Automation and artificial intelligence are receiving an increased mindshare in the federal marketplace lately, and much of this focus has been around machine learning and its potential to impact strategy and long-term planning. At the tactical level, robotic process automation (RPA) offers a greater near-term impact but requires the right focus and attention. Many people have focused on the word “robotic” as they engage in the evaluation of its potential, but to unlock the real power of the capability, more attention needs to be given to the words “process automation.”

Effective and responsible use of RPA should be viewed as more than just the next new thing. Managing the impact and interaction with employees and stakeholders is extremely important and will require active communication and engagement. Key people, including executives from human resources, business leaders (finance, supply chain, customer experience, etc.) and your information technology organization should actively participate in the integration process. There are three impactful ways that RPA can materially improve the work life of the federal worker.It is natural for workers to be nervous and skeptical about RPA, making the need for a workforce strategy, which is a critical component of any RPA endeavor, to effectively manage the co-existence of the human workforce with the digital workforce (RPA Bots). This requires change management efforts which are often underestimated by organizations when they launch their intelligent automation journey.

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