How to Balance RPA Risk and Opportunity in Seven Easy Steps
RPA is helping speed up processes in organizations of all shapes and sizes. It reduces costs and liberates human workers off grunt work to focus on research and innovation. The revolution is rampant in every industry from manufacturing to banking and customer services to research and development.
Today, RPA is one of the core technologies driving turnkey changes in products and services in every industry. Along with other ground-breaking technologies like AI, Big Data, and the Internet of Things, RPA promises to revolutionize things as they are.
Process automation is particularly impactful in banking. Simplified transaction processing means banks can cut costs while they can speed up customer services. In the finance industry, RPA helps streamline NAV calculations and trade reconciliations. In industry 4.0, which is the present industrial revolution we are living through, manufacturers depend on RPA for several applications including inventory rotation and process monitoring.
RPA Risk Dilemma
Multiple companies are skeptical of the impact of RPA on their organizations. Most of them have the perfectly legitimate apprehension of risking the productivity of a stable process by adding new technology. To help overcome the grand RPA dilemma, here are seven easy steps that will help you implement RPA solutions in your organization without having to deal with unnecessary risks.
1. Be Patient
The excitement of process automation can be overwhelming at times. Some companies can barge in head first, trying to automate as many processes as fast as possible. This brings us to the first major RPA risk. Frantically introducing new technology can throw the flow of data and products into disarray, causing disturbances in the workforce.
It’s way better to take out time to analyze what part of organizational workflow will benefit the most from automation. Then, you must plan to ensure that the team understands the role of RPA as well as RPA risks if any in automating the process.
2. Chase Small and Early Successes
In the larger industry equation, RPA is meant to tackle work-heavy and error-prone processes. And it can be tempting for organizations to do just that. However, the best approach is to start small and find a bunch of easy successes.
Starting with a limited scale execution of RPA lets the team understand the technology and reach a certain degree of comfort with it. Plus, it also avoids the risk of needless shipments and customer service. As the team handles more and more automated processes, they gain the experience to handle trickier processes.
3. Simpler the Better
Among the very first steps to executing RPA is to chart the existing process so you can better understand the steps and flow of information. It is easy for teams to become overzealous and try to implement every possible exception in the process. This could be to prove that human intervention is required or that a robot simply cannot handle some core process. Regardless of the nature of the motivation, it is important not to give in.
The wise way to avoid RPA risk here is to start with a process and let the automation handle the typical flow. Follow a case-by-case approach to eliminate the possibility of human intervention for exceptions. Complex rules can always be built at a later stage. In the beginning, follow a simple approach to RPA implementation.
4. Focus on Training
The infrastructure and business process of an organization can be heavily impacted with RPA. Train people rigorously on how the coming process will impact their workflows and methods. The IT team needs to learn the technology – that one’s a given. But the managers and workers cannot afford to miss out on key RPA sessions either.
Ample time and monetary budget must be spent on training the staff of the organization. Treat RPA less like another new technology and more like a digital transformation course. Only then can you overcome the temptation to rush or avoid this part.
5. Keep Communication Open
There aren’t many employees that will say ‘no’ to training. But most employees will also want to know what the training means to them. It is important to communicate to the employees what every training session means to them as well as what their future roles might look like.
Many employees have registered positive responses on automation handling routine tasks in their existing workloads. Some others have experienced the need for upgrading their own skill set to accommodate an automation-enriched work life. Being respectful to the team means that you help them understand the role they have to play in the changing work culture.
6. Assess the Criticality of RPA in Business Success
As new technologies are incorporated into business processes, the flow of energy is immense. RPA can only become a contributing factor in business success when you take time to plan for it. Jump into RPA only after taking clearly defining your objectives. Every potential milestone must be carefully deliberated upon before becoming an official entry into the list of objectives. Lastly, document everything right from the drawing board observations to the achieved milestones.
7. Brave the Bot Change
Automation does not necessarily amount to the cancelation of risk. Organizations can aim to maintain an optimal processes-to-bots ratio. But there is always the risk to threaten the status quo itself with drastic systemic change.
The human teams running the business must strive hike up their knowledge on par with their bots. Find a way to engage and store the automation processes so they can be easily updated and accessed by teams at any place and time. That way, the process can recover in minimum time should automation fall off the grid for any reason. Most importantly, it is the people who must create the best processes for bots. Only this can instill a sense of genuine responsibility among teams.
The above seven ways coupled with a more organic approach can sure achievement of RPA objectives. Plus, you can dive a long way away from any potential risk that the new technology might carry along with it.
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