April 5, 2018 | InBrief

The importance of governance with robotic process automation (RPA)

The importance of governance with robotic process automation (RPA)

RPA technology is a tool, not a full-blown strategy. It is not an uncommon sentiment, however, for banks and other organizations to believe that tools are less complex than strategies and require less upfront consideration. Regardless of whether companies believe tools or strategies are more complex to design and implement, appropriate forethought and governance considerations are critical to success. Tools deployed without governance and strategy are, at best, ineffective and more than likely costly, burdensome, or even counterproductive.

RPA technology has a wide-reaching impact potential and is therefore not limited to a certain function or team in a bank. In fact, even a single automated process will more than likely touch several parts of an organization. If RPA is a part of a long-term initiative (as this consultant believes it should be), it is important to consider how automation and its governance fits in your organizational, digital, and IT roadmap.

Implementing RPA is an initiative, not a series of stand-alone projects. For this reason, executive sponsorship and dedicating an internal delivery team is critical to success. An internal core team responsible for automation will vary depending on the company goals, organizational dynamics, and expertise available. In general, this team of “champions” is comprised of an executive sponsor, an IT representative, and key employees from the line-of-business (LOB). This team is ultimately responsible for 1) leading the automation initiative (serving as or locating banking subject matter experts) and 2) establishing an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE).

The CoE serves as the single source of truth as it pertains to automation. In addition to providing the organization-specific expertise as subject matter expertise (SME), the CoE is also responsible for considering overarching RPA strategy, governance structure, and deployment considerations. Goals for this team include:

  • Developing and executing the organization’s automation goal

  • Evaluating and selecting the best RPA tools for the organization

  • Selecting process candidates for automation

  • Establishing the training and deployment plan

  • Identifying LOB SMEs

  • Creating testing and development environments

As automation is scaled and involves more LOBs, the CoE may grow to include more members but will likely include the same core team. This helps maintain consistent messaging and execution.

Because of the wide-reaching implications for RPA, organizations that set up a sound governance structure will be better positioned to reap the benefits of automation. Assemble your team of RPA “champions” from the "get go" to ensure a smoother path for your RPA strategy.

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