The Pillars of Good Governance
ENGIE is leading the way with its award winning robotic process automation (RPA) programme.
Establishing a Centre of Excellence that operates across the group has been crucial to ensuring the right governance is in place to support the effective, consistent rollout of RPA within a standard framework. So how can good governance help your organisation achieve similar success?
Organisations operate different deployment approaches; some centralised and some de-centralised. However, an umbrella of good governance is vital and can be delivered with the right collaborative structures in place that ensure best practice is always advanced.
The most successful, scalable RPA programmes are those with executive buy in. The organisation is clear what benefits it wants from RPA and this strategy is transparent to all levels of the organisation. Underpinning this should be an executive level board to support deployments and manage accountability. Implementing standard measures can demonstrate the difference RPA can make to the business. A level under the executive board is a board that manages individual deployments, allowing strong engagement between the Centre of Excellence and the customer.
An effective method of capturing suitable processes for automation across an organisation allows for a more strategic deployment approach. This allows focus to be put on high value or industrial (build once, deploy many times) processes. This is what Gartner refers to as an Enterprise Automation Roadmap (EAR) in its recommended guideline for effective results (Gartner, 12 October 2016).
Robust business requirements that accurately reflect the needs of the business are less likely to run into multiple change requests during the build phase. These should be signed off by the senior process owner and sponsor.
A key role of a Centre of Excellence is to set, maintain and improve standards. A standard approach with documented standard operating procedures reflects what best practice looks like. A continuous improvement culture regularly embraces both internal and external change and challenging the status quo helps drive better standards.
Many suppliers offer developers accreditation routes and certainly a skills benchmark helps maintains good standards. A training and development approach which embeds these benchmark arrangements ensures greater success and confidence in the Centre of Excellence.
Partnership with ICT
The right balance has to be struck between ICT and the business when deploying RPA. In their 2015 paper, Willcocks, Lacity and Craig highlight the importance of close links to ICT (Willcocks, 2015). Good governance allows the business to address key priorities, while ICT ensure data is safe and secure.
IT is as important as ever, particularly if there is a problem. (Deloitte, 2017). Clear support arrangements are required to ensure any post production issues are managed effectively. Questions need to be answered such as:
- What if the application fails?
- What if the infrastructure fails?
- What if there is a problem with the build?
- What does 1st line, 2nd line and 3rd line support look like?
It is good practice that this is documented and signed off by key stakeholders. Customers of the RPA process should also be fully aware of arrangements as these may cover critical processes.
It goes without saying that development, test and production should be separate environments. There should be clear governance on moving builds to production. It is important that ICT is involved in arrangements governing live processes as well as supporting changes to applications.
So there you have it - working collaboratively with senior support, establishing a listening and learning culture and close cooperation between the Centre of Excellence and ICT are the key ingredients for moving a scalable RPA programme forward successfully.
For more information about how ENGIE is transforming processes with RPA, please contact Martin Ruane, Programme Director on 07772 532101 or at email@example.com.