Automating processes within a company usually results in efficiency and improvement, which in turn leads to the company saving both time and money. However, to be sure that your automation journey leads to your preferred outcomes, there are some key traps and mistakes you need to avoid from the start.
3 traps to avoid when automating processes in your company
Lack of automation strategy
Without a strategy, you’ll most likely end up spending too much time and money, with the end result not matching your original vision. First up, what is the goal of your process automation? Once you have defined your goals and found out what problems you want to solve, it’s time to select a process that will most likely help you reach your goal. For example, if you are looking to increase sales or reduce churn, you might want to look at your customer onboarding process. Your strategy should include descriptions of the following basics:
Goal definition - What do we want to achieve by automating? How do we measure it?
Process Quality - How do we make these processes efficient, effective and how do we keep them up to date going forward.
Process Monitoring - How does the setup look for our monitoring of the processes? Who’s in charge of keeping track of the process quality after implementation?
Data Governance - What data do we need to collect to automate? Where can we get it from? How do we verify the data? Who should have access to the data we collect?
Applications & Implementation - What tools do we need to implement and maintain our automation?
Skills & People - Do we have the right skills “in house” or do we need to bring in consultants, hire new developers or process leaders?
With this framework you should have a good understanding of where to start in your automation journey.
Audit & Communication
An internal audit is very important when it comes to prioritizing correctly and creating an efficient company. Let’s say for example that you’ve defined your main goal, to reduce manual labour in your compliance department. An internal audit should then start by looking at where your department spends most of its time, roadblocks and hinders to a smoother workflow and conduct interviews with staff.
This will give you a clearer understanding of “which fruits are hanging low” and what processes to prioritize to achieve your goal as efficiently as possible. Goals, strategy and process should also be communicated within the company, as often and clearly as possible. This will help create acceptance and unity around your automation process.
If you start small: make sure that the capacity can be increased as time goes on. If you only automate parts of a process, or only within certain departments, there is a great risk that you create small isolated areas, which cannot be built on. Invest in systems that you can continue to strengthen and scale, the company should be seen as one unit where all parts should be able to collaborate.
Using a scalable technology plays a very important part in this, especially in larger organizations with different departments and systems in place. If you can adapt the same principles of your automation to other parts of your organization, you have a win-win situation on your hands. Therefore you should take some time to evaluate the different options out there in regards to automation technology.