Updated: Jul 17
The first step in RPA implementation is process discovery, where you need to pick out some candidate processes that can be automated by RPA technology. It's easy to see that, these processes need to be computer-based, because RPA bots are software robots, they are not auto-bots that can walk and talk.
In this post we will discuss the necessary characteristics of such processes, and by leveraging RPA to automate these processes, it can yield a lot of benefits for your organization.
Rules-based: Processes follow a well defined, precise set of rules, with limited judgement are a best fit. A rule will look like "If X, then Y". The aim of RPA is end-to-end automation for the whole process without interacting with the user. In case you can't automate the process as a whole, you can still break it down to multiple sub-processes, and use attended bots to help the user along the way. For example, an employee is working on a data-intensive task. She can trigger a bot, the bot will login and collect data from multiple systems. Then the employee reviews the data, make decision and authorizes the bot to generate a report or update the data.
Stable: For RPA to work, it must be follow a precise set of rules. If the rules are changing frequently, RPA isn't much help as it will need to be reprogrammed to follow the new rules.
Low number of exceptions: The robot, once run, needs limited human intervention. Exceptions are going to happen, but limiting human intervention as much as possible can boost employee productivity.
Compatible and stable system infrastructure: Processes use systems that don't need regular updates are great. The more changes that need to be made, the more the bots need to be updated, increasing the bot maintenance cost.
Structured data and readable inputs: Processes use structured data like the data in: CSV, Excel, Json, databases, etc. Also with the advanced in Intelligent OCR technology, processes can still read data from PDF or image files.
High volume: Robots are faster than humans, so the gains from automation are highest when the number of transactions is high.
Prone to human errors: Processes that need high attention and focus from humans are good fit. Because robots don't make dumb mistakes like humans.
In a compliance environment: RPA is accurate in that it follows the rules without dumb mistakes and also leaves an audit trail for all its steps. So it will be especially useful in ensuring adherence to regulatory compliance.
Interacting with several different systems: It takes a significant time and focus for users to complete the assigned tasks, when they need to work with multiple systems in a correct order. But it's a norm for robots.
You don't need to follow these nine rules exactly, it's just a guideline to help you in the process discovery phase. Even if a process only has some of these characteristics, RPA can still have a huge impact, when you can propose a more creative solution that blend between human and bot.
Another thing that should not be understated is employee satisfaction and morale. The benefits from RPA is that it can automate boring tasks, so the employees can move to another higher-value, challenging tasks. So you should plan and have better tasks for your employees to do.
If you want to learn more about the use of Auteros RPA, reach out to our automation experts.
You can reap the benefits of automation immediately without worrying about infrastructure and license restricted now by getting Free Auteros RPA Community Version.
Then you can go to our Bot Store to see or learn how bots are implemented. We keep adding to it.