Technology isn't always the challenge: My experience with RPA implementation

Sep 5, 2023

5 min read


Technology and software solutions have improved massively over the last decade, and nowadays we are encountered with an increasing range of tools that allow us to do amazing things.

Organizations are constantly looking to innovate and incorporate new technologies into their business processes in order to become more efficient, more flexible, and profitable.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that as the technology stack and solutions continue to expand, the key challenge does not always lie in identifying the correct technology, but in fostering the appropriate cultural shift within the organization. This is essential to ensure that everyone embraces the new technology, enabling the organization to fully leverage its potential.

In this post, I will talk about how we incorporated RPA technology into our company, and the challenges we encountered.

Definition & Context

A quick definition of RPA Technology

RPA stands for “Robotic Process Automation”, and it is a form of business process automation that allows anyone to define a set of instructions for a robot to perform. It’s intended for mundane and repetitive tasks that do not require a high level of thinking or decision-making.

Incorporating RPA technology in an organization is a great way to boost efficiency by removing boring and time-consuming tasks from employees, and therefore providing more free time to take on tasks that can add more value to the company.

Company context

The company I worked for had many great things, but employees didn’t consider it to be techy or innovative, and new initiatives usually took a long time before being implemented.

This is important because when I was talking to everyone to asses their workload and tasks to build a case for RPA, many didn’t show much excitement or confidence that this initiative will see the light.

My initial thoughts were that they would believe it when they saw it, and everyone was going to be fully on board. I was wrong.

And we are live!

We moved really fast and after some weeks of evaluating different solutions and partners, we found our match and started working on our first automation. The first thing we did after this was to gather the team to show the solution, discuss different use cases, and share some general information to empower them to think about which of their tasks could be automated as well.

Everyone was excited about this, and we thought that we were going to receive multiple automation requests. Well, that didn’t happen. We received only three requests in the first month.

This was the time to take a step back so I started talking to the team to get some feedback on how they were seeing the technology and if they were having any trouble thinking about tasks to automate

What we learned

  1. “I’ll do it later”: People are used to a way of working, so they were not dedicating time to think of processes to automate.

  2. “Is it possible?”: There was not a clear understanding of which processes could be automated. I clearly made a mistake thinking that in a 45’ presentation, everybody was going to understand what this was about.

  3. “When will it be done?”: We lacked clear criteria to define the backlog, and there was no visibility for the rest of the team to see the status of their request.

This was the time that I realized that technology alone doesn’t drive change, people adopting and using the technology do.

What we did

It became clear that we had to spend more time talking about the solution, showcasing the benefits, and getting the team excited.

  1. Monthly meetings with advances in processes automated and to address doubts.

  2. E-mails with use cases explained and ideas for people to think about their own tasks.

  3. We found some early adopters and encouraged them to talk about the processes they automated and how they were saving a lot of time and being able to focus on more important things.

Although meetings and emails can prove to be important, I believe that having people inside the organization who are embracing change and telling their teammates about it is key to the success of the project.

The impact

If you think about it, the only thing that we did was to stop talking about what this technology was and why it was great, and instead, we focused on why it was great for people’s specific needs and how it could help them with their real problems.

Of course it didn’t happen overnight, but after some time we managed to get a lot of interest from many people and different areas of the company. And by the first year, we had automated more than +15 processes and already had +20 in the pipeline for the second year, we extended our license with our tech partner and added more capabilities to the RPA product.


The first takeaway is that no matter how amazing or powerful the technology is, it will provide little or no value to an organization without people actually embracing it and taking the most out of it.

There is a great deal of work to be done in terms of evangelization, especially in companies that do not have a track record of being innovative and where people are already used to a way of working and might be reluctant to change. To do this, early adopters are key assets, they will speak highly of the product and the benefits to their coworkers and there will be a higher chance to get them on board as well.

For those who are reluctant to change, we should not force them but instead be emphatic and help them overcome their difficulties. Are they having time to think about use cases for them? Do they have an understanding of the benefits and the solution? Or maybe, are they afraid technology will replace them?

The key to being successful on the road to digitalization is not to force people into technology but to empower them to get the best out of it.

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