5 Common Automation Slip-ups and How to Avoid Them
Find out how to avoid these five common pitfalls when implementing a workload automation solution.
After you implement the right workload automation solution for your business, you can start reaping the benefits. From streamlining or entirely eliminating manual, tedious tasks that take too much time to seamlessly orchestrating workloads without adding more resources, you can elevate your business and remain competitive in the market in numerous ways with automation.
But, in order to realize every benefit your automation solution offers and get the ROI you're looking for, you’ll want to avoid these five common slip-ups.
1. Enabling success notifications
If you’re used to traditional task hand-offs that require every person involved in a process to notify the next person in line that their part of the process is complete, it can be tempting to set up your automation tool’s notifications to function the same way. So, every time a job runs successfully, you get an email notification validating that. The trouble with that approach is, over time, your inbox will become flooded with success notifications for the numerous tasks you’ve automated. These unnecessary notifications can be distracting and negatively impact your productivity. Eventually, you’ll start to tune them out as they become more noise in your inbox.
Instead, set up your notifications so you only receive an email if a job doesn’t run successfully or if there’s a snag somewhere along the way. This will give you even more time back because you won’t have to sift through dozens of task notifications every day and determine if any are actionable. When you get a notification, it’ll stand out and you’ll know it’s something that needs to be addressed.
2. Setting up automation to mimic a human-driven processMoving from an environment in which people complete a series of manual, tedious tasks every day to one where those tasks are automated requires a mindset shift. While a person may need to follow a step-by-step run guide and manage a series of screens to complete a specific task, your automation tool can be set up to complete that same task using event-driven dependencies. So, rather than setting up a job to capture every click and keystroke a person would need to follow at certain times of the day, break each of your tasks down into dependencies that need to be met.
This often requires a departure from the “this is how we’ve always done it” way of thinking, which might take you out of your comfort zone. But, by setting up your jobs as a series of event-driven dependencies, you’ll streamline and simplify your workflows, so they’re more efficient and easier to manage.
3. Only automating processes within IT
Automation solutions are often purchased with IT in mind. For example, a credit union may want to automate processes within their core that, historically, IT has been responsible for managing. But, if you only use your automation solution for IT processes, you won’t be able to realize its full potential or maximize its value.
Instead, consider how you can automate processes across your organization. That way, your entire business experiences the benefits of automation, which will yield more time savings and efficiency gains, reduce or eliminate even more errors, enable smart scaling of the business without adding headcount, and put more employees in a position to focus on strategic work that’ll drive the business forward.
4. Setting up your workflows without documentation
When you set up a workflow or job in your automation platform, you should have a place to create documentation for it. That documentation explains what that workflow does, so a future administrator can understand how it functions and why.
If you don’t create documentation for your workflows and only the original administrator knows how they work, you can create a knowledge silo that prevents others—including your automation solution’s support team—from being able to iterate on your workflows to improve them, incorporate new information, and ensure they reflect your automation priorities. If your original administrator leaves the organization, the institutional knowledge they had will leave with them, which is a big risk to take. Instead, make it your practice to create documentation for each of your jobs and workflows.
5. Not communicating the value of automation across the organization
For a lot of people, automation is still synonymous with job loss. Mitigating this concern within your organization is crucial. If you neglect this key aspect of communication when you adopt an automation solution, you could alienate potential automation advocates, and you might not see the ROI you want.
So, as you roll out your new automation solution, communicate that the tool is designed to give employees time back by taking care of their most tedious, time-consuming tasks. As a result, they can spend more of their workday on strategic, innovative work that makes use of their valuable skill set, ensuring they can play a vital role in the business’ growth.
When having discussions about automation with impacted teams, point out those projects that haven’t received the attention they deserve due to checklists that have to be completed every day. With more time to focus on those important projects that’ll strengthen the business, back-office employees will be less siloed and able to make an even greater impact in their roles.