Mary Lou Joseph
2 minute read
By Mary Lou Joseph
Posted in Customer Engagement
Robotic Process Automation, RPA, is at a tipping point and set to grow dramatically in the next few years. By 2021, Forrester estimates there will be more than 4 million robots doing office and administrative work as well as sales and related tasks.1 Are you ready to manage the workforce of the future, one that is made up of software robots and humans? According to a Deloitte 2017 survey, "32% of companies are prepared for RPA technology; but only 12% are prepared for the people implications."2
Crafting a smooth workflow and effectively planning resources--both robotic/digital and human--is a journey organizations are just embarking on. Following are 5 best practices to help you navigate these new managerial waters.
1. Identify Tasks and Processes Suited for Automation. Not all tasks are suited for automation, or worth the time and expense of creating and maintaining the automation. Click here for tips on prioritizing your organization's processes for automation.
2. Create a Holistic Capacity Plan. Having a capacity plan that factors in both the digital and human workforce is critical to ensuring the efficiency savings created by RPA are captured by the organization. If processing times and goals are not adjusted for your employees, the savings may never be realized.
3. Balance Workloads and Manage Performance. By automating the allocation of work and tasks between robots and humans, you can load balance the output of robot work into the human queue and vice versa. And, just as you measure and manage the performance of employees, you will need to do the same for the robots. But a word of caution: avoid making comparisons between robot and human overall productivity; it is not a like-for-like scenario.
4. Update Training for New Skills. As the simple, rules-based tasks are automated, employees will need training on exception handling and more complex activities that require judgement and creative problem solving.
5. Address Cultural Concerns. Be up front in addressing employee concerns (Will my job be taken over by a robot?) and emphasize the value RPA provides as a positive addition to the team. A change management plan that includes communications on how the robots work, how they will be managed, and how they will help employees achieve their performance goals will be critical.
For a more in-depth look at managing the workforce of the future, read the eBook: Humans and RPA Robots Working Side-by-Side: Are You Ready?
1 The Forrester WaveTM: Robotic Process Automation, Q2 2018
2 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte Consulting
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