Blog| Leveraging RPA to Transform Project Management

Apr 23, 2021 Anjan Barman

In continuation of the blog series ‘RPA for business processes’ which includes sales, manufacturing, and many more, this time we zero in on another critical area – project management.

RPA can automate a multitude of structured and repeatable processes associated with complex and multi-faceted projects and project management, delivering high efficiency and productivity as outcomes. RPA helps project managers with the required planning, organizing, and monitoring of activities.

By 2021, the global robotic process automation market is expected to touch $11 billion, growing at a whopping CAGR of 34% from 2020 to 2027.

Project Scope

Bots can be trained to collect project information from stakeholders and the internet. Bots can assist in a meticulous evaluation of the various project success determinants to identify project deliverables. Bots with intelligence can be used to analyze and define project milestones and phases.

Workforce Management

To free themselves of the tedious task of creating project rosters for the team, managers can deploy bots. RPA can be used to share these schedules with the team and relay their acceptance status back to the manager. Bots can keep track of the adherence to schedules by mapping the actual attendance of the team with the plan.

Budgeting

Accurate budgeting needs careful analysis of a copious amount of business data, which can be left to bots. Bots can identify and extract relevant data from the database and other sources and drill down into those to extract valuable insights. They can be configured to factor in relevant variables such as inflation and additional expenses for greater accuracy.

In a Deloitte survey, 86% of the respondents agreed that RPA improves productivity within their workplaces.

Capacity Planning

To accurately balance the working time of the teams against project needs, RPA facilitates empirical evaluation of the skills and strengths of each team member. Bots can be deployed to match the expertise of members with the combined effort required, which gives an objective view of the team’s ability.

Collaboration and Reporting

Project teams can schedule emails and other forms of communications to maintain visibility into the project progress. RPA keeps all stakeholders informed about the project status in real-time. For assistance in reporting, bots can access relevant data from pre-configured sources, present it in the required format(s), and share it with the intended recipients.

File Sharing

A typical project requires frequent exchanges of information in the form of digital files. To that end, project managers need to ensure seamless and safe information exchange. RPA ensures a high level of information safety through username-password validation. Bots keep track of document versions and help retrieve any older version when required.

Billing and Quoting

Bots can keep track of project expenses and assist in project billing through templates. RPA can factor in budget fluctuations caused by the addition or exit of any project member by retrieving their details from the portal/folder and effecting the necessary changes in all forms and relevant templates.

Benefits of RPA in Project Management

Reduced Costs: Project management is an expensive affair and hence, business leaders opt for RPA to save on the project costs. A significant advantage offered by RPA is that bots can complete routine tasks without human intervention, hence saving on opex.

Faster Completion Rate: As bots perform actions much faster than humans, bottlenecks within the project processes are identified and addressed quickly. Also, bots can work around the clock and still maintain high output efficiency, while the human workforce would tire in a few hours.

Quality Output: Most errors in a project workflow, such as wrong copying of information (while creating invoices, drafting emails, etc.) are avoidable using RPA. Bots identify the value to be copied by targeting UI elements of applications, ensuring that the error rate is almost nil. By taking over tedious tasks, bots prevent employee burnout and allow them to shift focus on other critical areas.

Integrates with Existing Applications: A typical project can involve a plethora of digital applications such as CRM, ERP, portals, and many more. RPA can break data silos within disparate systems and help centralize data. Bots also maintain data integrity by sitting on top of existing applications and not interfering with their core programming.

Scalability: Bots can be effortlessly scaled up or down as per project requirements, making it easy to handle peak seasons. Also, unlike a human employee, bots need very little time to start following the already predefined workflow pattern, ensuring minimum productivity loss.

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Anjan Barman

Anjan Barman is a technology enthusiast with primary interests in the applications and possibilities of Cloud, RPA, AI, CRM, and the like in modern businesses. He loves exploring how innovations help organizations improve their efficiency while reducing operating costs and presents the same in an atypical way.