Two common questions we hear a great deal are: “How to start an RPA journey” and “How to scale an RPA journey”. Strangely, the answer, in part at least, to both is actually very similar… engagement!

Start at the beginning:

First steps in RPA should always start small, with a restricted group of participants, as you very much need to walk before you can run. Have a clear understanding of “Why” you want to use RPA, and what outcomes you are looking to achieve, and in what areas of the business.

Once that’s agreed, you should then look to select potential candidates to help you meet these essential first priorities. Don’t focus too much on the technology side of RPA either, look to develop and deploy with collaboration from both the business and IT, but agree on expectations upfront. With an easy to use platform such as UiPath, business users can quickly get to grips with the process and it saves time overall.

As you scale out further you should plan to work with a broader group of people, but still maintain the best practices established at the beginning.

What that looks like in practice:

For a recent, large scale gambling organisation, we ran an RPA Immersion Workshop, where we assembled an all-star cast from across the business. Various departments, functional areas and physical locations were represented, including HR, Finance, Operations and IT. This is a great way to get everyone excited about the possibilities that RPA offers.

When we start, we show this video:

It’s a great tool for dispelling RPA myths and getting everyone in the right frame of mind.

“I really thought robots were about taking away jobs, but now see that it’s a cool way to free us and work smarter”

Time for the big questions:

Why are we here? Running through the reasons that the organisation has decided that RPA is a good choice, gets people bought in.

Then we jump straight in, show a demo of a bot in action, managing a process that everyone is familiar with, perhaps responding to and processing emails to a generic account such as hr@client.com.

 As soon as that’s done, we get everyone to roll up their sleeves and start joining in to answer, “how do we know what makes a good candidate”. People really love this part, and soon everyone is jumping in with suggestions and ideas, it really lifts the energy.

People are always amazed at the possibilities RPA can offer for their departments and often aren’t aware of how much RPA can do. Whether it’s answering web queries, processing documents received via email, handling job applications, closing accounts or handling benefits queries, RPA is incredibly versatile.

So many opportunities to free up our staff from mundane, time-consuming drudgery work”

And finally, we get them to build a bot so they can see for themselves how it works. By directly applying it to the ideas they brought with them (We always ask them to bring three), adding some details and quantifying where possible they quickly see the results for themselves.

One example of a process that got the company really excited was that bots could be deployed to actually enhance how we interact and engage with our customers and supply chain directly and sell our services, which would not only improve customer experience, but also our margins…switching the outcome from operational efficiency to competitive advantage was a true eye-opener for our client.

What’s next?

Well, led by the business users, you’ll need to take that knowledge gained to analyse and prioritise further processes in order to plan the scaling out of RPA over time. And that’s exciting!