Moving forward with the investigation of the RPA industry (robotic process automation), in this blog post, we will consider the role and responsibilities of a person without who the RPA implementation would be convoluted, if not impossible – a business analyst (BA). Today, in the era of digital transformation, a specialist who can provide properly-conducted process analysis is at a premium. Analyzing the current performance of the company, conducting opportunity assessment, generating ideas for process improvement, preparing process documentation, etc. – these skills have always been of the utmost importance for BA hunters. Nonetheless, in the RPA industry, they are now in demand like never before. Considering this, the business analyst role has come into the forefront and, obviously, has undergone some transformations to fit the needs of the rapidly-evolving RPA market. Still, let’s not rush the matter and consider step-by-step who a business analyst is and what responsibilities they have in the RPA scope.
IT Business Analyst
The business analyst role is a comparatively new one on the job market. It emerged around forty years ago due to a lack of skilled professionals capable of finding new ways for process analysis and optimization. Nowadays, this job is considered one of the most high-paid and prestigious around, and, correspondingly, requires a set of particular skills and competencies to be met. Admittedly, an IT business analyst is a person responsible for business process design and process improvement which, in turn, requires them to know everything about the organization and its background. The primary task of any IT business analyst is to conduct a process analysis by answering the following questions:
- What is the current stage of organization development? (as-is)
- Where does it want to be in the future? (to-be)
- Which solution will allow to carry out this conversion in the best way?
To do this, an IT business analyst works closely with the customer representatives, development team, external regulators, and third-party suppliers – overall, connects and organizes the joint work of all stakeholders. Clearly, quite often there is a varied range of stakeholders who have different types of business knowledge, goals, and needs. Correspondingly, a business process analyst often acts as an information conduit who gathers all this knowledge, brings it together and bridges the gap between the development team and the business representatives with the help of process documentation and business process design. I really like the comparison of an IT business analyst to the Interpreter who, on the one hand, translates the requirements of stakeholders to the developers and, on the other hand, helps stakeholders understand technical intricacies.
According to Elabor8, a popular Australian consultancy and training organization, the main activities and responsibilities of the business process analyst can be summarized as follows:
- Analyzing business needs
- Defining a business case
- Eliciting information from stakeholders
- Modeling requirements
- Validating solutions
- Project management
- Project development
- Quality assurance
RPA Business Analyst
Although the position of an IT business analyst still remains at a high ebb, new tendencies have greatly affected the job opportunities demanded on the market. With the wider deployment of RPA technology all around the globe, the role of a business process analyst has experienced a metamorphosis and has become more automation-oriented nowadays. An increasing number of Business Analysts have arrived at a decision to give RPA a chance and apply their skills & competencies, acquired in process analysis and opportunity assessment, in RPA industry.
Today, the diversity of RPA jobs is not that great and mostly includes the positions of RPA developer, RPA manager, RPA consultant, organizational change expert, and, of course, RPA business analyst. However, they are continuing to grow by leaps and bounds and in several decades are expected to occupy the job market like IT-related jobs once did.
As for the skills and competencies expected from an RPA business analyst, these include almost the same as those of a business process analyst in any other area: opportunity assessment, business process design, process documentation, and so on. The employers are usually looking for business analysts with the knowledge of the business & industry, curiosity, excellent communication skills, patience, vision, and of course, analytical skills. Being a liaison between the business unit requesting an automation solution and a development team implementing it, an RPA business analyst should perform a set of important tasks at every stage of the RPA implementation. According to the data provided by UiPath – the current leader on the RPA market – these include:
- Make a list of the processes to indicate the automation potential of each specific process and reduce the amount of technicians’ work by separating out the processes unfit for automation.
- Put through the opportunity assessment of the selected processes. During this stage, an RPA business analyst takes into account such elements as process complexity, input type, logic, rules, etc. which play an important role in business process automation.
- Next comes the solution design phase, during which the RPA business analyst role implies the creation of a process design document (aka PDD). This type of document is of the utmost importance throughout the entire process of the RPA implementation, as it comprises all the necessary data the business process analyst has to transfer from the business representatives to the technical team. Usually, such process design document consists of the introduction, as-is process description, and to-be-process description.
- At the Automate phase, when the process design document is ready, the business analyst role is to keep an eye on the changes that occur during business process design and initiate the change management process by evaluating the impact of the suggested changes.
- After opportunity assessment, creation of the process design document, and the automate phase, comes the next stage of business process automation – Testing. Here, in case the RPA business analyst is involved in the quality assurance process, he or she creates test cases and scenarios to assure the high quality of process improvement. Also, BA coordinates all testing efforts and ensures the required sign-offs are obtained.
- The following stage is called Stabilize & Improvement: the business process analyst compares the KPIs and contrasts the expected results from the business process automation to the actual ones.
- The last stage of the RPA Business Analyst work entails the coordination of documents among the stakeholders and ensuring all the change management procedures are executed.
RPA Business Analyst: Ways to Obtain the Position
If you are interested in getting job in RPA business analysis and discovering the basic of business process automation, check out the information below – I have prepared some useful tips for you.
If you already have particular experience in business process design and know what a business analyst role entails, the best solution for you will be the RPA training arranged by UiPath Academy. Being one of the largest RPA vendors, UiPath offers a wide range of online training courses that meet the needs of both users with a technical and non-technical background. Choose RPA training designed specifically for an RPA business analyst and delve into the world of process improvement and optimization in the RPA industry. Personally, I’ve passed this course and must admit it perfectly encapsulates the entire journey of the RPA business analyst, which comprises process analysis itself, opportunity assessment, process design document with its main constituents, and much more.
For those who are inexperienced in process analysis and RPA (right now) but want to start their business analyst career, namely in this area, UiPath Academy has designed an RPA awareness course which outlines the basics of RPA implementation and the key components of process design document. This RPA training on awareness is highly recommended before passing the course for RPA business analysts, especially if you are not familiar with how automation works in business companies.
Regardless of the category you belong to, or what RPA training you choose, the importance of tools for process improvement should not be underestimated. To ease the preparation of process documentation – which is an integral part of RPA business analyst work – you can take advantage of StepShot solution for RPA process design & discovery. Developed specifically to simplify process improvement in terms of RPA, StepShot helps quickly and seamlessly create the process design document and, therefore, brings business process automation and optimization to a whole new level.