If there is an issue which leads to the Digital Workforce going offline it is necessary to understand the impact and how to continue business operations.
This is the case whether it be:
- A process failing means that the work that would have been handled by that automation may not be handled, excluding pre-defined Business Referrals and System Exceptions, as part of the process definition
- Unavailable resource meaning the processes are not able to run and complete to agreed service level due to insufficient Blue Prism runtime resources (digital workers)
- An environment failure preventing any processes from running and completing to agreed service levels.
In some cases, knowledge of how to manually complete a process may not be known by the business. In other cases, there may be limited resource available at short notice to manually take on a process alongside other work. It is therefore vital to have a plan in place to ensure business continuity.
Building a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
There are several steps to consider when building your Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
The risk level of each process should be defined during requirements analysis and recorded in an easily referenceable location such as the Operational Handbook.
Level 1: This process has little to no impact on business as usual, or key revenue streams, or the legal requirements of conducting business, or the financial obligations of the business.
Level 5: This process is fundamental to business as usual, or key revenue streams, or the legal requirements of conducting business, or the financial obligations of the business.
The following questions should be considered within the BCP:
- Who is the process owner, and have they signed acceptance?
- How do you contact the process owner and other relevant parties?
- What is the process for failing over to manual execution?
- Where will the process instructions be held for manual execution?
- What impacts will there be to any functionality changes or release cycles to your core administration system?
- Disaster recovery plans should be in place for major incidents
- Business critical processes which might have individually failed will be prioritised for resolution
- Consider using checklists within your BCP to make it easier to read in an emergency
- Make it clear who needs to do what and who takes responsibility for what
- Provide clear instructions which are crucial to the first hour after an incident
- Keep the plan as simple as possible. You can’t cover all eventualities
- Refer to your BCP and Disaster Recovery plans in your Operational Handbook and make sure these are regularly reviewed, tested and updated.
- Ensure there is a line of communication with the Team/Departments/IT that any changes are fed into your RPA team to enable review and amendment of your plan.
NB: As with any BCP it is recommended that it is rehearsed on at least an annual basis to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
Blue Prism’s Success Accelerator program combines various levels of mentorship and access to our Expert Services, Technology Ecosystem and Certified Partners based on the size and maturity of your digital workforce operations.