All you need to do for running a successful Center of Excellence (2/2)

In one of our blog posts, we talked about the need to have a Center of Excellence (CoE) and the abilities it entails. After an organization decides to have its own CoE, it is important to be aware of the mandatory steps for successful integration, considering its own resources and organizational framework.

How do I successfully and sustainably build a CoE? This two-part blog post series will dive deeper into the subject by giving advice on what needs to be done from a business perspective while touching upon organizational and technical aspects. Part one starts with goals and benefits as well as the implications of a CoE for the organizational structure and the team building. Now we will see what’s next in order to run a CoE successfully.

Define the right methodology

The methodology to follow is key to succeed in the Center of Excellence (CoE) implementation and will define how we select, automate and integrate the process automation.

In general, the best practice is starting with a potential analysis, to be able to note down the RPA roadmap to follow. The first processes are extremely important for the RPA credibility and it’s essential that the processes with the biggest ROI are implemented first. That will allow the company to create a solid business case and keep automating processes. If you are new to RPA, we recommend you to read our post about why you need a Potential Analysis. We also advise you to have a look at Procify, a process assessment tool that helps you in the first stages of the RPA journey, when selecting your processes.

It is important that you have sufficiently described every process and got the validation of the RPA development team.

Maintain IT infrastructure

Developers working

The setup of a CoE implies not only RPA developers but also IT infrastructure and support teams, as well as enterprise architects. The platform servers and networks need to be set up either on-premise or by using the cloud with the right security and availability standards.

In addition, the enterprise architects are in charge of creating the framework that will be used and the application and technology used for the project as a whole.

Then, the support team is responsible for maintaining processes for the Production environment and shall fix any errors and incidents that might happen.

Did you know that wrong handling of the IT infrastructure is one of the pitfalls for RPA that can lead to project failure? You can easily avoid this by involving the right IT infrastructure team from the beginning.

Develop a significant business case

Woman pointing chart plan

As we earlier explained, it is important to run a potential analysis and establish an RPA roadmap. Again, the processes that provide more ROI to the company, aligned with the ease of implementation, should be done first. That way, the company can create a consistent case study that will be shared with the Executive Board in order to have the approval to keep automating more processes.

In case you are struggling with the identification of the best-suited processes and the right order of those to automate, you can get help from our Consulting Team or use our latest new tool, Procify to set up a winning RPA roadmap for your company.

Plan from the start for a scalable solution

climbing stairs

Once the CoE is in place, the first step of the RPA journey is already there. It is important that when you set up a Center of Excellence you were thinking in a long-term strategy.

To ensure scalability across different business units, it’s important for the company to choose a sponsor to drive this initiative. This sponsor needs to be positioned very high in the organization to make sure that RPA is a company-wide implemented and can expand to all departments and business units. Moreover, your communication is key, and you need to enable appropriate communication channels.

To ensure scalability we will need an IT support team to oversee the potential difficulties that may occur during the implementation. I.e. when switching between development, test and production systems.

Make sure that you have a test environment for testing automation as when a robot is in production and something it fails; it can make severe consequences to the company.

A secure and scalable robot infrastructure provides, therefore, the optimal framework and conditions for testing and to make transitions from test into production systems.

It is all about change management

change neon

It is obvious, that RPA will lead to change in the way how processes will be worked on from your employees in the future. Therefore, it’s essential that the strategy is explained to the employees and that they see the benefits of robots as a way for the employees to focus on higher-value tasks while the robots will take over highly manual and repetitive tasks.

This digital transformation won’t affect those processes that require human input. They will be done by humans with no interference with the company’s processes automated by robots.

Nevertheless, explaining the strategy is not enough. You need to “operationalize” your RPA strategy with an underlying change management methodology. On your RPA journey, you will come across the entire range from accelerators to inhibitors, which require dedication to enable a smooth change that will be headed from the RPA CoE.

Remember to read the first blog post series to make sure you have the full overview of how to run a CoE.

Tags: Center of Excellence, CoE