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RPA follows a similar life cycle to software development. These are the typical steps followed when implementing RPA in a business

RPA Life Cycle

RPA follows a similar life cycle to software development. These are the typical steps followed when implementing RPA in a business:

1. Identify the appropriate process to be automated.

Even though in theory all processes can be automated some will be easier than others. It is best to find processes that meet the following criteria:

  • Repetitive
  • Rule based
  • Use structured data

The business analyst needs to identify which processes in a business meet these criteria. Often the processes will be ranked according to ease of automation as well as return on investment and then the top ones will be automated first.

2. Define the process

The employee who currently does the job is not normally the RPA developer. Before they can build the robot, the developer needs to know in detail what all the steps of the process are. This may involve recording the employee doing the process.

It is important to also consider what must happen if an exception occurs. For example, what must the robot do when there is data missing or the software it is working with fails.

3. Build the robot

To build the robot, the developer will need access to the software the robot is interacting with. Normally there will be a user profile set up specifically for the robot. In Blue Prism the developer will have to create each step the robot needs to perform, and make sure they must happen in the correct order.

4. Test the robot

The robot needs to be thoroughly tested to make sure it can perform in all situations. It is important to have data that tests whether the robot can also handle all possible exceptions.

If the robot fails at any point the developer will have to make the necessary changes and then it must be tested again.

5. Use the robot

The robot is now ready to be used in the “real world”. The robot still needs to be monitored to see that it is still performing the job it was designed to do.

Centre of Excellence

In a lot of businesses, the RPA is managed by a team called the Centre of Excellence (CoE). It will consist of the business analyst, developers, project managers, testers, and control room operators.

They will engage with the different business areas who own the processes as well as IT.

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