Posted on behalf of Paul Actis, SVP Research & Development
1st Gear – Time is of the essence
When you open an application, do you want to wait 10 seconds before you start working on it? Of course not, but a lot of automation processes will. The 10 seconds is a buffer due to a slow network or machine. However, these times can be arbitrary and littering your workflow with them will cause the process to be slowed down unnecessarily or even worse, fail when that timespan isn’t long enough. A better way is to use timing commands where the workflow will wait for some text, cursor, or prompt to be present on the screen before proceeding. Thus, ensuring the optimal performance.
2nd Gear – You can do this, or you can do that
Data entry workflows are fraught with automation land mines, especially when updating or inserting a record. This can provide a multitude of failure points such as:
‘Invalid entry’, ‘Entry does not exist’, ‘Entry exists but is inactive’
How do you handle all these conditions? A rules-based segment is the best way to proceed. It uses intelligent conditioning to review each entry option and provide escape routes when encountering complex decisions.
3rd Gear – You’re Smarter Than This
At some point in time a workflow is going to fail, EVERY workflow fails. Corrupt data, screen changes or a bad process will cause the workflow to stop and you need a plan around that. No worries, the following SOPs will have you back up and running in no time:
- Log error
- Alert affected users
- Restart workflow
- Start where you left off
4th Gear – Sometimes you need to downshift
You’re going from 75 to 30 to take that off ramp…
Maybe you’re waiting on a mouse click that only is available through x, y coordinates
Maybe a file is being processed
Maybe the user needs to make a dynamic decision
In all these cases, there is no shame in throwing a few wait commands or message boxes to alert the user that they may need to take control.
5th Gear – Be kind to strangers
You may be the smartest person in the room (and let’s be honest, in your mind you are) but just because your users don’t understand what RPA is or how to gracefully recover from a level five ‘object reference not set to an instance of an object’ error, doesn’t mean they should be shunned. They know their processes BETTER than you, and when your workflow fails, THEY can be the unsung hero who helps you navigate the application flawlessly and back to success.
6th Gear – Build it Once, Thank You, Build it Twice, Shame on You
Nothing makes me sadder than watching real smart analysts duplicate efforts around their workflows. Whether it is rebuilding the login screen multiple times or having separate error handlers for each process, these efforts can be easily reduced. With external segments, you can write once, process anywhere. So that login segment that needs to be edited every month because of security protocols, only needs to be updated in the master workflow and it will propagate to every other workflow that references it.
Each gear is essential to the successful implementation of your RPA project. Summit Healthcare has been offering RPA solutions for over 20 years exclusively to the healthcare market and has spent years developing cutting-edge technology that can assist you in building intelligent workflows for improved productivity, ROI, and employee satisfaction. Luckily for you, the Summit Scripting Toolkit (SST) is a well-oiled mechanism for achieving all of these goals and more.
Don’t have the resources in-house to build or maintain your RPA projects? Ask us about Summit RPA On Demand: Our Professional Services team coupled with our cutting-edge RPA technology to provide a unique temporary or full-time “employee” to perform any routine tasks for your department.