There are several levels of maturity that I’ve seen. Which one are you?
Level 0 (Explore stage):
You’ve just started looking into RPA and automation, you’ve not deployed anything. You’ve seen a few demos but have not yet decided which vendor(s) to use.
Level 1 (Experiment stage):
Your team have self-built automation robots using a free license to understand how the technology works and/or you’ve engaged with preferred vendors who may have given you some licenses for free. No real structured approach yet for assessing or implementing opportunities.
Alternatively, if you have outsourced your CoE completely then your maturity would also be Level 1 as you have not yet developed any in-house capabilities.
Level 2 (Pilot stage):
You’ve hired a hybrid RPA developer who also does the business analysis work to find opportunities to automate, and you’ve deployed a POC (proof of concept). Some RPA documentation and assessment tools exist, and you have a logical approach to assessing opportunities.
Level 3 (Team formation stage):
You have a few expert team members doing some of the roles that make up a CoE team but not a complete structure; a solutions architect, developers, support engineers, RPA analysts, PMs and perhaps a Lean Analyst. You have documented processes, a framework and a toolkit to generate consistent automation solutions.
Level 4 (RPA factory):
A polished team of experienced professionals who have delivered automation in several environments, as well as automation champions throughout the organization as advocates. A steady pipeline and a refined framework to churn out automated solutions at a consistent quality and speed. A complete toolkit with controls and reporting tools.
Level 5 (CoE as a Service):
Experienced team able to provide their services to internal and external clients. Clear terms of service, SLAs and governance processes.
If you have a large organization, you have probably set up several satellite RPA teams that report to you.
There are 2 main types of CoEs. Centralized or Federated, however, the maturity of your CoE team and the geographical location of operations teams may determine which structure is right for you.
This is where you generally should start. Have one team that manages all RPA opportunities happening throughout the organization. This is good for companies where the CoE sits together and all staff are based in the same location, or teams and business units can be easily reached.
This is where you have resources embedded in different business units however they still feed into and draw from a central team for training, tools, knowledge management and governance
Whatever you do, ensure that you don’t have different teams running RPA projects in different ways, learning different lessons and using different RPA vendors – this will only lead in disaster
You can learn more about implementing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and intelligent automation at Leania.co. The Lean Intelligent Automation consultant
You can read about Lean IA’s trademarked AEIO YOU method in their new book Business @ the Speed of Bots, Succeeding In The New Age Of Digital Transformation