Make sure to identify and normalize your key processes BEFORE automating.
Heading towards automation?
Automating a bad process just gets bad results faster!
Diligent process discovery and improvement efforts maximize automation outcomes. Keep the following points in mind when starting your automation journey:
Avoid Technical Debt
Is that manual entry point necessary?
Do other teams execute this process differently?
Are your as-is outcomes measured and balanced historically?
Sometimes our hands are tied when it comes to transformative efforts to overhaul processes and systems. Perhaps that legacy system interface has a long shelf-life and you need automation results now. Or perhaps your process involves 3rd-party system integration that you have no control over
In many cases, the technical debt of carrying these systems forward is worth the short to mid-term gains achieved through automation. But put these questions to the test before signing on to the technical debt of proliferation disguised by automation.
Robots don’t replace people
Do not assume a given automation will directly relate to today’s headcount.
A common misnomer in automation ROI is an expectation that n-number of workers or hours will be eliminated. While this may be the case in the context of a given task, it is important to understand automation and robots change the way we work, not who we are. More often than not, people are freed up to perform other knowledge required tasks; shifting the burden from the simple to the complex.
Make sure to account for the less quantifiable but equally important ROI aspects like customer satisfaction, error reduction, employee moral, and opportunity costs of manual work.
Don’t let the tail wag the dog!
Process automation technology is great to accelerate and scale your business execution; but the technology alone does not make your processes better. Proper planning, discovery, and improvement methodology will ensure better business outcomes.