Business Process Standardization With RPA

Introduction — Business Processes

What is a Business Process

What is Business Process Standardization

Business Process Standardization is the act of establishing a “Best Practice” of how to carry out a process and make sure that the entire organization follows it.

Process Standardization
  • Setting the standards
  • Reporting on the standards for the management
  • Adherence to the established standards
  • Continuous improvement

What RPA has to do with Process Standardization

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) aims to replace highly manual, repetitive, rule-based processes that handle huge volumes of data.
  • RPA is not a nail that we can use to fix a broken process that humans perform manually on a specific routine.
  • Every RPA project should focus on some level of process standardization before any automation efforts.
Robotic Process Automation

Why RPA Require Process Standardization

Characteristics of a Non-Standardized Process include:

  • Increased error rate
  • Decreased quality of routine tasks
  • Inefficient tasks
  • Excess repetitive tasks
  • Reduced functionality
  • High maintenance costs
  • Less reliable end results
  • High variability in output
  • No clearly defined inputs and outputs
  • D — Defects
  • O — Overproduction
  • W — Waiting
  • N — Not utilizing talent
  • T — Transportation
  • I — Inventory excess
  • M — Motion waste
  • E — Excess processing
Data Structures

Process Standardization Benefits as Part of RPA

Applying RPA will:

  • Improve the quality of routine tasks
  • Increase overall process efficiency
  • Decrease error rates
  • Reduce redundant and unnecessary tasks
  • Reduce dependencies on multiple systems and screens
  • perfecting customer service
  • productivity & process improvement
  • increased quality and clarity
  • Easier onboarding of new technology

Process Standardization & Approach

Every step of a business process deals with data. RPA focus on automating every step of a business process in a standardized approach.

Process Standardization & Approach
Organization levels that RPA can be applied

Approach to Standardize a Business Process as Part of RPA

The Below framework can be used as a business process standardization approach in any RPA project.

Process Standardization Framework

Standardization Framework — Analysis

Business Analyst should carry out the below tasks to identify standardization procedures

  • Detailed discussions with the stakeholders of the existing manual process & expected automated process
  • Detailed documentation of the existing manual process to identify manual, semi-automated & automated activities within the process
  • Identify standard operational procedures which can be introduced and mapped it to the process map
  • Plan for a standard business rule library that can be used by the automation process.
  • Come up with standard procedures for the maintenance of the business rule library
  • Identify the complexity of the existing process and investigate ways of reducing the complexity by applying standardization.

Standardization Framework — Standardization & Technical Feasibility

The below guide is followed by a Business Analyst to find the best candidate processes for automation.

Where the Standardization Framework is Applied in Process Life Cycle

Process Life Cycle

Six Sigma for Process Standardization

Six Sigma for Process Standardization With Example

This example is used to explain the phases of Six Sigma.

  • RPA can automate the majority of account payable processes listed below:
  • Invoice Data Entry
  • Check preparation
  • Disbursement of checks

Six Sigma for Process Standardization

Methodology to guarantee that the process will be fully optimized and standardized to receive the RPA robot;

Six Sigma for Process Standardization

Six Sigma for Process Standardization — Define

Main purpose: verify the actions, which should be taken in order to solve the problem.

Steps Carried out in Define Phase
Reduction of Finance Department’s Accounts Payable Procedure Cycle Time
To Be Process Performance Standard

Six Sigma for Process Standardization — Measure

Main purpose: Measuring the current process by gathering information to understand its state.

Steps Carried out in Measure Phase
Value Stream Map (Process Map) of the Current Process

Six Sigma for Process Standardization — Analyze

Main purpose: Analyzing the results of the measurements to determine the causes of the process imperfections.

Steps Carried out in Analysis Phase
The Why’s of Analysis
Impact Vs. Control Matrix
5 M’s of Six Sigma Process Standardization

Six Sigma for Process Standardization — Improve

Main purpose: Implementing the changes which eliminate the imperfections.

Steps Carried out in Improve Phase
Improved Vs. Legacy State of Account Payable Process

Six Sigma for Process Standardization — Control & Sustain

Main purpose: Controlling the improved process & monitoring the results in a continuous way.

Steps Carried out in Control & Sustain Phase

Special Thanks

Thank you so much Jay Armand Ogayon (UiPath Chapter Lead for Manila, Philippines), Lucas Pimenta (UiPath MVP), and Clayton Marischen (UiPath MVP) for your amazing guidance, and contributions in putting this document together.

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Lahiru Fernando

Lahiru Fernando

UiPath MVP/ Executive Lead — Robotic Process Automation/ UiPath Community Leader for SAARC Region/ UiPath Community Moderator