Let’s face it, these days there certainly seems to be an app for, well, everything.

And when it comes to business, those promising streamlined operations, cost savings, and enhanced productivity are amongst the most likely to make leaders eager to jump on the automation bandwagon. However, there's a critical question that often goes unasked:

Are you at risk of amplifying chaos rather than addressing it when adding automation to the mix?

It’s something we find ourselves discussing with our clients more and more, so let’s explore.

Ensuring Value-Adding Automation:

Enrich, Engage, Enhance

Automating chaos can lead to amplified inefficiencies and missed opportunities. By critically and collaboratively examining and enriching your processes, facilitating clarity through employee engagement and empowerment, and adopting a holistic but actionable approach to optimisation, you can harness the true potential of automation. The alternative? Baking in existing flaws, which may end up setting you further back than you started.

Taking a Step Back: Process Mapping

Before implementing any automation, it’s essential to take a step back and critically examine your existing processes. This means engaging in detailed process mapping to identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas for improvement. If you don’t, you could be introducing automation to a strategically flawed process, which is like putting a turbocharger on a broken engine – you’ll only accelerate towards failure faster.

A QUICK WIN: Hold a workshop with your team to map out your current processes. Use visual aids like flowcharts or highly visual digital tools such as Miro or Lucidchart to pinpoint inefficiencies and brainstorm solutions. This collaborative effort ensures everyone understands the existing workflow and identifies areas needing improvement.

The Human Aspect:

Building Trust and Understanding

Regardless of industry, our projects consistently highlight how considering the human aspect of automation can lead to significant gains. Employees who understand and trust the new systems are more likely to embrace and effectively utilise them. This human-centric outlook can transform potential resistance into enthusiastic adoption, ensuring the system is contributing to on an organisation’s big picture impact objectives whilst also contributing to customer experience uplift AND providing positive ROI in the process.

A QUICK WIN: Organise training sessions and open forums where employees can learn about new systems and voice their concerns. Foster an environment where questions are encouraged, and feedback is acted upon, building trust in the new automation tools.

Avoid the siloed implementation of automation at all costs

A Holistic Approach: Breaking Down Silos

Time and time again, avoiding the siloed implementation of automation within individual departments proves crucial in setting the broader transformation up for success. When businesses take a holistic view and ensure interdepartmental connectivity, they can leverage the full potential of their data and systems. This integrated approach prevents information silos and promotes seamless operations across the organisation.

A QUICK WIN: Create interdepartmental task forces or cross-functional focus groups to oversee the automation process. Regularly schedule meetings to ensure all departments are aligned and communicating effectively about their automation needs and progress.

Realistic Planning: Taking Time

and Cost Considerations Seriously

In our experience, acknowledging the time and cost involved in setting up and maintaining automation can lead to more realistic planning and budgeting. Thorough planning, testing, and continuous improvement are investments that pay off by ensuring complete and effective implementations that truly address business needs.

A QUICK WIN: Develop a detailed project timeline and budget for your automation initiatives. Include buffer periods for unexpected challenges, and support ongoing testing and adjustment by allocating suitable resources and scheduling structured sessions dedicated to this pursuit. Doing so will not only ensure the automation system functions as intended, but that continuous optimisation is seen as a core pillar of the broader transformation plan given the ever-changing nature of digital products.

There’s no doubt that automation, when implemented wisely, can drive significant improvements in your business operations, especially over a longer time horizon. BUT, it requires careful planning, continuous improvement, and a human-centric approach to truly succeed – rarely does it prove to be a silver bullet for those unwilling to accept and address any underlying causes of chaos before they jump in with both feet!

If you found this article useful, stay tuned for more tips and tactics from the Via Technology vault on how smart automation can help turbocharge the engine of your Core Business System.

About the Author

Dorian is an expert software advisor with a development background that provides a detailed and comprehensive understanding of systems and processes.
Dorian Trevisan
Dorian is an expert software advisor with a development background that provides a detailed and comprehensive understanding of systems and processes.
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