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Feel like a robot?

With the holiday season over and everybody back working, are you starting to “Feel like a Robot”?

You know the tasks you are doing are part of the business activity. They need to be done, but the repetitive activity makes the tasks seem boring or dull.

It is work, so what do you expect?

You and your colleagues are cogs in the “Business Machine”.

The hours of the day pass and you act like a robot completing the tasks, hopefully without the more extreme feelings of depression that would require medical support.

Morning newspaper articles talk about the “Future of work” but that can seem like a dream as the pressure to get another load of tasks complete during the day continues.

Things can be changed. Instead of businesses expecting people to act like robots working on computer systems, software robots can be deployed to complete the routine, predictable and “Boring” tasks. This can free your time to work on handling the exceptions and using your business knowledge to add more value to the business.

UiPath a leading provider of software robots, have used an advertisement which says “UiPath makes bots, so that people do not have to act like robots”. I believe this addresses the situation of a person “Feeling like a robot”.

The implementation of software robots to perform repetitive tasks is called “Robotic Process Automation” (RPA). It is the type of change that makes people feel better about their work and is a benefit for the business as well, definitely a “Win – Win” outcome.

For any HR manager or line manager that conducts a 1:1 meeting with a team member and gets the answer “I feel like a robot” when asking how things are going, at least being able to talk about RPA could be the start a positive change for the business as well as the person.

Although RPA software robots are relative quick to implement, it is not like taking an asprin, so the relief from “Feeling like a robot” will not be instant. The implementation of RPA software robots will require planning, some development and testing, but software robots are generally not a threat to a person’s job. By embracing the use of robots the daily activities can be made more “Human” which has to be of benefit to everyone.

People may feel that a task is repetitive, but in situations where it is not a predicable rules driven activity, the RPA software robots on their own may not be a sufficient solution. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to supplement the RPA software robots can be the way to deliver the capability to automate such tasks. In many situations, an optimal solution can be achieved by using RPA software robots to do some tasks, with people and / or AI being used for other parts of a business process. The lean methodology, with continuous improvement (aka “Kaizen”) can be practical way of starting the transformation from a pure human operated business process to a state where there is an evolution to a more automated operation with RPA and AI being an integral part of the activity.

For more on RPA, please see https://www.ether-solutions.co.uk/en/rpa-information

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