What you prepare before introducing RPA
One of the complaints we’ve heard from customers who are working on RPA is that automation with RPA tools did not change the overall efficiency of the business process, and did not provide a benefit adequate for an expensive RPA tool.
It is important to remember that RPA tools can only automate part of the business process, and you have to prepare prior to introducing them.
Considering automation from the perspective of the overall business process
Whereas the RPA tools can handle data entry, collection, and processing on behalf of humans, there are the preceding and following tasks which are operated by humans.
The reason that customers feel the lack of effectiveness of RPA tools is because the tools can increase not only the efficiency of the process but the burden on other Tasks. In other words, there is sometimes a significant impact of introducing RPA tools on other processes, such as the preparation for handling other steps.
To avoid the burden on other Tasks having a perspective of the whole business process is significant when considering the deployment, rather than focusing only on the Tasks the RPA tools cover.
If you can sort out and confirm the type of Tasks, the role of automated Tasks and their effects on other Tasks in the business process, and you improve the handling measures of other Tasks in advance, you can avoid the situation where the burden of other Tasks increases after the introduction of the RPA tool.
Four steps for considering automation!
We’re wondering how much you seriously consider automation (the introduction of RPA tools) from the perspective of the entire business process. But don’t worry, it’s easy.
You can start with a pencil and paper right away.
We recommend the following four steps. They are based on our experience in supporting improvements of customer’s operations.
- Organize roles and Tasks from the perspective of the entire business process
- Create a workflow diagram (business process diagram)
- Determine Tasks to automate (leaving them to the RPA tool)
- Consider the handling measures of the Tasks before and after the automated Task
Let’s draw a workflow diagram!
We will describe the four steps in more detail.
The first step of “Organizing roles and Tasks from the perspectives of the entire business process” identifies the type of Tasks, including those which have to be automated within the overall business process and identifies the contents of the Tasks, their operators, and the order of handling.
The second step of “Creating a workflow diagram (Business Process Diagram)” involves representing what is identified in the first step as a workflow diagram.
The following picture is a sample workflow diagram based on those steps.
In the third step of “Determining Tasks to automate (leaving them to the RPA tool)”, decide which Tasks to automate by looking at the workflow diagram you created in the second step.
The fourth step of “Considering the handling measures of Tasks before and after the automated Task”, is also done by looking at the workflow diagram.
Since the automated Task was previously handled by humans, it is necessary to review the surrounding Tasks as well along with automation. It’s easy to understand the necessity of reviewing the Tasks in the vicinity of the automated Task, but sometimes it is necessary to review other Tasks as well.
As you may have already noticed, most of the consideration of implementing the RPA tool is done on a workflow diagram. When you start considering the introduction of RPA tools, creating a workflow diagram beforehand is helpful for making the following considerations smoothly.
How to draw a workflow diagram easily for free
For drawing a workflow diagram, you can do it with a pencil and paper, or in Excel or PowerPoint.
However, Questetra BPM Suite, the cloud-based Workflow which provides the platform for creating a workflow diagram, will give you the following advantages.
- The ability to draw workflow diagrams efficiently with features that focus on creating workflow diagrams
- Make it easier for internal members to share workflow diagrams
- Become a platform where you can make your task proceed according to the workflow diagrams you have drawn
The tool provides icons corresponding with nearly 30 different workflow diagrams so you can easily draw complex workflow diagrams, including branching, etc. and you can easily draw arrows (Flow) for connecting parts together.
Since this tool is provided as a cloud service, if you have an environment that can connect to the Internet you can easily share your workflow diagrams with the members in your organization and in your department.
Questetra BPM Suite isn’t just about drawing workflow diagrams.
Based on the workflow diagram you have drawn, a system is automatically built to let your work proceed accordingly. So, we will highlight that the workflow helps you complete your work according to what you want.
If you would like to draw a workflow diagram, please apply for the Starter Plan (Free) below. The provided environment after the application is available for an unlimited period of time. (If you do not log in for 15 days it will be automatically closed)
“Questetra BPM Suite” enhances the value of RPA tools. Please visit the next post.