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Scaling RPA with the Automation Operating Model (AOM)

Scaling automation throughout a company requires an Automation Operating Model (AOM). Many organizations don't get the benefits they expected from their automation program because they don't have the adaptability that an automation operating model brings to the table.

What is the Automation Operating Model

The Automation Operating Model (AOM) is a template for the RPA program that includes executive vision, IT automation readiness, control framework, citizen model, and attended strategy, among other things. The AOM is a top-down initiative that is supported by enterprise-wide goals and is directed by upper-level leadership. Furthermore, each organization's AOM is unique, and it is essential to growing automation properly.

The AOM Principles

The Automation Operating Model has four principles that help define the success of an organization's automation program:

  1. It is critical to design a comprehensive governance model that can balance the speed of deployment without sacrificing quality and controls.
  2. Design a path-to-production that drives maximum automation potential and ensures control and procedural compliance.
  3. Deploy an operating model that can adapt to support functions and change resource models with ease.
  4. Leverage existing tools, processes, and best practices where possible in the AOM design.

The critical turning points in an RPA program's early stages, from commencement to scaling, are when the scope expands from departmental to organizational. Without an automation operating model, the program can quickly devolve into a jumble of projects. The tactical, project-based approach to automation invariably results in low-return-on-investment (ROI) use cases. One of the most typical stumbling blocks to expanding Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is this.

Four Stages of the Automation Maturity Spectrum

On their road to effectively growing automation, most businesses will go through four stages. The breadth of the automation operating model will develop as a company's automation program progresses through these stages.

Four Stages of the Automation Maturity Spectrum

Most businesses that begin using RPA will complete a proof-of-concept phase successfully. They will test the technology with a few employees who have a defined set of use cases within a department and argue for its growth. However, even if early results are promising and the limitless potential of automation is evident, there is still a risk of stasis or failure.

The AOM depicts WHO and HOW organizations will implement their automation plan. It guarantees that the governance and standards necessary to grow and regulate activities are in place.

To develop a comprehensive automation pipeline, most companies choose one of two approaches:

  1. A top-down approach to determining the CoE priority for unattended robots. Executives and business transformation teams generally have large transformation initiatives in this paradigm, and these projects establish the priorities for automation intake into the CoE. To identify the number of manual steps in a process, workarounds, and the number of exceptions to a process, top-down automation discovery can be backed by UiPath Process Mining or process subject matter experts (SMEs).
  2. A bottom-up approach that empowers employees to propose and self-evaluate automation ideas that will be supplied via the CoE or via their own digital assistant utilizing attended automation. Because a centralized CoE cannot generate all of the needed automations on its own, these employee-driven automations are critical when top-down automation discovery isn't adequate to grow RPA.

Road to a Fully Automated Enterprise

When an automation Center of Excellence (CoE) reaches scale, it implies creating automations that span many departments, business systems, and technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots. The true game-changer is enabling every employee to utilize, create, and profit from automation.

Organizations require three aspects to realize the promise of automation fully. The first one is to drive execution; leadership creates automated targets. Then, a Center of Excellence is capable of developing sophisticated automations that add significant value. And, finally, as digital assistants on every PC, software robots are driving broad adoption.

The automated operating model is a well-thought-out strategy for executing all of them at the same time. It brings together leadership, the Center of Excellence, and the business groups.

While the CoE must offer a governance and control role, this approach to automated operating model provides each business unit a significant deal of autonomy. Here are a few instances of how the CoE controls aid in the creation of a departmental interaction model that an organization can scale quickly:

  • To avoid duplication of effort or to work in silos, all automation initiatives are visible in real-time.
  • Identifying and distributing high-value automations developed by particular business divisions
  • Any citizen-developed automations that are intended for consumption by others will be subjected to quality assessments.

In addition to interaction standards, the AOM specifies how organizations will include current and future automation technologies in the organization's approach to delivering enterprise service. Also, the AOM establishes the automation program's principles, standards, and execution rules. A blueprint of how all stakeholders and participants will interact is included in the operational model. The AOM ensures that all participants know their procedures and expectations, establishing the interaction requirements and role definitions.

An organization's automation project may evolve into a comprehensive and un-siloed enterprise program that provides considerable value to the business with well-planned creation and management of an AOM.

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Are you having trouble scaling your RPA program? JOLT is a specialized Robotic Process Automation (RPA) services provider, we can help you and your company navigate the nuances of setting up a digital-first enterprise.

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

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