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A Guide to Building an Impactful RPA Center of Excellence

Posted by Francine Haliva on Jan 12, 2017 10:12:59 AM

The adoption and implementation of disruptive technology, can be, well, disruptive.  While the primary purpose of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology is to empower businesses to reach optimal levels of operational efficiency and productivity, striving for this type of excellence is often easier said than done. Creating an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) can significantly enhance the ability of an organization to meet its automation goals, draw out the full value the solution has to offer, and maximize on ROI.

Delivering on the full promise of RPA involves developing a range of new competencies and related skills, across the organization.  A CoE provides a better way of gathering, assessing, and managing the necessary knowledge and capabilities of an RPA solution, and should also provide the guidelines to overcome any challenges that surface along the way.

But, the most important thing that your Center of Excellence will impact is your independence. Commonly, an RPA engagement requires an organization to seek out advice from consultants, analysts, business experts, etc., to aid in defining an RPA roadmap, select the appropriate tools, and perform governance.  By establishing a CoE, you will have the resources in place to be self-sufficient and the ability to control, manage and scale your RPA efforts as you see fit.

To help you get started, here is a useful guide to building an impactful RPA Center of Excellence:

1. Set-up a Centralized Robotics Council

Similar to a community council that works towards improving community wellbeing, provides a voice for the people and focused services to meet their needs, your robotics council will be responsible for ensuring that the scope, direction, and outcomes of RPA projects are in line with your organization’s needs and expectations.

As such, the robotics council should be very well resourced with a fully dedicated and well-rounded team of individuals that can understand the challenges, opportunities, and benefits for the entire organization and not just specific departments.  For example, it’s just as important to include process owners that can select the right processes for automation and validate technical components, as it is to have business SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) that can define the business case and demonstrate its value to stakeholders.  

2. Create a Compelling Strategy and Roadmap for Success

At this point, it is important to set the direction of your RPA journey and communicate the key objectives for successful implementation. Don’t just base your business case on the initial project(s), but create a comprehensive plan that also highlights the broader opportunity and long term results. Exercise due diligence and be ready to back up your recommendations with hard research, costs analysis, maturity models, etc.

This plan should include not only technical aspects of the program, but also organizational and cultural aspects. For example, setting up a change management mechanism can help employees understand the benefits of RPA, lessen fears, and provide the guidance and support to help them cope with the organizational impacts.

3. Establish an Effective Governance Process

Even with a dedicated robotics council and roadmap in place, a more transparent and accurate decision making process is necessary.  As RPA typically involves enterprise-wide deployment, the CoE is vulnerable to encountering obstacles and challenges associated with cross-departmental interaction and collaboration.  

Establishing an effective governance process consists of setting the specific guidelines, steps and resources that the CeO will follow to facilitate collaboration and communications, such as:

  • Process selection and prioritization guidelines
  • Maintenance of knowledgebase and documention
  • Evaluation of process performance and output measure for tracking delivered results
  • Establishment of best practices and lessons learned that can be applied to future implementations

4. Embrace Continuous Improvement

As with most new, innovative new technology, RPA is evolving at an accelerated rate and its differentiation from past practices and use cases need to be fully appreciated and planned for accordingly.  It is the CoE's responsibility to be at crux of these developments and ensure that the organizations's RPA practices, procedures, and implementions reflect any new advancements. 

If you liked this blog post, you will also like:

Is Robotic Process Automation Truly Designed for Business Users?

Automation Democratization: How RPA is Making Automation Accessible to All

 

Kryon Systems is committed to providing intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions to make digital transformations faster and easier.  Our flagship platform, Leo, enables companies to automate high volume, repetitive, and time consuming business processes to impact business outcomes with significant ROI results on automation investments and low TCO.

Photograph designed Freepik

Topics: Robotic Process Automation, RPA, Center of Excellence


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