When applied in the context of RPA, corporate archaeology can be a metaphorical exploration of a company's existing processes, trying to understand and document the workflows that have been built up over the years. This is an essential first step before automating processes using RPA.
Here's how "corporate archaeology" can be interpreted in terms of RPA:
1. Process Discovery:
- Unearthing Existing Processes: Before implementing RPA, businesses need to understand and document their existing processes. This may involve delving into legacy systems, understanding manually managed tasks, and mapping out processes that may have evolved organically over years.
2. Understanding Legacy Systems:
- Digging Into Old Software: Many companies still rely on older software systems for certain tasks. These systems might not be well-documented. "Excavating" these systems to understand their functions and limitations is critical for RPA integration.
3. Cultural Insights:
- Understanding Historical Workflow Choices: Corporate culture and past decisions can heavily influence existing workflows. For instance, a process might be in place simply because "it's how it's always been done." Identifying these processes is vital for successful RPA implementation.
- Creating a Record: Just as archaeologists document their findings, businesses should document existing processes before automation. This ensures clarity when designing RPA solutions and provides a reference point for future improvements.
5. Identifying Artifacts:
- Old Scripts and Macros: Over the years, employees might have developed scripts, macros, or other shortcuts to handle repetitive tasks. These can be considered "artifacts" that offer insight into process pain points and can guide RPA deployment.
6. Integration Opportunities:
- Merging the Old with the New: Post "excavation," businesses can identify where RPA can integrate legacy systems with newer platforms, bridging gaps and enhancing overall system efficiency.
7. Continuous Learning:
- Learning from the Past: By understanding historical workflows and past system limitations, companies can ensure that they don't repeat mistakes and can better tailor RPA solutions to their needs.
In conclusion, while "corporate archaeology" isn't standard terminology in the RPA world, the concept of deeply exploring and understanding a company's existing processes and legacy systems is crucial. This "archaeological" approach ensures that RPA solutions are well-suited, effective, and aligned with the company's goals and operational needs.