RPA Development — A Step By Step Guide
RPA Development — A Step By Step Guide
Last Updated on May 23, 2022
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been around for a while and is starting to find traction in large organizations as a result of past RPA implementations’ cost benefits.
In this post, we’ll go over what RPA is and how businesses may go about developing the correct RPA implementation plan, the features it holds, and the benefits it offers to everyone.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive right into it.
The Meaning of RPA
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technique for automating high-volume, repeated processes that mimic how humans interact with software. RPA technology generates software programmes or bots that can log in to apps, enter data, compute and finish tasks, and copy data between apps or workflows as needed.
When AI and machine learning are combined, RPA can extract more context from the content it’s working with by intensive reading or handwriting with optical character recognition (OCR), retrieving entities like names, invoice terms, or addresses using natural language processing (NLP), and trying to capture more frame of reference from images, such as automatically estimating disaster damage in an insurance claim picture.
RPA is gaining traction due to its ability to cut costs, streamline processes, and improve user experiences. Another benefit of RPA software is that it may be implemented without the need for business units to learn new tools or seek IT support, as well as without modifying an organization’s underlying IT architecture.
However, as RPA becomes more widespread, businesses are seeing the necessity to integrate RPA process automation into their IT systems. While RPA automation can greatly speed up a business process that was previously handled by humans, bots might become unresponsive when application interfaces or processes workflows change.
What Can RPA Do For You?
Robotic Process Automation bots possess the same level of digital expertise as humans—and then some. Consider RPA bots to be a Digital Workforce capable of interacting with any product or software.
Bots can copy-paste, scrape web data, calculate, open and move files, parse emails, log into programs, connect to APIs, and extract unstructured data, for example. There’s no need to change company systems, software, or existing processes to automate because bots can adapt to any interface or workflow.
RPA bots are simple to create, deploy, and distribute. RPA bots can be configured if you know how to capture footage on your phone. It’s as simple as pressing the record, play, and stop buttons and dragging and dropping files around at work. To perform business activities across the organization, RPA bots can be planned, copied, altered, and shared.
How Does RPA Work?
RPA is designed to mimic how people interact with and think about digital systems. RPA’s ability to mimic how humans do a computer-based process has contributed to its popularity when compared to automation methods like APIs or low-code development, which are more scalable but less intuitive or require expert knowledge to operate.
RPA bots can be made as easy as recording a user’s clicks and keystrokes while interacting with an app. When issues arise, a user can easily see how the bot interacts with the app and pinpoint the stages that need to be improved.
In fact, these simple recordings are frequently used to create more robust bots that can react to changes in screen size, layout, or procedures. Machine vision is used by more advanced RPA technologies to read the icons and arrangements on the screen and make adjustments as needed.
Some RPA solutions can also leverage these first recordings to create hybrid RPA bots, which start by recording an existing process and then dynamically generate workflow automation on the back end. These hybrid bots combine the ease of RPA creation with the scaling of native workflow automation to create hybrid bots.
Process mining and task mining solutions are utilized in other RPA installations to automatically record business processes that serve as starting patterns for RPA automation. Process mining, for example, can examine the logs of ERP and CRM programs to produce an automated map of common corporate operations.
To collect a user’s activities across different apps, task mining techniques use a locally running app with machine vision. Process mining integrations are being developed by all of the major RPA providers.
Benefits of RPA Development for Businesses?
Organizations become more lucrative, adaptable, and responsive as a result of robotic process automation. It also improves employee satisfaction, participation, and performance by removing tedious chores from their daily routines.
RPA is non-intrusive and may be applied quickly to speed up digital transformation. It’s also great for automating operations with legacy systems that don’t have APIs, virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), or database access.
- Improved Productivity
The benefits of RPA automation are based on a simple principle: let humans focus on their strengths while robots tackle the jobs that get in the way. Employees have far less time to devote to work that uses their expertise when they have to spend time on mindless operations like copying and pasting information between corporate platforms.
Manual chores take up a lot of time and energy, so employees can’t get as much done in a day. That principle is altered by RPA. Software robots can boost a team’s capacity for completing work by 35 percent to 50 percent when appropriately configured for a workflow, according to reports.
- Improved Efficiency
More productivity is required for reasons other than preventing humans from wasting time on monotonous jobs. A human workforce combined with RPA tools results in cost savings. Consider using robots in a department like accounts payable or receivable, where employees must routinely transfer data from many portals into your company systems.
Processing costs fall and per-employee production rises as RPA reduces processing times and eliminates costly errors. Savings from efficiency improvements typically range from 25% to 50%.
- Consistent Accuracy
What if human error was no longer a factor in some of your company’s most mission-critical workflows? Accounts payable errors are prevalent, resulting in real and unexpected costs for a company. Due to a transposed digit in a PO number, your company may face double payments as a result of invoices that your team accidentally copied. When you automate, you can achieve 100 percent error-free data accuracy.
- Better Opportunities To Scale
In workflows with irregular volumes, RPA has a distinct advantage. For example, a company may receive a higher volume of orders at certain times of the year. Without automation, the company may have to engage temporary workers or reassign personnel from other tasks to manage the data. Robots can immediately scale up or down to handle any volume of work.
- Data For Key Analytics
You have no idea what you don’t know until you start collecting granular data on process efficiency owing to your new robots. In many circumstances, RPA aids in the discovery of process flaws and locations where changes are still needed. These gaps show a lack of both human and software resources, and they frequently reveal the need for advanced and intelligent automation beyond RPA technologies.
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How to Develop RPA for Your Business?
- Step 1 — Define Your Objectives
To continue with the house example, drafting a blueprint necessitates first speaking with the client about their expectations for the project. For instance, how many bedrooms do they require, and do they like an open-concept layout?
Similarly, before dipping your toe into the RPA waters, you should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Your objectives could include increasing efficiency and productivity, shifting staff to higher-value tasks, and improving the end-user experience.
- Step 2 — Look For Opportunities
Begin evaluating which of your processes are excellent prospective candidates for RPA after you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. The following are some essential considerations:
- Processes using large amounts of data Processes that occur regularly
- Repeated procedures
- Processes that necessitate a high level of precision (and that machines can do better than humans)
- Step 3 — Validate Your Beliefs
After selecting candidates for automation, you must study them to determine the best options. Bring together a group of experts who are familiar with RPA, the selected processes, and the implementation details. This group should talk about the business value of automating certain procedures as well as the feasibility of doing so.
- Step 4 — Establish Governance
RPA must be connected with your broader business objectives and efforts if you intend to use it as a long-term element of your IT strategy. In order to obtain the training and live data that the system requires to learn and grow, collaboration with the IT department will be essential. RPA should be controlled by an executive or project management office in larger companies (PMO).
- Step 5 — Get A Plan Of Action In Place
Because RPA will have a significant impact on the rest of your company, including personnel roles and duties, you must plan for the changes that will occur after it is implemented. A new RPA-assisted process, for example, may demand the contribution of fewer individuals with more or different skills and knowledge. Any company considering RPA should have a formal document outlining the anticipated changes and how the company plans to address them.
- Step 6 — The Discovery Phase
It is the first and most important execution phase of the RPA deployment roadmap, in which AI, human expertise, and technology are used to select the best automation process. It also aids in the definition of ideal governance for the achievement of the full method.
During this phase, the client’s needs are prioritized, and the choice is made whether or not to automate the process. If the choice is made to automate the process, the RPA analyst team conducts a full review of its complexity.
Furthermore, the business team and RPA architect strategist collaborate to develop a high-level implementation strategy that aids in the full proofing of their study. Finally, there are advantages to automation that are noted down.
- Step 7 — The Solution Design Phase
It is the stage in which the steps to automate a certain operation are designed. There is a lot of drafting here, which is beneficial to RPA service providers. Aside from it, there are a few documents that are required for effective RPA development, including:
- Solution Design Document (SDD)
- Process Design Document (PDD)
- Technical Design Document (TDD)
The above-mentioned document contains all of the information that the developers will need to thoroughly process each stage. Other needs, such as budget, time spent, number of personnel currently working on the particular assignment, and so on, take precedence after reviewing all of the clients’ requirements using a PDD.
Following that, a flowchart is created to help comprehend how the process works. It will then assist in determining which tasks require automation and what their requirements are. The developers then select one of the top RPA software tools to automate the specific task, resulting in the creation of a bot for flawless task automation.
- Step 8 — The Development Phase
It is the stage at which the developer creates automation scripts in RPA systems like UiPath, Blue Prism, and others. There is a production of bots or automation scripts by following the previously developed PDD.
Although there is no requirement for coding at the current phase, certain cases demonstrate this. It may, however, vary depending on the task that is being automated. Once an appropriate bot has been constructed, the following stage is to test the bot.
- Step 9 — The User Acceptance Testing Phase
The current stage denotes the testing of the bots that have been created. The bots are tested in a pre-production environment to see how they are used by users by automating some of their unique duties.
Some organizations hire a separate testing staff to test the bots. While many firms have a dedicated testing team that performs testing using QA tests in accordance with standard SDLC procedures. Companies that have QA testing experts on staff are given access to bots that are automated.
If the testing goes well, the bots will move on to the next round. If the test fails, the bots will return to the development phase. The developers identify the problems that caused it to fail, and the testing procedure is repeated. The bots are sent to the deployment phase after undergoing satisfactory testing for the second time.
- Step 10 — The Deployment & Maintenance Phase
The bots are deployed into the production environment after they have been developed and tested. Customers can use them immediately upon their deployment. However, it is possible that certain faults will reappear in the future.
There’s no need to be concerned because the bots will be returned to the development and testing team to be resolved as soon as feasible. The bots are then transported to the next phase of their development, which is their execution.
- Step 11 — The Execution Phase
It is the critical step of the RPA development and implementation cycle in which bots are executed after they have been deployed in order to provide meaningful results to the development team. Furthermore, the bots enter a checking mode to guarantee that the implementation followed the clients’ specifications.
- Step 12 — The Support & Maintenance Phase
It is the final stage of the RPA life cycle, when the bot is made public after it has been executed. Currently, the team is prepared to provide consumers with ongoing support and maintenance if they discover any flaws in the application.
RPA service solutions that have the best support and maintenance services and offer a quick correction of flaws even after the product is in the hands of users are regarded as the best.