Successful automation

Five steps to take to ensure your automation is successful

Friday 26 November 2021

Automated processes can help to save time, reduce margins of error, maintain consistency and increase security when implemented successfully. To ensure that this is the case, there are several steps that you can take to support this activity and fully embrace the benefits it can offer you and your business. 

Step one: Get senior leadership on side

Securing buy-in from your senior leadership team is essential. This group of people often hold the budget and influence what projects are prioritised within the business. 

You may find that recruiting a project sponsor within this team will help you to win over the rest of the group - especially if you can also demonstrate that there is support for your automation from key stakeholders within your finance department. 

Try to understand the motivation of those within your leadership function and explain how automating processes will not only support them to achieve their objectives, but also links to your overall business strategy. This will help them to see the benefits of automation, positioning them as ambassadors for your project and setting it up for success. 

Step two: Start small

If you’re just beginning your adventure into automation, or it is something relatively new for your business, your best bet is to start small. Trying to automate too much at once or starting with a long and complex process can be challenging; instead, take things back to basics and build from the bottom up. 

Selecting several simple, repetitive processes to automate to begin with will allow you to understand the process and show you the value automation can provide relatively quickly. You can monitor the success of this activity, then enhance it as you continue. 

Getting simple processes right to start with will not only save time when you look at more complex systems for automation, but will also make sure you’re on the path to success right from the very beginning of your journey. 

Step three: Collaborate to create

Collaborating with staff who will use automated processes is key to success. These are the people who work with the relevant information and systems every day, and therefore have the greatest knowledge of how they work and how they could be improved.

Start conversations with these teams early on in the process and make sure that they have an opportunity to review the way they currently work before automation begins. Bringing together teams from different areas at this stage may also be useful, as conversations between departments can often result in new ideas and the creation of solutions that influence innovative ways of working. 

Step four: Prioritise training

The process of automation isn’t complete until your teams are properly trained and understand how to use custom software. Ensure that the relevant training is prioritised over business as usual, and that staff have time to practise using new systems in an environment where they feel safe and supported.

Teams should also have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about any changes that have been made, and take advantage of peer-to-peer support to reinforce learnings. 

Don’t forget to embed this training into your induction process and organise refresher training at regular intervals - automation offers so many benefits, but these will only be realised if the people who are making use of it feel empowered and supported by the systems they use. 

Step five: Celebrate small wins

As you continue on your automation journey, remember to record small wins and share them with your teams and the rest of the business. 

This is a really good way to highlight the progress you’ve made and spark conversations around further opportunities for automation. It’s also a great opportunity to thank staff who have been involved in the development of process automation and ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve for their contribution.

Celebrating these small wins as you go along will help to maintain motivation and momentum, and position your project in a positive light even before it has even been completed. This step can also start to educate others about the advantages of automation, securing support for future projects, and contributing to their success as well. 

If you’d like to find out more about how Solweb can help you with successful automation, contact us today.

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