Technological innovation is a healthy, natural, and entirely expected part of running a company. Adopting and implementing disruptive technology improves processes and provides the tools to grow and stay ahead of the game. However, your new tech is pointless unless it’s competently and rapidly implemented by your staff and without them feeling threatened.
This is especially true for integrating Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology, where your people may fear they’ll be rendered redundant by software bots automating legacy tasks and systems. Creating an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) can drastically enhance your organization’s ability to meet its automation goals, extract the full benefits the solution offers, and maximize ROI.
Implemented RPA? What now?
You’ve convinced the board, raised the budget, found the best supplier, and integrated RPA technology. Ok. Now what? Are you able to successfully develop and manage the full gamut of the new knowledge and skills required across the organization? Are you always going to be relying on advice from consultants, business experts, analysts, etc., to help you define an RPA roadmap, choose suitable tools, trouble-shoot, and overcome obstacles that may surface along the way? Or, are you going to become independent and self-sufficient, and how do you do that? Establish an RPA Center of Excellence.
Why a Center of Excellence?
A CoE will be your automation council and should comprise a well-rounded team of champions who understand the obstacles, opportunities, and long-term benefits of RPA for the entire company. For example, this robotics team should include those who can choose the appropriate processes for automation and validate technical elements, and subject-matter experts (SMEs) who can establish the business case and show its value to stakeholders.
As companies begin their RPA journey, they are giving more thought on prioritizing, creating a strategy, normalizing procedures, and gathering best practices to improve business processes. Ensuring effective RPA deployment and management lies in the effectiveness of your CoE.
The team will help the idea of RPA and its benefits catch on in areas that might be resilient to change – including allaying job security fears, facilitating interdepartmental collaboration and communication, and providing support to help staff cope with the changes.
A strong CoE will also handle significant aspects that may be overlooked in the race to benefit from the new technology, like standards, service levels, ownership, and governance. A CoE can help set guidelines, steering the organization towards improving overall operational performance and success.
A CoE also provides a better way to gather, assess, and manage knowledge requirements and capabilities demanded by an RPA solution and offers solutions to overcome challenges along the way. Most importantly, your CoE will help you become self-sufficient and independent instead of turning to outsourcers every time you encounter a hitch.
Humans have always been skeptical about new things. Inventions that endured public ridicule included everything from coffee to refrigeration, light bulbs, vaccines, PCs, and even umbrellas. However, today, innovations like RPA provide businesses with an incredible and unmissable opportunity to improve and prosper. Like the success of RPA implementation itself, successful CoE hinges on the careful support and management of the process and the reactions to all things new.