books: Wael Al-Toukhi
Nicole Stergel, vice president of research at Gartner, a global research and technology consulting firm, stressed that business and technology leaders need to consider automation as a principle to adopt and not just another project to be achieved, and emphasizes the need to be aware of common mistakes that can lead to the termination of Automation Failure initiatives. Gartner recommends correcting the following 10 errors before starting automation initiatives.
A recent study by Gartner showed that nearly 60% of organizations today work in parallel with 4 or more large-scale automation initiatives.
Automation offers many benefits in several areas, especially improving quality, speeding up job completion, reducing costs and providing excellent customer experiences, but achieving these goals requires business and technology leaders to follow a plan which corrects common mistakes in this field, especially in light of the increasing pace of widespread automation within organizations and the work of departments of Technology makes many automation initiatives possible at the same time.
1. Rely on a technology
It is well known that the success of automating one process can lead employees to reuse the same automation tools to develop other processes on a larger scale, but the mistake lies in looking at automation in terms of a single technology. The right direction should start with defining the desired work results of process automation and then selecting the appropriate technological tools that lead to achieving those results.
2. Automation without the participation of technology departments
Increasing numbers of business users have emerged who believe that RPA and off-the-shelf automation applications do not require the help of technology departments. However, it must be realized that these users lack technical knowledge about how data records and clients work, for example, which can lead to poor data processing, not to mention the ongoing need to upgrade integrated systems with automation applications that involve technology teams, otherwise any new entries or changes will not be made. Taken during upgrade and leads to failed operations.
3. To believe that automation is always the answer
In the long run, automation may be the best option that organizations and companies make over their businesses and their technology. But decision makers should not use automation as a cover for design flaws in existing processes. Automation is not intended to compensate for inherent shortcomings in systems or to delay the replacement of outdated systems. When automation is applied according to this approach, it leads to the prolongation of the life of old and useless systems and the savings that hide the underlying shortcomings.
4. Not all stakeholders are involved
Automation, by its very nature, has a wide impact on all aspects of work in companies and organizations, requiring the involvement of all stakeholders across the organization to make decisions and obtain their approvals. For example, if process automation leads to changes in employee roles, the human resources department should be involved, and if the change due to automation affects the powers to implement systems and verify the identity of users, then communication with the electronic security department or information technology must be communicated.
Not enough time for exams
The success of automation depends on the algorithms and rules thereof that work correctly. At a glance, automation technology may seem easy to use, but any flaw in its programming and customization can lead to serious consequences, including significant damage to data integrity and failure to achieve the desired work results. Therefore, time should be spent testing automation tools to verify their safety and accuracy.
6. Waste efforts on very complex operations
Sometimes organizations fall into disarray due to the automation of one of the most complex processes. This situation often occurs when the process to be automated does not have documents that document its details and draw accurately, making it difficult to understand clearly. Thus, if the course of work is polluted by inconsistencies or the variables that enter into the decision-making mechanism increase, time and effort should not be wasted to automate these complex processes and should be stopped immediately.
7. Consider automation as a tool for repeating work
The use of automation tools to reproduce that is usually performed manually results in the loss of the most important benefit of automation, which is to improve the process flow from start to finish to provide the best level of experience for employees and customers. Failure to pay attention to process redesign in the context of automation planning can lead to the use of an inappropriate tool to automate those processes and thus fail to achieve the desired business objectives.
8. Lack of quality control after implementation
The implementation of automation projects, like any other systems, requires very close work of IT departments after the implementation phase is completed. For example, the implementation of RPA should be monitored through continuous assessment, monitoring and regular quality audits to ensure that the relevant robot software works and continues to function as required. This avoids lengthy tasks of data recovery and troubleshooting.
9. Use the wrong indicators to measure success
The applications and technology tools have traditionally been measured to ensure that they work according to their designs. But it does not reflect the success or failure of any project. Therefore, the real measure of the success of automation lies in measuring its direct impact on the processes and the organization as a whole.
10. Neglect of the effect on work culture and employees
With the same attention and focus that should be given to automation when it is adopted and expanded, the effects of automation on employees should be considered, especially if it results in the elimination or reconfiguration of job roles.