The Best Processes for RPA

Posted: 12/02/2017 - 01:15

A common question when considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is what process would be the most optimal one to automate. When looking for a candidate process, you should be focused on a couple key requirements. First, you will want to identify a process that is rule-based, so it doesn't require any human judgment capabilities in its operation. If you have processes that have human-judgement elements, they may still be suitable for RPA but you'll need to hand out that portion of the work to be done by an individual and then pass back it back to the robot.

Second, look for processes that use structured digital inputs. You can combine RPA with AI tools in order to handle unstructured data, but where RPA alone is considered, it needs to have a structure, both in terms of the input and the output. And once you've got those two elements, a process that is rule-based and has structured data, automation is feasible.

There are certain traits in a process that can influence the strength of the business case for RPA, such as work volume and task complexity. Higher volume tasks are usually less complex and easier to automate. RPA can handle highly complex processes, but the more complex the process, the larger the implementation time and cost. Having stable systems is another important factor. If you have to interface with systems over a Citrix connection, then you'll have a slower development stage as well as slower operating speeds. So, in an ideal world, a process identified for RPA would have structured data, clear business rules, stable systems and a high work volume.

To find the best processes to automate in your business, we advocate undertaking an assessment through Symphony’s Future of Work Accelerator program. These can be especially helpful in identifying automatable processes and building robust business cases based on the scenarios at hand. Learn more about this service offering on our services page.  

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About The Author

David Brain's picture

David Brain, COO, Symphony Ventures, is a process and automation expert who has gained recognition as the pre-eminent expert in Robotic Process Automation and was named ‘Consultant of the Year 2016’ by the Global Outsourcing Association for his work in transforming global enterprises through the deployment of automation technologies and methodologies. As COO, David has built, and now continues to lead the global consulting, implementation and managed services teams within Symphony Ventures ensuring flawless solution design and execution on every engagement.