RPA In The Workplace; How to Make It Work
This is guest post by Nia Christian, one of Digital FastForward’s intelligent automation experts. Nia leads robotic automation projects for different clients in banking, healthcare, and higher education.
Here’s what you need to know:
What are the best practices for rolling out robotic automations?
For the past thirty years, companies have been introducing more and more advanced automation into the workplace. Some of the most popular pieces of technology meant to cut costs and save time are motion light sensors, biometric scanners, and self-checkout robots. Biometric scanners have been able to quickly confirm a person’s identity and reduce time queuing through the airport. Self-checkout machines replaced the need for cashiers in grocery stores. I’ve worked on many projects where the main goal was to use automations to reduce costs and increase productivity, revenue, and efficiency. As a robotics specialist who’s led and developed complex projects, here are the most important actions I think you can take to improve the success of your robotic automation roll-out.
Training your team to apply robotic automation
One of the biggest actions any company planning to introduce a new robotic automation can take is to assemble and thoroughly train a team to use this technology. So how does a company of any size successfully increase productivity and efficiency, maximize profits, and boast a well-versed, cutting-edge team? The short answer is to create an in-house training program for your developers that walks them through every aspect of the robotic automation you would like to implement. A well-trained team of developers is essential for rolling out a robotic automation. However, that team isn’t enough to sustain an automation successfully over the long term. Your automation rollout plan should not stop here.
Here’s what else you’ll need to do to get the most out of your roll-out:
- Map your expected outcome
- Provide employees with an overview of your automation plan
- Assemble your automation team
- Train your team
Map your expected outcome
What value do you expect this robotic automation to deliver to your employees and/or clients? By asking yourself this question, you will be able to better measure a return on investment as well as your company’s growth and progress through the development sprints. Setting expectations upfront keeps you from having a project with a finish line that is constantly moving.
Provide employees with an overview of your automation plan
Explain the process you want to implement to all employees you expect this automation to impact even on a minor level. After explaining the process, be sure to open the floor to any questions your employees may have. This will allow them to become more open to the idea of working alongside a robot that is helping them to process their work. Your employees’ relationship to the robot can have a major impact on your final product. Even if you intend for this project to provide a major return on investment to the company, if it’s not well-received by employees, you may find yourself taking additional avenues after the deployment to make them feel more involved and comfortable with the automation. Aim to set an honest expectation with your employees so they realize everything may not be perfect with your initial robotic implementation.
Employees should be involved in the implementation process from the beginning because they can offer invaluable information. Their feedback and experience with the automation may help you significantly improve it. If your employees have a positive and open-minded understanding of the technology, some of them may even notice other areas where robotic automations may be helpful to the success of the company.
Assemble your automation team
Now that your employees have an understanding, you will want to assemble a team of developers. Your team will be crucial to maintaining the robotic automation. This may seem obvious, but people often overlook it. Having a team of dedicated individuals can also improve the stability and consistency of your robotic automation.
Train your team
All members should receive adequate training on the robotic automation software before any development. Being comfortable and familiar with the product will allow team members to be better equipped for the unexpected. Most developers will tell you they’ve experienced the occasional fire, software outage, or unresponsive software. How your team resolves these issues is largely dependent upon the training you gave them. Having your team gain some experience with an RPA software prior to development will expose some of the potential technical issues or roadblocks they may encounter in the future. Once a product is in the production environment, knowing how to quickly resolve these issues can limit environment instability and improve your employees' experience with the automation.
If you include these steps when planning your robotic automation roll-out, your chance of success will greatly improve. Now that you have a few options on how to implement a robotic automation, where would you begin?