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12 reasons blog

When considering automation projects, it's essential to start with a systematic approach to ensure success. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

1. Identify processes

Begin by identifying the specific processes within your organisation that are prime candidates for automation. Look for tasks or workflows that are repetitive, manual, time-consuming, error-prone, or have a significant impact on productivity and efficiency.

2. Understand your data

Within your processes establish the baseline of data that is either used to initiate a workflow, be captured as part of a task or leveraged as part of an output. Understand the relational data model and how the different data tables relate to each other and also may be used in combination to deliver the right outcomes.

3. Analyse current workflows

Once you’ve identified potential processes for automation, conduct a detailed analysis of the current workflows. Document each step in the process, including the tasks involved, the sequence of activities, the stakeholders or departments involved, and any dependencies or decision points.

4. Understand your integration requirements

Once you have assessed the process, the data and current as-is workflow, you will need to then consider the systems that your processes interact with. Understand the integration limitations and expectations for each in order to deliver the right outcomes.

5. Assess feasibility and ROI

Evaluate the feasibility of automating each identified process by considering factors such as the availability of technology solutions, the complexity of the workflow, the potential benefits of automation, and the estimated return on investment (ROI). Prioritise automation projects based on their potential impact and alignment with strategic objectives.

6. Define objectives and goals

Clearly define the objectives and goals of each automation project. Determine what you hope to achieve by automating the process, whether it’s reducing costs, improving efficiency, enhancing accuracy, accelerating turnaround times, or enhancing the customer experience.

7. Engage stakeholders

Collaboration and buy-in from stakeholders across the organisation are crucial for the success of automation projects. Involve key stakeholders, including process owners, department heads, IT personnel, and end-users, in the planning and decision-making process to ensure that automation solutions meet their needs and requirements.

8. Select automation tools and technologies

Identify and select the appropriate tools and technologies to support your automation initiatives. Depending on the nature of the processes being automated, you may need to consider robotic process automation (RPA) tools, workflow automation platforms, business process management (BPM) software, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, or custom development.

9. Design automation workflows

Design automation workflows that outline the sequence of tasks, decision points, and dependencies involved in the automated process. Define the rules, triggers, and conditions for automation, as well as any exceptions or error-handling mechanisms.

10. Develop and test

Develop the automation solutions based on the designed workflows and test them thoroughly to ensure that they function correctly and produce the desired results. Conduct unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing to validate the effectiveness and reliability of the automation solutions.

11. Deploy and monitor

Deploy the automation solutions into production and monitor their performance and impact over time. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the automation projects and identify opportunities for optimisation and improvement.

12. Iterate and improve

Continuously iterate and improve automation workflows based on feedback, performance metrics, and changing business requirements. Regularly review and update automation solutions to ensure that they remain aligned with organisational goals and objectives.

Download our guide to workflow and process automation for your copy of this list alongside an overview of workflow and process automation, plus 10 signs your organisation is ripe for automation.