When it comes to identifying the best RPA projects and the best processes for automation a recommended approach is to a) involve as many stakeholders as possible in the selection and b) have RPA Consultants and experts readily available to assist.
By involving as many stakeholder’s perspectives as possible there is a greater chance to identify all the best candidates for automation projects and prioritize them. By involving RPA experts, you can ensure that projects get completed, get completed well, that they are continuously improved upon, and that automation is rolled out to as many parts of a business as possible.
When it comes to selecting RPA projects to work on it is always best to identify the most painful, or repetitive, or annoying processes within a business and to start with them. If this is done, a business will not only make one of these processes easier and more palatable it will quickly gain organization buy-in for the process of automation and use of RPA!
Center of Excellence COE
Taking both a top down and bottom-up approach to the selection of RPA projects is key when selecting and working on RPA and automation projects. In many larger organizations a Center of Excellence or COE is created. Creating a COE is not always possible in smaller and mid-sized companies, and this is where a consultant and service provider like Valenta can assist.
A COE is made up of RPA experts but will seek advisement from each department and each type of stakeholder in an organization. In this way a COE will be able to identify what projects need to be prioritized and can develop a list of RPA projects and automation improvements to rollout on a schedule.
A COE can also use Process Mining software tools to analyze the workflow, process flow and tasks within an organization. The benefit of Process Mining tools is that they have none of the bias, agenda, or potential blind spots that an employee may have. A Process Mining tool will simply read data related to an organizations process, convert this data to a log file or files, and then analyze the logs to define, map and visualize the end-to-end process that may be an automation candidate. In this way a COE can look for even more ways to automate processes.
When everyone in an organization is buying into automating processes, when everyone is contributing ideas, when tools are used to identify automation opportunities the “Automation Flywheel” is created. This Automation Flywheel helps today’s Information Age companies become more and more efficient. Another way to think of the Automation Flywheel is to simply think of the snowball effect.
When everything is clicking, like the scenario we describe above, COEs can find short tail processes to automate on there own or working with management. These short tail automation projects have the greatest impact across an organization. Working with all stakeholders COEs can also find long tail RPA and automation projects that can have huge upside for smaller numbers of employees. All of this can make a big difference, … but how does this happen, what is the RPA process?
The RPA process at a high level within Valenta really boils down to 5 main areas that include: Ideation, Planning, Optimization, Co-creation & Evaluation.
- Ideation is when we work with a client to identify digital opportunities.
- Planning includes working closely with process owners to define how we roll out a project.
- Optimization is where we stay engaged to enable continuous improvement so businesses can excel.
- Co-creation is very important for us. We believe management and worker involvement bring the best outcome. Consultants and clients being closely aligned is important too!
- Evaluation is an ongoing process with us. We believe all organizations need to be constantly evaluating and look for areas of improvement and optimization. We seek to automate evaluation and make it an easy and sustainable process and practice.
To take it down a level the below graphic represents our Valenta process for a single automation project. First, we define the work process, then we define a project plan. Next, we write a Process Design Document followed by a Solution Design Document. Then we develop the RPA bot using the most appropriate RPA tool and provider. We share the bot with the client and user and do User Acceptance tests. Once tests are complete, we go live. Once going live, we stay engaged and look for optimization opportunities and spin off processes that can also be automated.
Business process automation examples
There are many processes that make good sense for businesses to automate and apply RPA. Here is a list of some common ones we find with Valenta clients.
- Invoice processing
- PO Processing
- Expense Tracking,
- Account Reconciliation
- Customer Support
- Sales and CRM Processes
- Employee Onboarding
- Social Media Management
Additional use cases would include data entry, data extraction, data updates and validation, customer information updates, data compilation, processing payments, payroll automation, daily P&L, bank statement reconciliation and report preparation.
We have created videos highlighting different use cases of RPA and posted them on the Valenta YouTube channel. Here is a link to a playlist of those business process automation examples if you would like to have a look. Youtube Playlist
Business process automation tools
Valenta is a consultant, service provider and advisor in the areas of RPA and automation. We are not a vendor or a supplier of RPA software. We engage with clients and help them define their needs and then assist them in selecting and implementing the right tools for the job. We work with leading vendors in the space. In the area of RPA we work with UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and ElectroNeek. In the area of Conversational AI we work with companies like One Reach, Yellow AI and Soul Machines. This list of vendors is not exhaustive. There are many good vendors in the space. We search out the best ones for our clients specific and individual needs and requirements.
RPA Consultants and Service Providers
When it comes to RPA and automation we are here to help. Valenta helps clients with automation and RPA consulting and advisement. We can also provide RPA as a service in a SaaS model making it easy for small and medium sized businesses, or SMB, to get started with RPA. We can also provide offshore or near shore virtual staff for RPA staff augmentation to mid-sized companies that want to staff their own COE. Valenta can also be a permanent COE or “on call” COE for any business wanting to get started with RPA and automation. Here is one page of many we have on this topic if you would like to Click here to Read more…