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Redefining Automation for Lasting Impact with a Centre of Excellence

The imperative of digital transformation is undeniable in today’s business landscape. Organizations contend with more than adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation. Despite the promise of revolutionizing business operations, the journey is fraught with scaling challenges, implementation hurdles, and multifaceted obstacles.

Enter the solution: the Center of Excellence (CoE) for RPA, a strategic powerhouse meticulously designed to unlock the true potential of automation technologies. Recognizing that the mere presence of RPA and intelligent automation is not enough, this guide swiftly dives into the crucial role of a CoE, offering pragmatic insights and strategies to surmount scaling challenges and address implementation issues. By delving into the intricacies of centralized RPA Governance models and Intelligent Automation, organizations can transcend operational constraints, fostering innovation and ensuring sustainable business performance. 

Decoding RPA Centers of Excellence

A Center of Excellence (CoE) is a strategic means to integrate RPA deeply and effectively into an organization. It assumes a pivotal role in various responsibilities, including researching and licensing automation platforms, training employees, reviewing automation before deployment, and overseeing ongoing maintenance and optimization. The CoE team actively cultivates support for automation among employees through education on benefits and ensures adherence to development best practices in each project. CoEs coordinate automation initiatives across business units and identify reusable components for future projects.

The effectiveness of CoEs may vary based on organizational factors such as company size or automation goals. Regardless of structure, an internally-driven team dedicated to planning and implementing automation programs significantly enhances automation endeavors.

How Can Your RPA CoE Strategically Ensure Success and Critical Outcomes?

Recognizing the impracticality of implementing RPA at scale in isolated silos, many organizations are turning to the establishment of an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE). This collaborative framework brings together individuals from diverse disciplines to foster more efficient and streamlined knowledge sharing, collaboration, and automation development. The overarching goal of the CoE is to drive innovation, improvement, and cooperation, providing teams with the means to measure, experiment, and enhance performance.

The RPA CoE plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of all facets of an RPA initiative. The model encompasses critical aspects:

Organization: Placing the CoE within the enterprise context ensures the proper implementation of RPA throughout the organization. The CoE defines internal and external roles and responsibilities to support the RPA initiative.

Governance: Establishing clear RPA standards, procedures, and policies, along with governing bodies, escalation paths, and segregation of duties, is crucial. This ensures compliance with regulations, security requirements, and regulatory standards. The CoE also decides task prioritization and access levels for different teams and employees.

Technology: The RPA CoE selects the right automation tools for specific tasks and manages maintenance. Acting as the architect of the robotic operating environment, the CoE supports RPA integration into critical areas such as IT Service Management and Configuration Management Database.

Processes: The RPA CoE evaluates automation opportunities and deploys RPA into stable, scalable, and secure environments.

Operations: Successful RPA implementation often necessitates structural changes, including alterations to job descriptions and overall operational change management. The RPA CoE manages these changes to ensure a smooth transition.

What are the Business Benefits of Establishing an RPA CoE?

CoEs play pivotal roles in ensuring the success of RPA initiatives. If implemented effectively, they offer four key benefits.

  1. Efficient Bot Development Lifecycle

A CoE streamlines the bot development lifecycle by consolidating learning and knowledge in one place. It eliminates the need for individual business units to reinvent the wheel with each automation project, leading to a more efficient and cost-effective approach.

  1. Integrated IT Collaboration

A well-designed CoE ensures collaboration between IT and RPA efforts from the project’s inception. This integration addresses critical aspects like security, compliance, and optimization, preventing issues that may arise in complex automation. It facilitates a smoother operation of bots, especially in evolving IT systems.

  1. Scalability Enhancement

CoEs prevent the disjointed deployment of RPA products by different business units, fostering a cohesive vision for enterprise-wide scaling. This eliminates siloed initiatives, promoting synergies and ensuring that RPA can seamlessly scale to meet the organization’s evolving needs.

  1. Enhanced Return on Investment (ROI) Through Centralization

Employing Six Sigma approaches, CoEs can drive improved ROI by minimizing costs tied to decentralized strategies. They advocate for undertaking larger, more strategic projects with substantial ROIs, steering away from a singular focus on quick wins. Furthermore, CoEs foster internal expertise, reducing dependence on external consultants and ensuring sustained success in automation efforts.

Read: Intelligent Automation Leveraging Power Automate Enables a Legal Services Organization to Improve its Productivity by 40%

5 Key Steps to Establish a Successful RPA Center of Excellence (CoE)

  1. Assemble a Comprehensive RPA CoE Team

Forge a specialized team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, backed by a comprehensive charter for streamlined operations. Key roles should include:

  • RPA Sponsor to set the enterprise-wide robotics strategy
  • RPA Developer for designing, developing, and supporting automation
  • RPA Solution Architect for end-to-end solution oversight
  • RPA Business Analyst as the process subject matter expert
  • RPA Champion for implementation and adoption across the organization
  • RPA Change Manager for seamless performance and scalability
  • RPA Supervisor for digital workforce management

To expedite the CoE journey, consider outsourcing initially, gradually transitioning to building in-house capabilities for optimal efficiency.

  1. Define an Operational Strategy and Roadmap

Build a comprehensive organization-wide RPA strategy within your CoE, considering the entirety of your organization. In formulating this strategy, address critical components, including RPA goals and anticipated outcomes, a step-by-step plan spanning from initial planning to deployment completion, a detailed project budget encompassing bot licensing, infrastructure, change management, and upskilling, and the expected impact of RPA on customer experience. Prioritize RPA projects, emphasizing the importance of avoiding isolated bot implementations for sustainable success and long-term benefits.

Establish a robust technical and functional environment for your RPA CoE by ensuring comprehensive coverage of essential aspects such as robotic configuration, maintenance, support, performance, and connectivity. Collaboration with your IT department is crucial during this phase, emphasizing early involvement to preemptively address challenges and facilitate the seamless establishment of an effective governance process.

  1. Prepare an Effective RPA CoE Governance Model

Establish a robust governance process for RPA opportunities, including clear templates and guidelines for the entire lifecycle. Align governance with organizational goals, promoting collaboration between business, IT, and compliance teams while implementing a framework to overcome cultural barriers and drive effective change.

To overcome cultural barriers, establish a governance framework with CoE leaders to:

  • Define responsibilities independently of job roles, titles, and personalities, neutralizing political challenges and enabling rapid organizational evolution.
  • Integrate the automation strategy into existing governance mechanisms, demonstrating alignment with organizational goals.
  • Form an automation governance board with key stakeholders to review proposed efforts, assess business benefits, and prioritize initiatives.
  • Develop a digital enterprise automation roadmap, stored centrally, to capture and track opportunities over time, ensuring alignment with organizational objectives.
  1. Enable CoE and Gear for Scale-Up

To aim for long-term success, consider these key steps for your CoE:

  • Start with one project, plan for many: Begin with an actual business project to serve as a baseline, managing resources and expectations for future scalability.
  • Embed learning: Conduct reviews at each stage, fostering a culture of continuous innovation and iterative work.
  • Manage technical debt: Control source code, address versioning challenges, and handle dynamic credentials for optimal technology management.
  • Expect CoE evolution: As teams become adept, roles and expectations will naturally evolve to meet the demands of the automation journey.
  • Guide exploration of hyperautomation: Encourage the CoE to identify opportunities for enhancing business processes and achieving end-to-end automation.
  1. Build a Disaster Recovery Plan

The fifth essential step in your CoE journey is proactively establishing a disaster recovery plan. As the linchpin for implementing the solution across the entire organization, your CoE must define roles and responsibilities meticulously to cover all aspects of disaster prevention and recovery. This includes formulating comprehensive data backup plans encompassing both cloud-based and on-premises solutions. Additionally, a systematic mapping of potential risks is crucial, accompanied by identifying practical solutions to mitigate these risks. This strategic approach ensures smooth sailing for your CoE, instilling confidence throughout the organization in the face of unforeseen challenges.

These five steps provide a concise and impactful guide for establishing a robust RPA Center of Excellence, covering team building, governance, scalability, and effective management.

The success of a Center of Excellence (CoE) RPA hinges on securing crucial support from key stakeholders. It is imperative to emphasize the importance of gaining backing from influential figures within the organization. Employing effective communication strategies becomes paramount in conveying the inherent value of a CoE, ensuring a shared understanding of its strategic impact, and garnering essential buy-in from stakeholders. This concerted effort in stakeholder engagement lays a solid foundation for the CoE’s success and seamless integration within the organizational framework.

Closing Thoughts

A well-established Center of Excellence (CoE) stands as a cornerstone for heightened operational efficiency and innovation within an organization. The CoE becomes a driving force behind optimizing overall business performance by streamlining processes and fostering a collaborative environment. Its structured approach enhances efficiency and acts as a catalyst for innovation, providing a framework that encourages continuous improvement and transformative practices. In this way, a robust CoE plays a pivotal role in propelling the organization toward sustained success and adaptability in the dynamic business landscape.

Trigent’s Offering: Innovative Automation Tools

In this trailblazing era of automation, we’re excited to share insights about cutting-edge tools that seamlessly integrate into the RPA CoE landscape. Imagine elevating your efficiency by 75% with Electroneek’s Easily-AI, an AI-powered marvel that performs complex tasks, understands 80+ languages, and reshapes Business Process Management. Meanwhile, IntegraBOTs, another solution by Electroneek boasting 150+ integrations, offers a no-code interface for effortless workflow generation. Curious about how these innovations can redefine your automation experience? Trigent can fast-track your CoE journey by substituting specific roles or individuals, propelling your automation efforts into high gear.

It’s time to elevate your organization’s capabilities and embrace the future with a dedicated CoE for RPA and Intelligent Automation. 

Supercharge your RPA CoE and witness the future of automation unfold with Trigent. Contact us now!

Author

  • Anand Padia

    Associate Vice President-Program Management | Technology Expert| Product Innovator. As the Associate Vice President-Program Management at Trigent Software, Andy wears many hats as he works closely with teams to help them streamline processes and execute solutions efficiently to scale faster. He believes in achieving growth and transformation through innovation and focuses on building new capabilities to offer a more enriching client experience. He aims to create value by harnessing the collective power of people, technology, and analytics.