Robotic process automation is in vogue nowadays due to numerous benefits like accuracy improvements, costs, improve customer satisfaction, reduce the turnaround time, etc.

The first hurdle in RPA implementation is the identification of the right processes for automation. There are hundreds of use cases across industries where the RPA is of great use.

In your RPA/IPA journey, the first step should be a collection of processes, that meet RPA eligibility criteria. It’s not as easy as it looks. How to simplify this phase of process collection ?. This could be achieved easily by looking at things other way round, means -

First, ask – What capabilities do the RPA tools (which you have selected or will select) in general provide and do my processes meet 90% or more of those criteria? Look at the list of things that most RPA tools that work on structured data and rules can do (exclude words like cognitive, AI, ML, etc here).

The below list of capabilities will help quickly scan the processes that can be safely included (or excluded) from being automated. Thereby helping you identify, evaluate and prioritize processed to be automated.

RPA/IPA bots can do the following:

Interacting and Integrating with applications

·      Logging In/Out

·      Navigating Applications of a wide variety, thin and thick client apps (mainframes, web-based, same machine – one instance, same machine single instance, etc)

·      Reading, querying and writing to databases

·      Connecting to system APIs

Files and Folders

·        All operating relating to files/folder like copy, paste, move, download, upload, delete, etc

Data related tasks

·      Extracting data from documents, applications, etc.

·      Filling in forms

·      Performing calculations

·      Preparing reports, dashboards, etc.

·      collating data from multiple sources

·      Copying/pasting of data

·      Following if, then, else rules

·      Running the same task multiple times

Social Media

·      Scraping data from social sites/web

·      Gathering social media statistics

·      Sending emails

What bots have been doing successfully and can do the same for you.

·        Automated Form Filling

·        Data Scraping, Collection, Analysis, Cleansing

·        Screen Capturing

·        Rule-based repetitive processes

Other factors that you might like to include while choosing business processes could be:

·      Annoying – Process that are annoying, frustrating for employees

·      Time Consuming – Process that takes a lot of time and manual effort

·      Cost Savings – Processes where automation results in substantial cost savings

·      Quality Improvement – processes prone to manual errors.

·      Faster turnaround time – you need to improve the performance and customer turnaround time.

·      Volume: High volume, round the clock processes

Once all the processes have been collected and well documented, please remove the unnecessary one, remove duplicate process, delete the redundant steps basically try to simplify and optimize the processes. Make the processes more effective and cut down on steps that need human interventions. 

If you have hundreds of processes to look at, before you call an implementation partner, hire a business domain expert and an RPA technical expert to analyze, finalize and prioritize the processes.