Three stages of the RPA process

The business benefits of robotic process automation (RPA) are huge. Increases in productivity and efficiency can open up new markets and ways of working, and fundamentally change what you do and how you do it. But research suggests that around half of all RPA projects fail.

Here’s our tried and tested method for implementing an RPA process and ensuring success.

A successful RPA process happens in three stages. And while it’s tempting to jump straight in and start automating tasks, you dramatically increase your chances of success when you follow the proper process. 

RPA stage 1 

RPA process stage one: Prepare and assess

All change starts with a vision. At stage one, picture the business you want to become and how automation could help you get there. What benefits are you looking for around growth, productivity, efficiency, and resilience? This will help you decide that you should automate. 

Next, be sure about what you could feasibly automate. Do you have automatable processes? Which parts of the business have the most potential? What will the costs and benefits of RPA be? Which process would you start with?

RPA stage 2 

RPA process stage two: Execute and learn

So you’ve identified what you could and should automate. Next, prove that you can. At stage two, run a small proof-of-concept or pilot to quickly prove that you can plan, govern, and implement an RPA project.

Whether you build an in-house team right away or appoint a third-party consultancy, the aim here is not perfection. The aims are: prove it can work, and learn how to manage RPA teams and processes in the future.

Once you’ve completed and assessed the success of your proof-of-concept or pilot, you can move on to implementing more automations into production.

RPA stage 3 

RPA process stage three: Scale up and optimise

After you prove, invest. At stage three, build an in-house team and let them: optimise the robots you have, automate other suitable processes, and become so good they no longer need external help. 

By the end of stage three, you can implement RPA like shelling peas. You’ve got a pipeline of processes to automate and you’ve got the team, skills, structures, standards, and governance in place to do it.

Robotic process automation is not a quick fix. Done properly, it gives people the time and space to fundamentally change a business for the better. So prepare well, prove your ideas, invest for success, and enjoy the full benefits of RPA in your transformed business

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