Before you start automating, it’s important to have your “why”, which determines the automation imperatives to select and prioritise your candidates. If you don’t have this yet, take a look at our earlier article here.

We like to begin the process of identifying suitable automation candidates with an RPA Immersion Workshop, where we gather a number of representatives from several departments from across the organisation. We introduce RPA, what it is, what it isn’t, the art of the possible and the proposed RPA programme for the company.

We also introduce the tools and techniques we’ll use to discover and assess likely candidates. We work through some examples of how to do this with the client, and then break out into groups to compile a number of possible ideas and candidates onto a pipeline.

For pure Robotic Process Automation (excluding more intelligent automation capabilities) the ideal candidates should initially:

  • Be High Volume (transactional) or High Value (time-consuming) activities
  • Deliver the defined benefits (per the organisation objectives) such as productivity, quality, customer experience, compliance, etc
  • Create tasks which are rule-based, and logic-driven
  • Use well-structured digital data
  • Ensure both the systems and process are generally mature and stable and therefore unlikely to change significantly

Ideal examples of RPA candidates involve activities where data is currently manually obtained, manipulated and/or entered into or transferred between applications, especially where integration is not readily available.

It’s advisable to avoid too much complexity initially if you have to, pick the “happy path” first, and work on more complex variations subsequently.

Those candidates that “qualify” these initial criteria are considered suitable for automation and can subject to a more detailed assessment to determine prioritisation for implementation.

The successful process candidates are then prioritised into a book of work and the necessary time and resources to develop and deploy them are planned out.