Automation is on most businesses’ radar to improve productivity and maintain competitiveness. It is an investment that has significant effects on the employees, customers and business partners. In order to optimize your investment in automation, there are three things you want to avoid.
- Mirror existing workflow
Existing workflow might be convoluted, heavily burdened with archaic rules and irrelevant assumptions. Without taking a close look at the tasks performed and challenging the rules and assumptions, you run the risk of incorporating unnecessary complexity to the automated workflow. This adds design and maintenance overhead. The automated workflow will improve the speed of delivery and consistency. However, additional improvement would be overlooked.
- Manage the initiative as an IT project
It is common that a technology project is considered to be an IT project. There is no doubt the IT group is capable of leading the project. The difference is in the emphasis on the value to the customer and the business. It is more advantageous for those who know the needs of the customers and partners, both internal and external, to drive the initiative. These folks would test the limits of the new technology and introduce new values that are beneficial.
- Focus on task improvements
The push for automation generally arises from problems such as bottlenecks, errors, and throughput not meeting demand. As a result, the design of the automated solution places much emphasis on improving how tasks are performed. The narrow focus delivers a solution that solves the identified problems. However, the technology could be better leveraged to amalgamate steps across departments, and overhaul the approach to complete the work.
To optimize the return on investment for automation, you need to focus on business value. This will influence the choice of technology, its design and ultimately, the leap that advances your competitiveness multiple folds.