RPA Best Practices

by | Nov 23, 2019

In the course of getting employees on the same page, it’s important to note that one software tool will not magically solve every manual process within your organization. To drive technology-based business transformation, organizations must follow a series of best practices like the ones recommended below.

Formalize an Enterprise Automation Roadmap (EAR).

Many companies tend to leap before they look. It’s so tempting to reflexively grab at the idea of cost savings and increased efficiency. Yet, cost reduction is only achieved via RPA when you start with rule-based processes that cross over multiple systems and do not require human intervention.

So then, proceed to analysis and identification of your structured systems that are comprised of digitized data already processed through standardized rules. Where are humans manually transferring data from one location to another. The answers to this question can give you the basis for the systems to include in your automation roadmap. Remember, rule-based processes will be a match for RPA even if they are not consistently executed.

Chart demonstrating a nenterprise automation roadmap

Now, meet with your management team to determine all the RPA-ready tasks within your organization. These need to be simple, consistent, and repeatable tasks that often produce high error rates and low worker morale. Further, these should be tasks that provide relevant opportunities for improving both customer and employee experiences by speeding up slow-going processes.

It’s also critical to conduct an RPA risk assessment detailing how your company will overcome any potential risks.

Look for proof of value.

One of RPA’s core benefits is cutting costs by enabling higher-quality processes and mitigating human error. With RPA, you can produce your desired income much more quickly than before.

To generate new revenue opportunities, identify scenarios where RPA can empower business-critical capabilities. These can be broad process improvements that range from procure-to-place to pick-pack-ship. They can also be industry-specific.

In contrast to proof of concept, look for proof of value from the improvement of RPA-ready tasks such as tax collection, debt recovery, tariff compliance, and more.

Assemble a team of IT + business RPA leaders.

Your teams should comprehend how RPA differs from BP, AI, and even screen-scraping tools. Additionally, they should have optimized security and deployment plans in place to realize RPA’s potential for short-term gains utilizing your current interface pathways. With this type of understanding, your IT and business RPA leaders can achieve quicker results and know which tools are best-suited for each scenario.

Build the business case for RPA.

Building an adequate business case requires an understanding of the budget, any financial setbacks, and the potential for opportunities to generate more revenue. Your cost research should satisfy the following criteria:

  • To provide justification for RPA investments.
  • To limit investment on current solutions so that new costs aren’t added with very few advantages.
  • As a reference for avoiding unnecessary business costs.

With your business case, you should also consider these essential variables:

  • The full cost of operating a process.
  • The potential for increased revenue.
  • How the new delivery method will impact cost and revenue.

Further, it should be calculated how much it would cost to run RPA, based on various deployment models.

If you are looking at the total cost of ownership (TCO), this should be based on the provider’s pricing model. Some of the factors may include:

  • Annual robot licenses
  • Robot usage (may range between $1,000 and $16,000 per robot)
  • Perpetual licenses
  • Pay per savings that are realized from the RPA tool
  • How many pay per transactions were robot-supported

Further Reading


The ultimate RPA software buyer’s guide


How can you organize your RPA proof of concept?


What is a workflow bottleneck?