Automation has the potential to deliver measurable ROI for almost any organization. However, without a strategy behind your implementation, you’re setting your automated processes up for failure. These elements of your automation strategy may seem irrelevant but they’ll ensure your organization uses automation to its fullest potential.
Dedicated Decision Maker
Just like any major project, implementing automation requires a point person. This decision-maker is responsible for all aspects of the project, from timeline to communication. An automation strategy won’t succeed without buy-in (and continued support) from leadership and affected employees alike. Your dedicated decision-maker is responsible for gaining and keeping this support. They must also communicate with other relevant departments, such as IT or maintenance, to ensure the project has any technical support it needs.
The Right Process
Not every process is meant to be automated. Choosing the right processes to automate will ensure your organization is making the most of this powerful technology. The best candidates for automation implementation are either very complex or very tedious tasks. These processes must also fit your organization’s company-wide vision for automation and help the business meet its goals. In order to measure the impact of your automated processes, you must be able to define what success means in the short and long term.
While automation is a powerful tool with the potential to deliver impactful ROI, it doesn’t make sense to automate inefficient processes. “CIOs who fail to evaluate and optimize processes before automating them risk perpetuating inefficiencies for a long time to come,” points out J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and author of The CIO’s Guide to Automation, AI, and Robotics. Before using precious resources to implement an automation strategy, streamline your processes. This allows you to automate only steps that are absolutely necessary.
Once your automated processes are in place, you may be tempted to sit back and relax. However, the success of your automation strategy requires dedicating resources to change management and continuous improvement.
Effective change management begins with transparent communication about the impact of automation. It’s essential to have a plan that helps workers adapt to new processes and trains them for new roles. You also must remember how this automation fits into the organization’s vision and goals. Proactive maintenance, continuous improvement, and ongoing change management are what make automated processes successful in the long term, and encourages leadership and employee buy-in for future projects.