All businesses want to deliver products and services to market faster, provide better customer experiences and achieve memorable business results. Unfortunately, most traditional organisations find themselves stymied by siloed processes that prevent resources and information from being shared among departments and teams. Documents get lost, handwritten notes are misread and paperwork is incomplete, among other issues. Results include reputational damage, heightened compliance risks, and reduced productivity.
In the last few years, we witnessed a revolution with automation, where technology, rather than humans, monitors and controls the production and delivery of your products and services. Business processes advance smoothly through its different channels resulting in a 360-degree customer journey. With HR, for example, businesses use automation to quickly move through the ongoing process of recruiting, onboarding, offboarding, hiring and benefits. When it comes to compliance, data automation helps you manually track every consumer, their interaction with your company, and how long their data has been on file. Likewise, automation helps you manage your resources, standardise your processes, and make them more efficient.
In practice, automating your business operations means integrating modern technology. And that’s a step that many CEOs fear. It’s not only the perceived expense but also the digital disruption and the time it takes to onboard and integrate the new systems.
There are four ways in which organisations can successfully slide into deploying automation at scale:
1. Align departments
When Monash University, Australia, introduced its automation platform in 2016, it assembled a multidisciplinary team with so-called business process owners that were responsible for reviewing policies and procedures within their particular module, while they collaborated with IT for feedback. Transformations are risky. And digital transformations are even more so. Make sure that your exec and IT teams collaborate for a holistic view. Encourage leaders to send out surveys and gather feedback from their teams.
Research shows that one of the main reasons why digital transformation initiatives fail is lack of alignment between team and departments. Structure regular meetings where frontline workers across divisions open and share ideas on your company’s digital progress. Each has their important role. IT advises which systems to invest in, and how to safely integrate, implement and maintain them, among other items. Business leaders strategize and supervise the key stages, resources, and tasks for effective digital transformation. Collaboration makes for an easier, smoother and more enjoyable process. It certainly acceletes it too, saving you expense and business disruption and helping you get to market faster.
Some helpful tools for effective collaboration include the Kanban framework to help team members visualise projects and focus on their workflow. The Kaizen methodology works as a framework for continuous improvement.
2. Get executive buy-in
If you win permission from the Big Boss, the rest of the organisation are more likely to sit up and take notice. Leaders are concerned – and rightfully so – about the significant investment of money, time, and effort.
How can you overcome those concerns?
By showing your company’s decision makers that investing in an automation strategy will pay dividends that ultimately exceed the original cost. Automated operations yield an even greater return in the form of customer loyalty, efficiency, and speed. With all of these things, your business will be even more profitable and successful. When making the pitch, solicit feedback from your colleagues (that’s where collaboration comes in helpful). Also start small, using the Agile methodology to demonstrate results.
FYI: AUTTO’s no-code platform drastically drives down cost by eliminating all of the initial and ongoing maintenance costs of high-code environments. AUTTO’s solution requires far less in-house developer expertise to operate and maintain. By using AUTTO, you can accelerate your digital transformation, investing in systems, resources, and tools that add value.
3. Educate employees
It took oil giant Shell the four years of COVID-19 to teach its workforce the necessary digital tools the business needed to stay ahead of the industry curve. Shortly after the pandemic, Shell segued into a full fledged digital transformation that included AI, machine learning, and other digital tools.
Shell understood that the need for new technology must be understood by and accepted across the workforce. They had dedicated themselves to educating their staff on what was involved and alleviating their concerns.
For staff, automation initiatives of any considerable effort can be bewildering. All business processes that they’re used to – excel sheets, hard paper copies of records, mailing, faxing, xeroxes, and in-person meetings – are replaced by tech-heavy computers. Since the industrial age, machines tend to discomfit most of us. For that reason, empathetic leaders also use change management models like Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model or the Change Curve to help stakeholders understand and accept system changes.
4. Demonstrate results
Use the Agile methodology of short iterative cycles to sprint through work and demonstrate how automation motivates workers, pleases clients – in short works far more smoothly and effectively than traditional systems.
Small wonder then that at least 95% of organisations practice Agile development methods according to the most recent 15th Annual State Of Agile Report. Indeed, researchers find that businesses that adopt the agile methodology experience 98% rate of success and 60% more profit than companies that lean towards the traditional approach. In short, the Agile framework is the best system for successful automation at scale, since it allows you to radically change your business model and capabilities in measured steps, over time, and as resources allow.
Agile also helps accelerate your automation initiatives by its focus on inter- and intra-team collaboration; trust and accountability between employees and team members; window-boxed sprints to hedge risk; a customer-centric approach; and commitment to continuous improvement.
FYI: AUTTO’s no-code digital solution helps you demonstrate results faster by making it 15% more likely for you to deliver mobile applications in four months or less compared to coding that takes six to 18 months to complete. Read how FINTRAIL used AUTTO to cut 160 hours of administrative work.
Creating a workplace that delivers products and services to market faster, provides better customer experiences and achieves memorable business results is the fondest hope of most typical businesses. Automation is the catalyst that enables this to happen. The benefits of automation are simple: They include higher productivity, reliability, availability, increased performance, and reduced operating costs.
The question is: how can you make sure your initiatives succeed?
Catalyse your program with the small things: align frontline workers; educate employees; solicit executive buy-in; use Agile to demonstrate results.
If you’d like to find out more about how to prepare your organisation for an automation project, and want to know how to save time and money with our easy-to-use, no-code automation solution, contact us or book a demo with an AUTTO consultant today.