Every organisation is different, with different strategic priorities, so every RPA journey can be unique based on the process complexities, timelines, resourcing and compliance requirements. There are, however, usually four stages when beginning an RPA journey for the first time:
1. Art of the Possible Programme Kick-off. The first critical steps are to mobilise the key players in the organisation and explore the art of the possible for RPA in your organisation. As well as defining a clear “why” for the RPA programme, it allows organisations to decide on the role they should play in the implementation, what automation strategic partnerships are needed, the preliminary activities to commence the project plus a pipeline of future suitable candidates to join the project.
2. The Pilot and Proof of Value (PPOV). Involves prioritising the development and deployment of the first key process automation. This phase is also where the essential IT infrastructure and architecture are agreed and developed to support this and phases to follow:
- Process discovery and design
- System access and permissions
- RPA IT environments created (on prem, cloud, hybrid)
- Solution build and testing
- Controlled-live user testing
3. Go-Live Release Control Readiness. It’s at this stage that the first automated process can be fully deployed in a live production environment, also enabling greater definition of the operating model. The major deliverables include:
- Assess operational impact assessment and continuity plans
- Define support and maintenance requirements
- Establishing operational responsibility matrix
- Live running of robots
- In parallel with go-live, the RPA champions continue to prioritise automation candidates and showcase the programme success across the organisation
4. Best Practices. This phase involves establishing and operationalising best practices for the RPA programme. This includes convening a governance board and implementing the governance and service delivery frameworks. Beyond including these practices into the organisation’s culture, the sponsors and stakeholders need to continue evangelising the benefits of the RPA programme whilst promoting RPA as a key enabler of transformation and organisational performance across all business lines.
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