What is the RPA journey?

Process automation in not just a project. Like process improvement by applying LEAN methodologies, RPA is also a journey that consists of multiple very important stages. Also like the road towards LEAN, the RPA journey is based on continuous improvement. But the important thing is that this journey requires a certain amount of preparation.

Here are the major stages on the RPA journey:

  1. Awareness– there are loads of resources on RPA available to the public and they need to be analyzed in order to understand what RPA is, how it works and what value it brings to the business. The word must also spread throughout the organization in order to make sure that every person in every department is aware of what it can do.
  2. Readiness– choosing the right person or people to be responsible for the RPA initiative and identifying the major problems that RPA should solve as well as the targets it should reach.
  3. Vendor selection. It is important not only to make the right choice when selecting the tool to use for RPA, but also the service provider that will help you on the way. Even for organizations that choose to use their internal resources to develop RPA solutions, the initial steps are crucial for success and the many questions that arise on the way will need to be answered by someone.
  4. Proof of Concept, which is no longer used to prove that RPA works and brings value to the business (because there is no doubt about that), but instead is used to test the unique cases and needs of the business, as well as choose the deployment model and tools for automation.
  5. Pilot projectwill help evaluate the deployment model selected by doing a trial run of RPA on an actual process within the organization. This helps the business see whether RPA meets expectations and works well with their environment, collect feedback and learn from possible mistakes.
  6. Center of Excellence (CoE) is fundamentally the RPA A-team both technologically and professionally. It acts as a concentrated hub for RPA expertise to all business functions and is extremely important to scaling RPA across the organization. Ideally, it is a joint effort by the business and IT. In some cases, it makes a lot of sense to include outsourced external experts into the CoE.
  7. Scale– this is a stage when existing and new solutions are adopted throughout the organization. This requires everyone to be aware and involved into the RPA initiative in order to select the correct processes and provide efficient automation.
  8. Transformation– RPA must be one of the major parts of digital transformation within the organization. It is not just a side project that someone pushes on their spare time. Process improvement and automation must be included in the short-term targets and long-term strategies, because only this way the RPA journey will definitely take off and lead to success.