Three tips to help scale beyond your RPA Proof of Concept (plus two bonus thoughts)

By Gurtej Chawla

Congratulations. Your robotic process automation (RPA) proof of concept (PoC) worked. Now what? Can you take what you saw and apply it to a larger set of tasks within an important back office process to achieve a desired outcome?

Assuming you have RPA strategically positioned with executive support and the right resources in place, there are a few things you can do to ensure a successful post-PoC implementation. The idea is to plan big, start small and grow fast.

1. Maintain a queue of prioritized processes to be automated

To keep moving forward, you’ll want to strike while you have the momentum and attention of your team and stakeholders. Do this by keeping a backlog of future projects prioritized by processes that will yield the highest, and possibly fastest, ROI. That way, you always have the next project ready to go.

2. Create reusable low-code assets

In order to scale quickly and effectively, it’s important for business users to have the ability to automate their repetitive work without a heavy reliance on IT. You can do this by empowering them to develop bots with reusable low-code assets. This makes new solution builds efficient, reduces risk and increases compliance by using previously approved designs.

3. Combine RPA with other automation capabilities

To get even more out of RPA, you can begin to extend its value by augmenting task automation with additional automation capabilities. For example, you can make your bots smarter with decision management, giving you the agility to change rules on the fly with no downtime.

Watch this two-minute video to see how additional automation capabilities can help your bots orchestrate workflows, integrate with business rules and decisions, manage content and capture data.

Bonus thought #1: Include IT early and often

Like most tech-related endeavors, a successful RPA project or initiative is anchored in strong relationships and coordination between the business and IT. Partnering early provides the following benefits:

  • A clear understanding of who does what
  • An appropriate amount of time allotted to IT to build a solid foundation
  • An agreed upon RPA solution that works for both the business and IT

Bonus thought #2: Establish an automation center of excellence (CoE)

In the last issue of this newsletter, my colleague Benjamin Chance covered the seven features of a successful automation center of excellence saying, “It’s the job of the automation CoE to ensure you have the muscle to start to work in new and disruptive areas — to embrace the resultant human change and ensure that automated processes run smoothly and are strategically improved with new technology.”

The benefit of an automation CoE, whether you call it that or not, is having a group in place to champion your RPA efforts, to act as a singular force in charge of your governance framework, including project evaluation and program analysis.

To sum it all up, there's no one right way to succeed with RPA, but to help ensure success:

  • Plan big by ensuring all stakeholders (business and IT) are on the same page and champion resources are in place.
  • Start small by moving beyond your PoC with a “can’t-miss” project from your prioritized list.
  • Grow fast by empowering users with reusable low-code assets.
  • Extend the benefits of RPA by combining it with other automation capabilities.

To learn more about extending RPA’s value, watch these demo videos to see IBM RPA with Automation Anywhere at work with:

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