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Six Tips from Facebook for Setting up RPA Programs Successfully

by Ant Sh
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Six Tips from Facebook for Setting up RPA Programs Successfully

At UiPath FORWARD IV, Facebook and their RPA Services Partner, Accelirate, had a discussion on scaling automations globally. The Facebook Intelligent Automation COE designs, develops, and supports intelligent automation solutions for Finance and enables other Facebook organizations to leverage RPA technology. As of September 2021, the company had 30 solutions in production and those solutions had saved about 10,000 hours per year. Let’s learn the six tips for automation success given by Joe Bohnert, a Former Intelligent Automation Manager at Facebook, he had discovered during Facebook RPA Journey.

  1. Engage IT. Their involvement is critical

You’re going to need their help early. At the end of the day, this is technology: there is infrastructure, there are needs and if they don’t know what you want, where you’re going, and what the object or the objectives are, they can’t plan to support you when you need it.

  1. Define intake & prioritization early

What’s your decision-making framework? Qualifying what RPA is going to target, allows you to understand how you engage your business and route use cases that you shouldn’t be targeting to the right people. This is a key trust factor Facebook has built with their engineering partners to allow the company to move fast and to get staff comfortable of using a third party product in their unique environment.

  1. Leverage partners to get started

Attempting to grow your own resources could be a long and hardened journey. But a partner can be there to help you get started and move fast early. Joe Bohnert believes that the partnership network is a really under leveraged resource in the space, in terms of how you can take your RPA initiatives to the next level. Explore them, understand who’s going to fit and meet your needs, who’s going to fit your culture and help you achieve your direct objectives. Partners are key if you want to go fast early.

  1. Follow a Crawl / Walk / Run approach

This was an important tool for Facebook in the beginning in order to control their narrative and be able to tell their story across the Facebook landscape. With this phased and disciplined approach, Facebook’s automation team was able to describe what needs to happen in each phase, what does success look like, and what are the tool gates that they’re going to go through before the team knows they’re ready to walk, before they’re ready to run. This allowed the company to set expectations with its stakeholders and really control the messaging and the pacing, and how they move forward.

  1. Use the right tool for the job

RPA is a powerful tool, but it shouldn’t be looked at to solve for everything. Make sure RPA is being used to solve the right problem, and don’t make it a hammer going around looking for the nail within your organization. It’s not always going to drive the right outcome.

  1. Do not overlook change management

You have to meet people where they’re at and bring them to where they’re going. And with change management, the way Facebook looks at this, they can impact one person’s life with an RPA solution, they also can impact 500 people with something they release. How does Facebook tailor its release strategies? To meet those needs and to make sure that these solutions will be adopted. Nobody wants to build something and put it on a shelf. Don’t overlook change management.