What is RPA and why should you consider implementing it?

RPA is taking industries by storm.

From healthcare, finance, insurance, real estate, and logistics to national defense and smart cities, companies are looking for ways to automate data-heavy, repetitive tasks, cut costs, and increase efficiency. And with the rising costs of resources and employment, broken supply chain, and growing competitiveness, the need for process optimization is greater than ever.

Top solutions for the finance and banking industry or automation for consultancy.

RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, can fully automate complex, data-heavy, time-consuming tasks and complete them in a split second. With the 0% margin of error and being able to run 24/7, this technology can unlock your team’s productivity, letting them focus on tasks that matter.

And what can RPA take care of? Among many things, it’s perfect for data entry on a scale, document processing, account registration, eligibility checks, transferring huge amounts of information between various systems and CRMs (sometimes from the public domain), or integrating whole departments. (You can read more examples of Robotic Process Automation implementation here).

But for RPA to truly shine and bring value to your business, it must be done right. That’s why a correctly mapped process of implementation of RPA is so important.

Implementation of RPA: Step-by-step

Here is a model RPA development and implementation process in 9 steps. This is what an organization looking for an automation development partner should expect from collaboration every step of the way.

Of course, in some cases, the process will be different: you may already have precise automation for implementation in mind, or maybe you already have some automation (or even RPA) setup in place.

But usually, the whole journey looks like this.

Step 1: Intro call

This is more of a step zero in the RPA development process, but it is important to mention. As every collaboration starts with a conversation, the RPA development process begins during the intro call between the client and the agency.

Talking to a business advisor or RPA consultant during the first call would be best. They should ask you about your company, business challenges, and processes. The goal here is to understand your needs and vision.

At this point, you will be asked if you have a specific process for automation in mind or if you are interested in implementing RPA more broadly within your company and need help selecting the right processes.

Depending on the answer, you will either be asked to participate in a process discovery workshop or analyze the process you want to automate, ensuring it is eligible for automation.

What is needed from you at this point?

A decisive person (preferably: upper management) to take part in a 30-60 min discovery call.

What is the outcome of the step?

The RPA team has collected the requirements and understands your needs.

Step 2: Process discovery & audit. Legal compliance check.

In most cases, this will be the first step of the collaboration that adds value to the process.

Suppose you are unsure which processes in your company should be automated. In that case, RPA consultants and business process advisors will enter your organization and talk to your team to discover all the processes. The goals are to identify bottlenecks and suboptimal flows and map your actions, tools, and stakeholders.

The RPA team should also analyze all the legal implications and aspects of automation to ensure compliance with relevant juridical systems, such as HIPAA compliance for the medical billing industry in the US.

Next, the processes should be audited, and their automation potential should be analyzed based on the expected ROI and Expected Business Value.

These are just some metrics you can focus on. You can read more about the key RPA metrics and how we calculate them here.

Afterward, the technical Architect, in collaboration with the process Architect, will put together a Process Definition Document (PDD), which contains information about every process/step depth.

This step is also a great opportunity to look at your company from the outside and learn how you operate daily.

What is needed from you at this point?

Selecting a Single Person of Contact for communication.

Selecting people to participate in process discovery workshops

(usually: management, people operations, tech leads)

What is the outcome of the step?

A map of processes within your organization and automation roadmap

Step 3: Selecting processes for automation PoC

Based on your business needs and the estimated ROI that can be delivered from every automation, you and your RPA development partner will together select a key process that should be automated in the first place.

The model RPA development process should start with automating one, a key process in the form of a Proof of Concept.

The rest of the processes should be moved to the backlog for future automation after the PoC is validated successfully.

Learn more about selecting your first process for automation.

What is needed from you at this point?

Your involvement in selecting the process

What is the outcome of the step?

First automation Proof of Concept plan

Process backlog for future automation

Step 4: Technology selection and setting up the automation environment

With your processes mapped and selected for automation, your RPA team should now recommend an RPA technology the best suited for your needs. The tool could be any of the enormous amounts of devices in the market, but the top 3 tools in today’s market are UiPath, Blue Prism & Automation Anywhere.

After the automation tool is chosen, the team will select the right licenses and set up the RPA environment.

What is needed from you at this point?

We are approving the technology.

You are purchasing licenses if needed.

What is the outcome of the step?

Technology selected. Licenses purchased.

RPA environment setup

Step 5: RPA development

After implementing the chosen RPA platform, it’s finally time for the good stuff – bot development! Your dedicated RPA developers will write bots along with the reference of the Process Definition Document.

Depending on the task to be automated or the kind of automation required, additional coding may be needed. Sometimes, the development may be speeded up using reusable plugins or pre-existing bots.

But every case is different!

What is needed from you at this point?

A Single Person of Contact for further questions about the process and IT assistance (if needed)

What is the outcome of the step?

An RPA bot ready to be tested

Step 6: Review & User Acceptance Testing

Once your bot has been developed, the next stage is to test it.

RPA bots are tested either by the dedicated testing team or the development team itself. It’s being done in a safe, pre-production environment to check how the users can utilize this bot to automate a specific task.

If the testing is successful, bots are set for deployment.

If there are any issues upon diagnosis, the bot returns to the development and testing teams for resolution.

What is needed from the client at this point?

A Single Person of Contact for further questions about the process and IT assistance (if needed)

Final bot sign-off

What is the outcome of the step?

A bot is tested and approved for deployment or sent back to development.

Step 7: RPA Deployment

After developing and successfully testing a bot, it is deployed into the production environment – your first RPA implementation is finished.

Now your team can work alongside the bot, and your process will be automated from now on!

What is needed from the client at this point?

Nothing. Just relax and have the job done for you!

What is the outcome of the step?

Process Automation

Step 8: RPA Scaling and Automation of the Next Processes

After successfully deploying the first bot and validating your PoC, the next processes can be taken care of.

Developers will return to the backlog and select the next one for automation, considering the potential ROI you can achieve.

This step can be repeated until all the processes eligible for RPA are automated.

What is needed from the client at this point?

Your involvement in selecting the process

A Single Person of Contact for further questions about the process and IT assistance

What is the outcome of the step?

Further automation

Step 9: Ongoing Maintenance or Training and Knowledge Transfer

Once all the bots are online and running, the RPA development process is finished. But, of course, there is still a question of maintenance and keeping the bots healthy and updated. Systems get updated, and databases and CRMs change, sometimes affecting the RPA bots’ performance. RPA may be doing all your work, but you need to put some effort into keeping the system alive and well.

At this point, you should be able to decide if you would like to keep the hired team as ongoing support and maintenance or get your team to take over.

If you bring this know-how to your company, a model RPA development partner should provide relevant training and workshops for your team.

What is needed from the client at this point?

Your decision
Selecting team members to be trained

What is the outcome of the step?

Either way – your RPA system is in good hands 🙂

Conclusion? Start with Robotic Process Automation today!

The model RPA development process and its implementation should look like this.

We hope we managed to clarify what you expect from working with separate RPA developers or an RPA development agency like ours.

If you’d like to start with RPA or check if your processes are eligible for automation, contact Flobotics! Our RPA developers, RPA consulting experts, and business consultants will analyze your process, calculate the potential ROI and automate the right processes that will impact your business most.

Let’s automate your company together!

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Radek Moczydlowski

Tech Lead at Flobotics, passionate about making people’s lives easier by writing RPA or .Net solutions. A very quick learner and a perfectionist which is always visible in the work he delivers.

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