The Best Use Cases for RPA
Previously, I discussed the telltale signs that your organization is ready for RPA. If you missed that post, you can read it here. Now that you’ve established you’re ready for RPA, it’s time to figure out what tasks and use cases you should tackle. The key to a successful RPA implementation is to first understand not all use cases are good use cases. I’m sure there are a ton of different tasks you want to automate, but if they don’t have some critical attributes, I’m afraid you’re in for a less than optimal experience.
How Do I Know if I Have a Good RPA Use Case?
There are six main attributes that use cases should display. Does your use case need ALL six? No. However, if it does, you’ve hit productivity gold! I’ll go into greater detail below, but here is your initial RPA attribute checklist:
- High volume
- Low exceptions
- Stable and well defined
- Low system change
- Structured and readable inputs
RPA Use Case Attributes
- Rule-based: Use cases that follow a well defined set of rules are a great fit. If processes are complex and require human intervention, add case management and workflow to ensure completion.
- High volume: High volume use cases repeated often can be automated to deliver major productivity gains. There are also some low volume use cases that have potential too. Look for those needing a reduction in human error or improvements in compliance.
- Low exceptions: The fewer the exceptions, the better. Exceptions are going to happen, but limiting human intervention as much as possible can give you greater productivity gains.
- Stable and well defined: Mature use cases always done the same way are a good fit. Constantly changing processes means constant bot updates.
- Low system change: Use cases that don’t require much (if any) changes to existing systems or use systems that don’t need regular updates are great. The more changes that need to be made, the more the bot needs to be updated, limiting productivity gains.
- Structured and readable inputs: Use cases that involve reading structured databases or readable files, like Microsoft Office documents or .pdf files, are good candidates for RPA.
RPA can face high error rates, even when the right use case is selected. Common changes, such as updated account passwords, new versions of software, and internet browser updates can all impact success. It’s important to ensure a mechanism (like case management) exists to monitor and immediately notify users of failures (regularly referred to as exception handling) to update bot workflows when necessary. This key capability will help optimize bots and improve ROI for your RPA investment.
You’re Well on Your Way
So now you know your organization is ready for RPA and you have use cases that are a good fit — that’s great! You’re on your way to automation with RPA. But what if you are already using RPA, but you don’t think you’re getting the full benefits? Next time, I’ll look into some signs that you could be getting more out of RPA and what to do about it.
You can also check out our upcoming webinar we’re hosting with Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, Rob Koplowitz on April 23rd. We’ll explore how RPA fits into the larger automation landscape and how you can get the most out of your automation investments.