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Common Mistakes to Avoid for Effective RPA Implementation

The expensive errors crop up in different forms such as broken processes, slow deployment cycles, and high turnaround time. RPA is rule-based automation that calls for precise programming, planning, and stability

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Varun Goswami, Global head – New Products COE, Newgen Software

Businesses today are going through dynamic changes. And, in a quest to achieve business speed while deriving tangible value, organizations are embracing the ‘world of bots’. As productivity and operational efficiency are key to achieving business success, rule-based bots are created. These bots take over repetitive, dull and boring tasks while liberating business line workers to perform constructive tasks and deliver smarter business results. Said so, decision-makers should not consider robotic process automation (RPA) as ‘be-all’ and ‘end-all’ of the digital journey. They must be mindful of the fact that RPA effectiveness is subject to its implementation and they must be informed about where RPA fits well in the scheme of things – at the process level and IT infrastructure level.

The most successful enterprises do not just deploy software, they invest time and energy in creating impactful strategies beforehand. However, some organizations head fast in implementing bots across processes and due to lack of due diligence, they end up committing expensive errors in the deployed working environment of bots. The expensive errors crop up in different forms such as broken processes, slow deployment cycles, and high turnaround time. RPA is rule-based automation that calls for precise programming, planning, and stability, which indicates that the smallest negligence is likely to scar the process – certainly the last thing on your wish list. To go by a McKinsey’s study, it states that many executives have witnessed only limited success from RPA so far.

Let’s cruise through common mistakes that the knowledge workers must avoid to successfully implement RPA and gain the strongest competitive edge over others.

#Mistake 1: RPA is an entire solution

RPA holds tremendous promise. However, as aforesaid, implementing bots is not the panacea for all human inefficiency scenarios. To accomplish transformative advantages, likewise any other major enterprise initiative, the RPA project needs to be backed by a clear strategy and good governance.In the backend, there must be a correct mix of RPA tools, process engineering, and human efforts. RPA along with intelligent process automation (BPM) enables end-to-end automation. The duo enables to automate mundane tasks while driving continuous process improvement. It allows supporting structured and unstructured processes.

#Mistake 2: Over-simplification
Broadly, RPA applies to activities or tasks that are structured to a fair degree, usually repetitive, and typically high volume and transactional. These use cas­es are easy to identify. However, this generalization (or over-simplification) is exactly where the typical pitfalls of RPA implementations lie. Tasks that shouldn’t be automated get automat­ed without a considerable outcome in hindsight. Or, for quick and speedy implementation, the long-term considerations take a backseat. The truth is that while one can pilot and pivot when embarking the journey, the real business benefit from RPA comes into picture from broader adoption with a well-thought-out fitment in the overall IT architecture.

#Mistake3: Lack of monitoring capabilities
You need to establish visibility to facilitate the administration of bots and the process in which they are implemented. It is easy to deal with a few hundred bots without an elaborate monitoring mechanism. However, as you scale, you need to monitor and track process level activities with insights into the number of exceptions, bots’ performance, queue monitoring, and other process statistics. Other than this, you also need to measure the cycle time, throughput, and other attributes to analyze the performance.

#Mistake4: Operating on assumptions
Although RPA is automated and much of it can work while being unattended, it may require attention, depending on business requirements. The assumption that bots are programmed in a way that they will run 24*7*365, you may be required to investigate the working environment of bots on timely intervals. Or, a center of excellence can be put in place for you to drive maximum business value.

#Mistake5: Automating all processes at once
Embracing an iterative approach of ‘starting small and building up as you go’ is typically effective in RPA implementations, the same way as in larger process improvement efforts. It is important to ensure business and IT work closely even though you may be able to execute an RPA project at a function level without intensive technological help.

Wrapping up
RPA offers a host of benefits, such as improved efficiency, lower costs, higher employee productivity and better overall customer experience, provided it is implemented right. A strong bots’ ecosystem requires a flawless implementation.


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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