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Gone are the days when IT teams were the sole drivers of initiating and implementing automation projects. The introduction of out of the box tools, no-code platforms, and user-friendly tech has made it more accessible than ever for business users to become the drivers of change within their own team. This has not only been very efficient but has allowed business users to really address their pain points without getting lost in back-and-forth translation. As a result, automation has slowly but surely caused an uproar in the corporate industry. Departments now are constantly looking for ways to increase productivity, reduce manual effort, increase profits, and satisfy customer demands by automating their processes.
But one of the biggest mistakes teams often make is implementing automation without fully considering if it’s actually beneficial for them. Too often we’ve seen companies splash budget on projects that were premature and that completely failed to be adopted by the wider team or organisation.
So, if your 2021 strategy involves automation, here’s 3 simple questions you should consider.
What is the problem I’m trying to solve?
The success of an automation project is set out right from the beginning. Before deep-diving into vendor selection and spending valuable time and money on a tech solution that isn’t right for your team, it’s important to deep dive into the problem you’re looking to solve. This process involves engaging with your stakeholders, holding ideation meetings, and conducting small group interviews to create an in-depth list of problems and inefficiencies. By engaging in this process, not only will you gain valuable insight, but you’ll also elicit buy-in from your team, right from the very beginning. Making your team feel involved, will aid the change management process and ensure adoption is frictionless.
After you’ve created an extensive list, you need to assess which issues are worth automating and if automating these processes will increase return on investment. Remember, you are not just looking to solve every possible issue but rather creating a list of automation use cases that will increase productivity and profit.
Read our blog on How to Ideate and Validate Use Cases for a step-by-step guide on mapping out your use cases.
Who are my stakeholders and are they bought into the process?
Successful automation initiatives are driven by the right people and very much contingent on their buy-in. If your team isn’t prepared for change or doesn’t see the benefit of automating processes they’re used to, then the entire initiative will fall through. Thus, through the Ideation process, you should aim to identify your champion, technologists, and subject matter experts and look to involve them in every part of the process.
- Champion: Individual who is enthusiastic and proactive in seeing innovation projects succeed. Someone who is influential and owns the success outcomes of team adoption.
- Technologists: Individuals who take responsibility for building your tech solution.
- Subject Matter Experts: Individuals who will provide the content that will be embedded into your tech solution. These people thoroughly understand the team’s pain points and are process experts.
Do I have a strong business case?
Through our previous experience with clients, we’ve learnt that even the most beneficial automation projects can fall through if all the stakeholders are not on the same page. This not only includes the team that will be implementing and using new technology but also your decision-makers and budget holders. During this stage, it is important to create a simple, yet compelling presentation that thoroughly indicates the kind of ROI decision-makers can expect from automating your use case. It is also important to make them aware of both internal and external benefits, quantifiable costs and savings, and the effect it will have on employee productivity and wellbeing.
Find out if your team is automation-ready by taking our interactive quiz!
At Checkbox, we understand that kickstarting an automation project can be difficult to navigate. So, to help you with the process we’ve put together an interactive quiz that assesses your team’s automation readiness and provides you with all the resources you need to kick off your next steps.
This assessment is estimated to take about 8-10 minutes and will generate a bespoke report with your individual results, analysis, and steps on what to do depending on where you are in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to find a strong business case for automation?
Stakeholders are key to building a business case for automation. The first step in building a case is to identify the problem that automation needs to solve for, which is established after extensive meetings and conversations with stakeholders to elicit buy-in from your team from the very beginning. Secondly, you should aim to identify your champion, technologists and subject matter experts amongst your stakeholders to involve them in every part of the process. Lastly, creating a simple, yet compelling presentation for stakeholders that thoroughly indicates the kind of ROI decision-makers can expect from automating your use case.
How to automate business processes?
If your business strategy involves automation, there are 3 simple questions you should consider: 1. What is the problem I am trying to solve for? 2. Who are my stakeholders and are they bought into the process? 3. Do I have a strong business case?
How does automation increase productivity?
By automating tedious, manual workflows, automation can give time back to employees to focus on high-value tasks that require their expertise. Automation facilitates organization-wide innovation that results in a much higher employee productivity rate.
Evan Wong is the CEO & Co-Founder of Checkbox, a 14x award-winning no code workflow automation platform, and is a listed Forbes 30 Under 30.