Concept deployment of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) across shared partnership

Full Application: Not funded at this stage

Stevenage Borough Council and East Herts District Council run  shared ICT and Revenue and benefits partnership. At present many processes and information transfers within both organisations are a manual process.  Both councils wish to initiate a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to reduce manual processes.

There are many iterative processes within both councils processes which are ripe for exploration by a RPA solution, there are  a numerous RPA solutions on the market which can address this problem. We have already engaged with the free Microsoft Navigator consultancy. if engaged they will assist in scoping of work across both councils and procuring a solution. Old working practices and limitation on time & resources due to lack of financial resources has reduced ability to initiate project to highlight and reduce manual processes using technology.

Investigation using Microsoft Navigation consultancy has highlighted RPA as an area ripe for exploration in both councils in reducing workloads and potentially financial efficiencies. The aim would be to a reduced requirement for repetitive tasks driving increased job satisfaction and retention.

Initially the target departments would be Housing (Stevenage) and Revenue & benefits (East Herts) and once proof concept has been completed a wider role out to other departments. During the deployment phase we will record number of processes completed by the RPA process to gauge time saved and success criteria of project.

See attached PDF Page 3, 4,12

The replacement of manual processes with RPA software is a solution which an be utilized at all districts and authorities. With an adequate deployment it would then be feasible to either reduce staffing levels with corresponding savings or re-task staff to work of a less formulaic nature dependent on requirements and department.

If the RPA deployment involves a process initiated by a member of the public (EG. Mobile number change across multiple databases) it will drastically reduce the opportunity for phone information to be included in DBs and/or entries or some database being missed.

Staff will have to engage in less repetitive work which by its very nature can cause errors or omissions.

See attached PDF Page 12

Benefits of the project include:

Replacement of manual processes with RPA reducing errors and omissions
Cost saving but potential staff reduction or increased productivity by re-purposing staff to more complex tasks driving increased job satisfaction and retention
Reduce error-rates through replacement of manual error-prone processes.
Some processes can be accessed 24×7 if accessible from digital platforms allowing greater customer service to the citizen. Tasks offered by this process can be captured and analyzed to see what benefit greater access supplies and number of such tasks removed from general staff.

Depending on council  policy we will be bale to capture reduction of staff due to work reduction, areas of work which are now completed more speedily, or where new areas of work are opened up.

The actual benefits will alter depending on the individual task and department and will be corded as part of the project documentation on a case by case basis.

Stevenage and East herts have a  shared ICT department which will manage this project. within ICT there is a structured Project Management Office consisting of dedicated project managers and and a management structure.

All projects managed by this team report back to the ICT Strategics manager for over sight but also to the governance board called ICT Steering Group which consists of senior managers from both councils.

We do not envision any additional support required.