The success of any RPA project is due to a variety of factors like buy-in from senior executives, extensive planning, right vendor selection, and so on. But there is something else that is critical: the creation of a Center of Excellence (CoE). In a nutshell, this is a team that helps to manage the RPA system.
At its core, a CoE is a central governance structure that provides leadership, best practices, and support for any business initiative. A CoE also allows these disparate technical and operational groups to quickly align on the initiative and openly collaborate, discuss and sort through any roadblocks or challenges along the way.
Here is an example of CoE Structure. The center of excellence is responsible for four key services:
- Tools and technology
- Process documents and best practices
- Training people in the RPA team and staff team members
There are many roles required for a Center of Excellence team:
The program manager is brought into the team to report to the RPA sponsor. The program manager is responsible for delivering this capability. The program manager, the business analyst form a partnership to liaise between the business and the development team at various levels.
Many of these team roles can be performed by the same person, for example, the business analyst. This is the most important and essential role with responsibility for liaising with staff teams via the subject matter experts, the developers, and the solutions architect. In some setups, developer teams are offshore or near shore. In small teams, Lead RPA Business Analysts in many cases can take on the responsibilities of the project manager to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget. Sometimes they can take on the role of the change manager or evangelist as well to promote the benefits to stakeholders, communicate progress and success, and run learning workshops. The RPA business analyst’s core role is to work closely with subject matter experts to capture their requirements and translate the business problem into a technical solution using the process definition document which they then give to the developer. The process definition document is considered the most important document in the whole RPA implementation process.