The importance of standardization in the age of RPA

October 19, 2020
Image of man typing on laptop.

How many times have you sat down to explain a process or task to someone you’re delegating to, only to have to come up with and break down that process in real time during the conversation? Especially when teams are growing and the demand for productivity increases, it’s difficult to make the transition from “this is how I do things” to “this is how we do things.” Everyone checks their email, plans their day, and gets things done in a unique way. This is great for simple processes only done by one person, but when it comes to scaling productivity, it’s a huge hurdle.  
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is becoming more and more commonplace in today’s business world. As technology advances to the point of being able to add intelligently to a team’s ability to do work (and do it well, of course), it’s to the advantage of business owners to make the most of what’s available. From rudimentary tasks like scraping data from websites to Digital Coworkers functioning as full employees of a company, the sophistication of RPA is constantly growing. As a result, it’s important to understand how to make the best use of the technology available.

When using automation to replicate simple, repetitive tasks, there’s not often a lot of thought or planning that has to go into figuring out how to program the automation. For example, when triggering a welcome email to be sent to a new customer automatically instead of by hand, the process between the trigger and the action is incredibly basic.

See also: What Did We Do Before Automation Technologies Like RPA?

In contrast, the process of compiling information for a new patient in a medical practice and submitting a request for insurance authorization is complex. Two people in the same office may go about this task in completely different ways. A new person being hired into the same office would, in all likelihood, have to piece together their own process for completing the task based on a blend of their two teachers, creating yet a third way to request insurance authorization. Should a fourth person be added to the team, the task is even further confounded, making it inefficient and frustrating to grow as an office while ensuring all work is completed quickly and accurately.

This issue can be solved by creating and enforcing one standard procedure for accomplishing complex tasks, whether those completing the tasks are human or digital. In fact, while standardizing processes is a nice-to-have, streamlining benefit of standardization when considering human employees, it’s a necessity when considering the automation of complex tasks.

For example, with Digital Coworkers, customized bots are trained in the industry and company they’re to be deployed in, meaning they’re ready to ramp up and become part of the team they’re joining once their training is complete. Then, as with any new hire, the bots are given login credentials to the platforms they’re going to be using and set up with the processes and systems the company uses. From there, they’re able to operate as a fully-functional member of their team, intelligently completing tasks and engaging with their coworkers as necessary.

See also: Robots don't fail gracefully... by themselves.

For the Digital Coworker to be able to take on the workload it’s capable of handling as quickly as possible (therefore giving its “employer” a faster return on investment), it’s important to be able to know exactly what the bot is expected to do and how it needs to do it. From insurance authorizations as mentioned above to completing quality assurance checks and everything in between, with standardized processes, there’s no limit to what RPA backed by intelligent automation is capable of.

Not only is process standardization a wise way for businesses to organize, streamline, and prepare for growth, it’s a necessity when taking advantage of the technology available today. Taking the time to document, plan, and roll out standardized processes for your team now will only serve to make everyone’s jobs easier in the long run … including the Digital Coworker you should add to your team.

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