CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN RPA: What if my already automated process has to go through a change?

“Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin,” says Denise Mcluggage.

If there is any living example of the above idea, it is life itself. A caterpillar would most likely stagnate and destroy itself, if it decided never to break free of its comfortable cocoon. If a seedling remained under the soil in its most basic form, flora and fauna would never see the light of day. And last but not the least, had the caveman become complacent in the uncertain safety of the cave, we at XLNC wouldn’t be writing this blog, and you’d not be reading about Robotic Process Automation – a process that is rapidly changing the working of organizations.

We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s discuss what’s rightly touted as the most constant factor in the face of the earth – ‘change’. And in automation terms, change takes the form of a process known as “change management”. While RPA can change an employee and organization’s lives in very relieving and efficient ways, it can also prove to be a very unwelcome change to some employees and organizations, in that it pushes the workforce and its members out of the comfort zone of manually performing repetitive tasks. Coupled with this dilemma, there can also be certain sudden changes in the already planned end-to-end automation process, which can further lead to chaos and confusion, and a general animosity towards automation. But change management, when performed optimally, can change the entire scenario for the better:

1.What is change management?
Imagine you’ve spent all your valuable time identifying a certain business process that can be automated, and holding meetings with SMEs and automation software providers regarding the end-to-end automation process. Then, after the recommendations and other formalities, the RPA developers get to work, committing themselves to giving life to your bot. Then, suddenly, an organizational policy changes, and you realize with utter disbelief that the bot being developed for you no longer has a utility value in its original form. So now, are your time, energy and efforts all in vain? “Not at all,” replies change management. Change management helps you effectively modify the automation process, by performing the necessary alterations to the existing process, and adding or eliminating processes as and when required.

2.But…tell me more. Will it cause a hole in my pocket?
Rest assured. If an automation software platform offers change management, it should also ensure that the process is carried out efficiently, and in as cost effective a manner as possible. The automation software providers are typically prepared for any alterations or modifications that may take place at any point of time in the course of the process.
A typical change management process begins with the client disclosing the need for a change in the already planned end-to-end process. Thereafter, the client and the automation software provider sign an agreement with regard to the changes agreed upon between the two parties with regard to the ongoing project. Here, the client also specifies the priority and complexity levels of the change to be carried out; along with a Timelines matrix indicating the approximate duration of the project after incorporating the required changes. The client also notifies the provider about the changes via the Change Management module. The changes are then deployed in the bot, along with the Exception Management information; i.e., what the bot must do if the process cannot be performed, for some reason, in the usual manner.
Once the lengthy process of developing the bots based on the changes agreed upon is completed, a customer satisfaction survey is conducted, where the customer gives an account of whether the change management has been performed in a satisfactory manner, and if it is being implemented purposefully in the workplace. Then, the solution architect validates the Exception Management process, and the resolution percentage rate is evaluated. After this, customer satisfaction is gauged once again, and a report is drafted based on the same. Lastly, the change management module is drafted and updated, and the process is concluded successfully.
Change is a very integral part of any process; and regardless of the amount of planning that goes into developing a process, it is always important to be mentally prepared for any sudden need for a modification or even elimination of the project. And change management is the panacea to your RPA change requirements.

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