Milestone two: Implementation plan
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technological software developed to make it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions through interaction with digital systems and software. The desired outcome for the implementation plan is to have as many organizations and households embrace and adopt the use of robots and automation of tasks to not only reduce the cost of production but also increase effective productivity and consistency. Even though some argue that Robots are replacing humans in employment opportunities, (Fan & Tang, 2021) noted that the people whose work can be done by robots get to explore other tasks where they are much needed. But, for the implementation process and plan to succeed, the following critical elements have to be catered for:
Educating the people about robots and seeking wide acceptance
The first step of implementation, in this case, would be to educate the masses and organizations on the value of robots and get wide support especially from all the departments in companies. The robotic solution would impact a lot of individuals and departments. It is therefore essential to seek wide acceptance before introducing the use of robots and automation of tasks.
A discussion is necessary before doing anything especially among several parties including the senior management, IT department, and even those involved with basic operations as well as the human resource managers and those who will be tasked with buying, maintaining, and operating the robots. These groups of people have to be part of the process from the very beginning, as the policy of implementation requires (Van & Van, 1975).
It is vital and critical that everyone understands the facts about robot automation but most importantly they need to understand that it brings with it a short return on investment. In addition, it can open up other opportunities for companies and does not in any way replace workers because there will be jobs that cannot be performed by robots. Robots can only handle monotonous dangerous jobs that are tiring and risky to humans (Singh, Sellappan& Kumaradhas, 2013). Gathering user stories may also help to convince people of the value of robots. It helps when people hear from others already using the robotic automation systems in their businesses.
Getting consensus on the definition of failure
Before the implementation is done; all the parties must understand the viability of the robotic systems to agree on an acceptable tolerance of failure. That will help determine the level at which the process is deemed a failure if the RPA robots do not meet the agreed-upon criteria for success. It is also at this stage parties agree on what components can be automated as robots cannot perform in all areas especially places of work where a best-suited person has to sometimes make split-second judgments or manipulate components for production to be efficient (Joh, 2016). In such cases, the best consensus is not to proceed with the RPA installation in those such cases.
Physical and technological resources
The physical resources needed for robotic automation to be implemented include the robots, the installation of technological devices necessary to run the robots, for example, Keysight’s Eggplant, Pega, blue prism, uipath, contexter, and Inflectra Rapise. Most importantly, before installation, the company stakeholders have to have a unified consensus on the list of processes that are supposed to undergo automation. As not all business processes will be suitable for automation.
A feasibility assessment will have to be done before the process begins and any readjustments necessary made in good time. Once the feasibility assessment is carried out, the RPA process can be started and tested upon completion. After the testing, a reaffirmation is necessary to ensure everything is running smoothly and finally deployed to desired areas of work for the robots to function. It is also important to build an error handling procedure to ensure easy restoration in case of any problems.
Often the implementation of RPA systems takes longer than expected especially if the previous processes like identification of areas to be installed, budget allocation, and what technology is needed are not determined prior. Most times companies fail to identify the right process or have insufficient information about their existing processes (Chesbrough, 2010).
The implementation schedule must include the installation procedure which must have the order of events. For example, it should begin with installing high-level frameworks and breaking down processes into the specific workflow. the activities have to be chosen carefully and the workflow must have good readability for workers to understand. In other words, once the installation is started it has to go according to the plan in order to avoid overlapping and wastage of time which in the end costs money. Below is an example of a comprehensive implementation schedule.
|Activity||Time||Person to undertake the activity|
|Training, certification, and approvals||One month||RPA team and HR|
|Program design||Two weeks||IT chairman|
|Program plan||Two weeks||RPA experts|
|Program execution||2 months||RPA experts|
|Program deployment and testing||Three weeks||The maintenance team together with RPA experts and the IT team|
The project review process
After the implementation and installation of the robotic automation features, it is important to review the whole process to ascertain that everything was done by the book. This is necessary for ensuring that overall code quality is improved, codes adhere to pre-defined coding standards, and that the codes are user-easy and easy to maintain. It also confirms if they are easy to read which is a critical quality.
The project review process must include conducting a gap analysis to determine any inefficiencies cost by the new system. Also, the review will help in the determination of whether the project goals were achieved as well as determine whether the stakeholders including workers are satisfied. During this process, the project’s costs and benefits will also be determined, in addition, the review will also identify areas that require further development if any. Most importantly the project review phase will identify the lessons learned through the whole implementation process.
Protection of tangible assets
Using robots is a big undertaking and can be challenging to say the least. Some of the unforeseen challenges that come with RPA systems include not being able to protect intellectual property. Because data is fed into the systems for the robots to perform, the likelihood of the technological systems being hacked by fraudsters is high. It is for this reason why one must have ways to protect themselves from such attacks.
One way to achieve intellectual property security is to have all employees including the installers of the robotic systems signing a non-disclosure agreement that forbids them from sharing any intellectual property from the company. It is also advisable to invest well in data security while using RP as anything using technology is prone to cyber-attacks. It is also fundamental to ensure the company’s tangible assets including the robots which are expensive investments. From an entrepreneurship perspective, insurance of property comes in handy in case of any disaster that might affect the robots.