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Best Practices for an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE)

An RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) connects success factors in a programmatic way to ensure the people, processes, and tools within the organization are aligned strategically and produce a scalable impact. Checks and balances for scoping, designing, programming, testing, and deployment may be implemented to ensure synergies between business units.

RPA CoE Structure

Within the CoE structure, the sponsors, users, and RPA development team form the roof of the house RPA built. These include the executives who want to make a difference, the developers and testers who deliver automation, and everyone in between who ensures that the CoE can handle any degree of complexity or amount of output. Consider the CoE's People to be the canopy that protects the organization's structure.

If everyone is invested in the outcome and works together in the common goal, the CoE will function smoothly and create continuous impact, much like a factory.

Inside the CoE, there should be pillars of success that support the stakeholders. These pillars support the standards, expectations, and operating model to govern the RPA program, maximizing the impact it drives at the enterprise level. In a centralized CoE model, these pillars of success can be based on functional departments, but in a federated model, they can be mapped to business units or regional operating units.

The pillars for a CoE are driven by the CoE program lead and usually consist of the following:

  • Strategy: The RPA strategy and operating model matches short-term decisions to the long-term vision for the RPA scale in the enterprise, defining budget allocation, communication plan, enterprise rollout, and so on.​
  • Model: Documentation is key for establishing the standards, methodologies, and best practices for scaling towards a mature CoE. JOLT resources typically document needs, solutions, and project impact for the client’s consumption. ​
  • Governance: Establishes the methods used to provide guidance, support, shared learning, and oversight for the CoE based on the input from the leadership of the CoE and the leadership from the internal and external groups participating in the CoE.​
  • Enablement: Outlines the methods to identify best practices and create a cross-training methodology where it makes sense. Training includes any content provided to or by the CoE. ​
  • Support: Establishes any ties with external and internal providers of guidance to the CoE. This should include a listing of executive stakeholders and expectations of the guidance to be provided. ​

A robust center of excellence with a foundation of process and tools supported by strong pillars of success will bear the weight of RPA stakeholders' expectations, timelines, and anticipated ROI. Based on RPA candidates, development capabilities, and future scalability, the COE framework provides a means to ensure a continuing output of automation. Getting started is the most challenging element of building a CoE. It's never too late to put in the framework to ensure future scalability in your RPA implementation, whether you have one automation or a hundred.

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Are you having trouble scaling your RPA program or facing roadblocks around your CoE strategy? JOLT is a pureplay Robotic Process Automation (RPA) services provider, we can help your organization navigate the nuances of setting up a digital-first enterprise.

Contact us to talk to a specialist today about your automation goals, book a free consultation here.