RPA CoE Pillars
There are multiple models of RPA CoE (Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence) and though the roles within each model are similar, their management and governance structures differ.
The three key models are:
- Centralised “service provider” model where the RPA CoE provides all automation capability
- Decentralised “support” model where the RPA CoE supports business placed automation capability
- Hybrid, where functions are blended across the two models.
We hold that there are 4 key pillarsof any RPA CoE model:
- People, Culture & Change
- Operations & Monitoring
The diagram below illustrates how these function across the interactions of Management & Execution and Organisation & Technology:
The RPA CoE will need to maintain a governance body and process that will review the key areas of concern for managing the RPA function. This will cover business concerns such as value assessment, prioritisation and opportunity identification. It will also address more IT and Risk focused concerns such as security and audit to ensure the business is protected by proper safeguards. This function is typically centralised as it takes a whole of organisation view.
People, Culture & Change
Implementation of RPA by design changes how people work and the business operates. Change frameworks, management of issues and risks, and communications need careful preparation to ensure the business receives the change as a positive one. At Talos, we lean on our stablemate Cubic, who are specialists in this area to ensure the best possible outcome. Business support is key to adoption, and as part of driving adoption like to roll out business focused tools such as UiPath Automation Hub. This enables the business to contribute ideas directly to the program, increasing engagement.
Operations & Monitoring
A clear set of implementation practices and standards needs to be established and followed to ensure a sustainable, maintainable solution is built. This includes building out a library of reusable components (e.g. specific system navigations) to maximise productivity by minimising rework.
As with any system, the RPA solution needs ongoing monitoring and audit to ensure that the capability is being used effectively. This ranges from system capacity and hardware utilisation monitoring to identifying processes whose level of demand is changing. This area is again typically centralised as it requires specialist skills and does not have a direct impact on day to day productivity.
Enabling the Citizen Developer is a key aim of many vendors, and we endorse this approach as it is the fastest route to realising value. We also acknowledge that some elements of RPA development are complex and outside of what can reasonably be expected of an end users skillset. Typically in any RPA CoE model we like to propose a hybrid model, where a team of highly skilled RPA developers can support the business either by building complex cases, or productionising code end users have created.
Building your RPA CoE
Whichever model you choose, focusing on these 4 pillars will ensure that you select an approach that fits your organisation properly. As RPA is new to many organisations, the model can be built out in a piecemeal fashion, creating components as needed. Focusing on the 4 pillars means you can do this while maintaining an eye on a sustainable end state.