Automating is a key component of today’s business world. Many companies are automating their processes to keep up with the innovation and stay competitive in their industries. Programming software to automate tasks based upon a set of “if-then” conditions can dramatically increase speed, efficiency, and accuracy in processes such as marketing and recruitment. Businesses are improving their processes by utilizing the available technology like automation, AI and machine learning, among others.
Automation enables your team to concentrate on more important strategic work. Building automation systems, in the long run, will improve efficiency and agility of your business. Although it may be tempting to jump in headfirst and automate all you can, it is wise to have a plan to ensure that you make the most of your time and other resources to achieve automation.
If your organization has yet to automate business processes, here are some helpful tips you can use when introducing business process automation to your organization.
You should choose the best automation tool, and then assign a team to test and implement it slowly. It will be obvious how much you will save in terms of costs, since you have tested a variety of methods and that your colleagues will quickly feel at ease with the new changes.
Complete understanding of the specific process you are automating should be a priority. It does not make sense to attempt automating an existing process without examining its ins and outs. It is important to take the time to assess and change any areas that automation could streamline.
Help your team to adopt the automated processes more seamlessly by designing automated systems that work for them. Automated systems designed well will not work if it isn’t used by the right people. Change is difficult and most people hate change, regardless of whether it makes their lives and jobs easier. To ensure that your workflow automation is successful, you should include improvements in management and training.
Automation is key to many areas of success. When building a product or MVP, you need to be cautious about how many things you automate. Make a plan for automation where you map out the things to accomplish as well as the user journey you envision. It’s often more efficient to do things quickly and then move to automation once you have a better understanding of the processes. You’ll still need to wire up everything, so be prepared!
Automating is not always simple. Automating a process can save you time and money, but you need to be mindful about its potential costs when you start to automate. Compare that to the actual time and expense of automating it. Is the amount of time required to recover the investment worth the time and money you have invested? Automating the processes that save you the most time and provide the highest ROI is a priority.
Automating should be done in a way that makes the most sense long-term. You should ensure that the solution you choose can grow and adapt to changes in your development process. It is dangerous to become dependent on a solution that you do not have control over. This is a problem many cloud-based apps and third-party apps are well-known for, so it’s also crucial to consider if you want to build your automated systems in-house or if you would subscribe to third-party services.
Complex workflows may have many divergent critical paths. You might create an unfriendly and ineffective workflow by using task dependencies or logic-based deviation. So, it would be best to avoid task dependencies, especially when the tasks are non-recurring. Allow larger blocks of tasks to trigger at once to avoid this problem. This allows users to have enough flexibility to make the automated workflow work.
Many automation projects are out of control and over budget. It is important to have a clear vision about the final state of your automation process. So, you can work backwards from the final envisioned process to define the delivery phases. This will avoid plan setbacks and delays in your project implementation. Having clear expectations of the automation process will help guide its completion and go according to plan.
Hackers can hack into what is digitalized and automated. Automating tasks makes them easier and faster, but it also makes it possible for malicious attackers to do the same. Plan accordingly and be mindful of security. Ensure that the automation of your process also has security protocols in place to avoid threats and data theft.
Before you start building your own automation system, make sure you research the available options. You will save time and money by using what is already available. You need to be efficient in your business and pouring resources for automation can be costly. You may use as many pre-made solutions as possible, then connect them and verify that they work.
Automating workflow requires a lot of upfront effort and resources. That’s the initial investment you need to consider when you are planning for business process automation. However, these are both things that you will be able to recover exponentially if done right. It’s not easy. To start, create a list of the most important measures that will impact your company. Then prioritize them according to difficulty, effort requirement, and risk each one requires.
You should first document your workflow and then go over them with a fine-toothed comb. You may need to document the nitty gritty of your processes. This step will help you identify edge cases, problems that can occur when something is operating at an extreme parameter. These issues can cause chaos in your automation, so it’s beneficial to be aware of possible bottlenecks that may arise.
Like any computer system, automation will have bugs. These bugs can be obvious oversights or “corner cases” that arise from unusual boundary conditions. Your automation processes must be subject to the same quality control as your product development. You must monitor and measure the effectiveness of your automation project once it is implemented. Keeping your system with high quality is crucial since you are implementing this in your company, more so if you are planning on releasing it as a SaaS for other companies as well.
Automation is somewhat like digging a tunnel. You never know what you will run into. It is best to start with something simple and useful. Build an automated system that would be highly needed in your company. It could be a routine process that many people in your organization do but can use better efficiency. This will save you time and money, and it will also help you learn more about your company and infrastructure. You’ll be able to take those lessons forward and use them as a guideline for future projects.
Although it’s tempting to create the technology first, and then find applications later on, this can lead to a costly mistake. You might need to automate a specific process which may be more beneficial because there is no need for in-depth training for employees and it will lessen the impact on your current workflow.
For many organizations, automating processes can be a game changer. You may choose to automate a wide-scale routine process or even just focus on specific processes. Either way, business process automation requires proper assessment of your needs and careful consideration in terms of upfront investment in resources. Done right, business process automation can guarantee efficiency of your workflow.
How does your organization introduce business process automation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.