Eight tips for successful business automation

It’s widely acknowledged that business automation – the process by which organisations can remove bottlenecks and improve customer experiences – leads to more revenue, jobs and greater productivity. Ultimately, it unlocks the ability to be competitive and to redeploy resources to those tasks that add value rather than simply ‘keep the lights on’. Making things run better is at the heart of business automation, but for those organisations who haven’t yet dipped their toe in, here are eight key areas to bear in mind when setting out on an automation project.

 

1. Understand the process you are automating

Identify, evaluate and document the processes from beginning to end – only then can you validate and test to make sure you get the desired results from automation. Trying to automate a process you only have partial knowledge or sight of is a recipe for a costly disaster.

2. Focus on the objectives

It sounds simple, but often gets lost or overlooked when you’re immersed in a project. Define what any automation project should achieve and communicate it. In order for the team to stay on the same page, put in place success milestones to hit and then make sure they are reached. Always set and manage the expectations by communicating regularly.

3. Eat the elephant in bite sized chunks

A business automation project might look like a huge elephant in terms of what needs to be achieved, but like anything, if you chunk it down into manageable tasks and prioritise them, each of those micro-tasks completes the project. Automation takes time and resources both recoverable over time if done right. Just don’t lose sight of what the elephant looks like!

4. Start with the simple things

If your organisation is new to business automation then it’s important to begin with something useful but simple, avoiding wasted time and resource but in the process learning a lot about your organisation and what it takes to get automation right. An incremental approach is best and will prepare you for bigger and more complex projects.

5. Look for off the shelf solutions

Research if there’s already a solution for your problem – you can save money and time and automate faster by linking off the shelf solutions together. They’re tried and tested and may save you going through the same pain barriers.

6. Calculate the ROI of automation

Automating tasks creates both time and resource savings, but it’s important to know which tasks will bring the most reward and the greatest ROI. Focus where ROI will be the greatest.

7. Help your team with adoption

The people who use the new automation are as important as the process of it. Make sure everyone can adopt the automated processes with thorough training.

8. Future proof automation

Whatever you adopt should also make sense in the long terms – whatever you do, it must have the flexibility to grow and adapt with the business’s objectives. Dependency on a solution you have no control over is the worst-case scenario.

Get it right and the tangible differences across the business are numerous. It will help satisfy customer, increase efficiencies and secure data. Employees will have time to add value to customer interactions and unnecessary customer contact will be eradicated. Automating for speed also means customers won’t have time to find what they need from your competition