Top 5 Principles Guiding the Modern RPA Center of Excellence (CoE)

Let’s say you are a chief financial officer (CFO) and you understand the importance of implementing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) in your company, in order to gain an advantage in the market.

Why? Because software robots can handle manual, repetitive, and rule-based tasks faster and better than human employees, who could then focus on more important, high-added value activities for the company.

Automation brings significant benefits to any company, such as: cost and time savings, smoother workflows, higher levels of productivity and efficiency, better customer experience, and ultimately an increase in business value. But to achieve these positive outcomes, you will need a well-planned automation strategy.

For example, in Australia, one of the biggest concerns regarding automation is innovation: the way businesses will focus on finding experts that can mix human intelligence and collective experience, combined with the power of automation.

“RPA has moved to proven technology and is providing tangible benefits to the companies that deploy it”, says Leigh Pullen, Executive Director and co-founder of CiGen for the Australian Financial Review.

RPA is a real game-changer for any industry, because it is a key-growth factor. “Further, companies are realizing that even bespoke processes that may be company or sector specific are also ripe for automation – think mortgage processing, insurance claims and utility field services, for example”, adds Pullen.

Once you have decided to invest in RPA implementation, you should know that this is a complex journey, that requires a scalable and solid RPA expertise from beginning to end.

To achieve your automation goals, you need to invest in an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE), a critical element for the successful implementation of the automation solutions: it is a structure that provides the support and best practices in order to embed RPA effectively.

Basically, a robotic Center of Excellence provides a structural framework that manages the growth of RPA within the company. CoEs can deliver innovation and build the right capabilities across the organisation, by delivering the right automation solutions and redistributing resources across future implementations.

Principles of building a successful RPA Center of Exellence (CoE)

Implementing a well-structured RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) requires a deep understanding and a clear strategy, with some core principles. Let’s dive into each of them:

1. Establish the Robotic Operating Team

This refers to the the right skills and capacity for implementing and managing RPA. You need to establish clear roles and responsibilities for doing this in an effective way. We recommed that your CoE team should consist of:

  • RPA Sponsor, who will establish the technology as an enterprise-wide strategic priority and will ensure corporate resources;

  • RPA Champions, who will drive the RPA adoption across the company;

  • RPA Change Manager, who will enable an easy adoption of RPA, by creating the change and communication plan, so that each stakeholder knows very well what changes are happening within the company;

  • RPA Business Analyst, who will be in charge of creating the process definitions and process maps used for automation;

  • RPA Solution Architect, who will the define the architecture of the RPA solution and will assist in the development and implementation processes;

  • RPA Developer, who will design, develop, test and support the implementation of the solutions;

  • RPA Infrastructure Engineer, who is in charge of the infrastructure support for server installations and troubleshooting;

  • RPA Supervisor, who will manage and control the workforce as part of the operational environment;

  • RPA Service Support, who will offer assistance for the deployment of the RPA solution.

In order to fulfill these roles accordingly, your team will need special training. At CiGen, we are authorized reseller of UiPath’s RPA platform and a UiPath Gold Partner and we offer a wide range of Robotic Process Automation and Intelligent Automation services, from RPA Consulting, Pilot Program, Licensing and also RPA Training.

Therefore, we can create and manage the CoE within your company, or alternatively we can train your team to create and maintain the CoE by themselves.

2. Create a functional and technical environment

After the team is set up, the RPA CoE requires technical tools and functional resources in order to meet robotic configuration, maintenance, support, performance, and connectivity needs.

3. Develop a structured governance model

This is a crucial element for the success of the RPA implementation, because it provides the guidelines and templates for assessment, design, development and deployment of the software robots.

The governance structure creates a framework for developing and applying the best practices to each stage of the RPA implementation.

It also includes the performance and productivity metrics, which are important elements for the outcome.

Change management is another key aspect of the governance structure, because it makes sure the implementation takes place properly.

4. Launch the robotic process automation CoE

Once all the processes are well set up, the RPA CoE can be launched. From now on, the Robotic Operating Team will make sure that all requirements are met and will also take feedback in order to scale up and to achieve better results. RPA implementation takes time, but once is done right, it will create great business value for your company.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be determined and measured constantly, enabling the creation of a new development plan for the company, that will redistribute resources in an effective way.

5. Don’t forget about your customers’ experience

They are the core of your business – without them, your company doesn’t exist, so it’s important to have them in mind when you are setting the robotic Center of Excellence. A right implementation should offer better services for your customers, as it should simplify processes and make them faster.

And since software robots can handle the repetitive tasks, employees can then engage more with customers, providing them a better experience, overall.

Conclusion

A Center of Excellence is a vital part of a successful RPA program, but it requires a well-planned strategy in order to achieve your company’s automation goals.

A structured CoE will help you manage the entire RPA lifecycle, from analysing the opportunities offered by robotic process automation to benefiting from all the results of implementing software robots within your company.

Every business that is thinking about adopting RPA should consider a CoE in order to maximise the advantages brought by automation.

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