4 Reasons Automation Fails

IT teams know that automation is their key strategy for saving time and resources, enabling them to spend more time on strategic vision and less on maintenance in systems. With companies striving harder toward digital transformation strategy objectives, automation is a critical part of accomplishing those goals.

Even when companies embrace automation and the improvements it can offer, many efforts still fail. Here are four common mistakes that tend to cause automation attempts to stall out:

Choosing the Wrong Processes for Automation: Some businesses may identify a process that seems ideal for automation, basing that decision only on the potential for saving time and reducing costs. But not all processes are a good fit for automation. It’s important to consider factors like repeatable steps, workflow volume and what the involvement is of an employee if an intervention is necessary.

Pursuing Murky Goals: Too many businesses stop analyzing the goals of automation after they land on cost savings. But this is far from being the only consideration. Goals should follow the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) guideline to ensure that the process of automation stays focused. Evaluate manual processes to your new automated process to see if it was successfully implemented.

Managing the Change Poorly: Automation doesn’t just involve the process; it involves the people who complete the process. Successful automation takes a 360-degree examination of the process to see how the company will need to change to accommodate the new steps. It’s critical that teams allow for employee concerns to be heard, as well as secure buy-in by including a wide variety of organizational team members in the process. Get a clear idea of which processes are most cumbersome to resolve. Ask them many questions about their interactions with these processes and hear their concerns.

Gaining an Incomplete Picture: Each person may experience a process slightly differently. Part of your 360-degree analysis of the process will include a mapping out of the entire process, including which employees are interacting with the process at each stage. It’s possible that the analysis will reveal that the process doesn’t need to be automated as much as it simply needs repeat steps eliminated or bottlenecks addressed.

Setting Your Business Up for Success

There are several steps you can take to promote automation success:

  • Define clear benefits from the proposed automation, which will allow you to identify any potential obstacles or better understand what cannot be expected from a particular automation project.
  • Include subject-matter experts that can participate as champions of the project, delivering a significant part of the project effort.
  • Once project goals have been defined, communicate them across your business. Include information such as how often you will measure the goals and communicate the results to your team members.

When it’s time to initiate an automation project, contact us at One Connect. We can help identify your best candidates for process automation and discuss the steps necessary to ensure its completion and success.