a human, determining the parameters of why and how your business would most benefit from the new position is vital to achieving success.
So, taking this approach when considering an RPA solution leads to a range of questions:
- What are the tasks you want your RPA software to focus on? What is your job profile for the robots? And which position needs to be filled first?
- How do you onboard your robots as fast as possible? How do you make sure they work smoothly with their new colleagues, whether human or other software?
- What goals are they working towards, and which KPIs do you need to track?
- How will you monitor their work, and ensure they are behaving in the desired way?
- After some time in action, which robots need additional skills or need to be repurposed? Do any robots need to be retrained when systems change or new regulatory requirements come into effect?
With RPA and AI, you are basically building a digital workforce. For all the questions above, the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite has an answer. The Suite is the management system to build your digital workforce and keep it on track. Just think of Signavio as HR for robots!
The next challenge—scaling up
Even with a strong understanding of purpose, many RPA solutions remain stuck at the project level, and have yet to leap into enterprise-wide operation. In fact, as Signavio CEO Dr. Gero Decker noted in his 2019 BPM predictions, the number-one question for business leaders who have implemented an RPA solution is, “How can we scale this technology?”
This question could be an article all on its own (or several!), but fundamentally the answer is the same as introducing RPA at all: Don’t just focus on speedy implementation, think deeply about where and when to apply RPA best, to gain the greatest reward for your organization. It is also worth considering strategic partnerships, both internal and external to your company, that may smooth the way for greater use of RPA technology.
Of course, this is easy to say, and much more difficult to implement. Fortunately, helping organizations building an RPA workforce on an enterprise-wide scale lies at the very heart of what Signavio offers. Since HR departments exist everywhere from small local companies, all the way up to global businesses with tens of thousands of employees, Signavio’s HR for robots can do just the same.
This means assisting organizations to understand where best to use robots, helping identify potential savings, monitoring performance. In short, helping you create an effective, efficient, process-driven working environment for your whole workforce, no matter if they are code-based or carbon-based.
If you’d like to know more about building an RPA workforce, check out what Signavio Head of Strategy Mark McGregor has to say about robots as subject matter experts, and the importance of using RPA for more than simply fixing metaphorical potholes in the road. Or, if you’re ready to tackle automation yourself, why not sign up for a free 30-day trial, and see how Signavio can help.