Lessons Learned in the On-Going RPA Journey

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The framework sets the stage. USDM’s robotic process automation (RPA) framework goes full circle from initiating the intended use of RPA and assessing its compliance, to review and feedback during risk-based testing, to approval or adjustments as it approaches its release into the wild.

The multitude of tests within the framework has enabled USDM teams to gain valuable insight and improve the RPA process as it evolves.

In case you missed it, Part 1 of this blog series introduces the concept of RPA and how it can help your employees focus on their high-value work. Part 2 addresses RPA GxP-relevant use cases and provides a few examples.

RPA Components, Strategy, and Optimization

Reusable Components

Reusable components include application functions and data connectors, custom activities to replace default activities, developer tools, and workflow templates. These components contribute to RPA for simple tasks like checking or receiving emails, manipulating spreadsheets, and translating text, or more complex tasks like a management console configuration verification.

USDM reusable components are published as libraries that can be added as dependencies to automation processes. From there, they can be linked to component validation artifacts (for example, testing and requirements) that leverage previous validation.

Reusability is the key to efficient RPA development and validation. When a workflow is under design and development, existing requirements associated with reusable components and their associated test coverage can be leveraged for components that were already validated. When these artifacts exist in our cloud repository, we can easily generate reports for them.

Open-Source Java Libraries

Open-source libraries for Java development have proven time and again that they provide reliable code to accomplish a variety of tasks like monitoring application logs, reading Excel files, and connecting databases.

The USDM RPA team leverages open-source Java libraries to automate complex web UI validation tasks and reporting. For example, we created a Java project using Selenium to interact with the DocuSign application and validate approximately 300 settings configured for the DocuSign account. This automated solution validates selected application settings to the value provided in the configuration specification document and includes items like checkboxes, radio buttons, select boxes, and input text fields. This automated solution also identifies other available settings and records them in the output report for impact assessment.

Drag-and-Drop ML Tools

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) become more commonplace—and you don’t need a developer specializing in AI to do all the work—ML models are easier to create and connect so that output from one model becomes input for the next.

As we work toward making RPA robots (bots) smarter and improving their cognitive processes, drag-and-drop ML tools will enable our developers to create intelligent workflows for our customers.

Custom Activities

An activity is a basic component of RPA. For example, your email program uses an activity to manage your messages according to specified rules, while your word processing application uses activities to format your documents.

Custom activities are created as we work through the USDM RPA Framework to define and build your product. Once these custom activities are complete, we can install and drag-and-drop them into workflows specially designed for your organization’s workflow processes.

In one case, USDM created a workflow to read Oracle unstructured data from various client configuration templates and put it into an Excel file with standardized column headers and rows, which allows automations to read the configuration settings.

How USDM’s RPA Experience Can Help You

A cloud-based toolset to manage your RPA tasks is key. ​USDM’s Cloud Assurance is the right service for rapid implementation, validation, and maintenance to enable a continuously compliant tech stack (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) in your organization.

Our flexible cloud adoption model means that you can migrate your GxP workload to take advantage of built-in security and compliance while minimizing your cloud expenses and resources.

While you are able to focus on validating your business flows and exceptions, USDM will improve your processes and save you time and money by using validated RPA applications for GxP, including repeatable configuration and intended use verifications for your cloud system​.

Contact USDM today to get started with or accelerate your RPA uses.

On-demand Webinar

Here’s a sneak peek of the information presented by Stepheni Norton and Jim Lyle in the How to Maximize Your GxP Use of the Public Cloud webinar. To learn more about our internal framework for RPA and potential GxP use cases, watch the full-length on-demand webinar.

Click here to watch the full-length on-demand webinar.

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