Documents Used In Robotic Process Automation

The documentation used in RPA development differ from tool-to-tool and organization-to-organization but, the following 5 documents are generally used across automation projects.

  1. Initial Process Analysis (IPA)
  2. Process Definition Document (PDD)
  3. Solution Design Document (SDD)
  4. Functional Requirements Questionnaire (FRQ)
  5. Development Specification Document (DSD)

Initial Process Analysis (IPA)

This document is used to capture the initial analysis of a process that has been selected to automate. It is created by a Business Analyst or Developer and reviewed/approved by the client/sponsorer. It gives you just enough information to decide if you would like to proceed with the automation of the process.

It usually consists of questions like:

  • How many FTEs are currently required to perform the task manually?
  • What is the average task handling time?
  • Will this task be scheduled or run on demand?
  • What is the maximum and minimum expected volume?
  • Are there any periods when a higher workload is anticipated? If yes, what are they?
  • Are there any SLAs this solution must conform to?

Process Definition Document (PDD)

The Process Definition Document (PDD) captures the flow of a business process to be automated. The flowchart contained within the document captures, at a high level, the business process to be automated, the target systems used within the process and any assumptions that have been taken into account.

Once agreed as the basis for the automation of the target process, the flowchart and assumptions will be used as a platform from which the automated solution will be designed. Changes to this business process may constitute a request for change and will be subject to the agreed agility program change procedures.

This document must be completed in the absence of existing process documentation that provides the level of detail required for a process to be automated.

If existing process documentation is to be used instead of a new PDD the following steps should still be undertaken

  1. Existing process documentation reviewed to ensure it is still up to date and fully captures the current manual process.
  2. Existing process documentation provides the same level of detail that is required for automation.
  3. Agreed by the business as an accurate description of the manual process

Solution Design Document (SDD)

The purpose of this document is to convey the solution design to the business or client and make them understand how the whole process works when automated or how it is automated. This document does not describe low level details of process design and object design rather, it explains how each step is developed and what interactions are carried out.

The client is expected to go through the SDD and approve the solution to proceed further with the development.

SDD outlines the major components of the project (the overall output of the development, containing one or multiple projects that together cover the scope of the robotic process automation) taking into account all the business restrictions (scheduling, peaks, future increases in volume etc.).

The information herein is targeted primarily at the developers that will initially implement the solution and subsequently at the support developers in case of change requests.

Functional Requirements Questionnaire (FRQ)

This document consists of questions related to the functional requirements of the bot. It contains sections that try to capture requirements like:

  • Metrics related to workload, manual resource effort, service level agreements, etc.
  • Questions on operating hours, business interaction, etc.
  • Bot execution restrictions, alert mechanisms
  • Business continuity, excess workload plans

Development Specification Document (DSD)

The Development Specifications Document (DSD) is created for every business process that is automated using the RPA technology. The DSD document needs to be reviewed and updated for every change requested and applied to the automation process. This document will provide a technical snapshot and must always reflect the latest design and key features of the automated workflow.

This document is created by the RPA Solution Architect and RPA Developer who automates the business process and reviewed by the RPA Solution Architect prior to handover to RPA Operations.

It consists of runtime guide that lists various components(packages, activities, etc) used to create the bot.

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