Implementing RPA: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls for a Successful Implementation

Implementing RPA: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls for a Successful Implementation

According to recent studies, workers spend more than 40 percent of their day on manual digital administrative processes that are not part of their main job and are ripe for human error.

The value proposition of RPA is that it automates these repetitive and manual tasks with the use of bots, thus freeing workers to do more strategic and impactful activities. You can configure these bots to mimic certain mundane and tedious human activities.

Advice for a Successful RPA Implementation

  1. Choose the First Use Cases Wisely

It’s common for early-stage RPA programs to struggle with identifying business cases and finding the ROI of their first projects. That’s why your first RPA project should be something you can quickly obtain value from. If you go with a complex multi-year solution, for example, that may stifle the overall adoption of the technology.

  1. Consider Forrester’s Rule of 5

  • No more than five decisions made
  • No more than five applications accessed
  • No more than five hundred clicks

  1. Don’t Buy the Hype or Over-Invest

  • Changing interfaces adds complexity to deployment: Because RPA usually interacts with user interfaces, even minor changes to those interfaces may lead to a broken process. After all, robots can’t adjust their behavior the same way a human would. The same goes for process changes. And even though some vendors are combining AI with RPA in an attempt to solve this issue, the deployment of this kind of solution is still pricey and in its very early stages.
  • Bots need management, maintenance, and security: Deploying lots of bots to automate processes often requires different types of technology and integration, which encompasses a host of added IT overhead. You are adding another layer of architectural complexity, so IT has to make sure your RPA deployment is sound and working.
  • RPA can take the focus away from larger, strategic projects: Being a tactical, simple way to acquire process efficiency gains quickly, RPA may divert attention from strategic and critical projects such as creating new systems to support disruptive business processes or replacing legacy core systems that are holding you back.
  • The marriage of RPA and AI is still not fully mature: While the possibility of using RPA with AI to address complex and sophisticated processes is exciting, it’s still in its early stages. This can result in fragmentation, rework as technologies evolve and higher setup times.

These limitations show you that RPA is not always the best solution, and that finding the right use cases is a really important factor for success.

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