Opportunities and Challenges of RoboticProcess Automation (RPA) in the Administration of Education
Abstract: As the amount of administrative work are increasing in the education sector, organizations has started to look for alternative solutions to the problem. One such solution might be to use automation within the field of administration in order to free the existing staff from the most burdensome and monotonous tasks. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology used to automate digital processes and perform tasks that were previously performed by humans. The implementation of RPA has however proven to be resource-intensive and in need of special technical skill in order to be successful. This thesis has aimed to investigate how RPA automation can be managed within a smaller organization in the education sector and how the expectations of the opportunities and challenges of using RPA may change along with the RPA implementation. A smaller organization who needs to use outsourcing in order to carry out an RPA implementation may have limited knowledge of RPA, which means that the expectations for automation can be unattainably high or surprisingly low. Findings from the case study however suggest that once the first robots had been put into production and started to produce value to the organization, the expectations among the staff increased and a majority of them could see new opportunities of using RPA for further automations. These findings therefore suggest that it is important to generate short-term wins in order to reduce possible resistance to change and to move forward in the implementation of RPA. This thesis has also identified several challenges. These are primarily attributable to limited resources, which means that the important work of reviewing and documenting manual processes for automation may be downgraded because of time restraint. Other challenges may consist of limited knowledge of RPA and an unclear ownership of processes when manually performed processes instead are being carried out by robots. By considering and taking advantage of the changed expectations and the opportunities and challenges that have emerged through this study, it is possible to ensure a successful implementation of RPA automation within the administration of education.
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