Improve the Success of Automation Projects with Change Management
HBR research shows that 63% of CIOs want processes to be automated in the future - this is music to many business users' ears! But giving the green light to automate business processes can also create challenges quickly.
The use of automation tools, from simple use cases to complex data consolidation, is on the rise.
"One of the generally unheralded trends in enterprise IT is the proliferation of automation tools. Many of these tools have begun overlapping, or sprawling, over time." – How to Tame Automation Sprawl, July 2019, HBR.org
The top three use cases for process automation software, according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation Software, 2019, are:
· Integrating workflows across systems;
· Mass data migration from multiple systems into a new/single destination; and
· Augmenting or replacing human effort.
And it’s not only IT teams that are using automation tools. Often, it’s Finance, Customer Service and Marketing who are early adopters of automation tools that no longer need coding skills.
But rocky starts with automation tools abound. When hidden from IT or implemented without a change management strategy, automation tools can kill productivity (and employee confidence), create an IT mess, and at worst, expose sensitive data across unauthorised 3rd party applications.
Use Change Management principles to help avoid automation sprawl and mature from experimenter to automation leader:
1. Craft an Intelligent Automation strategy: start small - select one or two processes to automate as a pilot if you need to convince stakeholders of its benefits; appoint a clear owner for the automation; connect business users with IT support; define goals; and measure your progress.
2. Communicate your intention - in advance! What will change and why? Who will be impacted and how can they prepare?
3. Keep track of changes - list what processes have been automated; which systems and data feeds are involved; who manages the automated workflow; and who supports the automation tool. This is not just an IT asset list - including the business unit and owner ensures the business unit remains accountable for the health and value of the automation at work.
4. Plan to learn. Plan to adapt. Document your success and what you learned along the way - use these learnings to adapt your automation projects and improve future efforts.
If you suspect there are automation tools already sprawling across your organisation – and are hidden from IT – hold an “automation amnesty” and invite skunk works to participate in an Automation Centre of Excellence. This encourages early adopters to share how they selected their tools, demonstrate automation and learn from each other. It’s also a great chance to collectively identify best practices and review security, while potentially consolidating tools and saving on licensing fees.
Tackling an automation project?
Leading Edge Global is a registered partner of market-leading RPA provider, UIPath, specialising in change management-led RPA project execution. Our team comprises experienced consultants providing Change Management for RPA training and Intelligent Automation strategies.
Don’t risk your project - get the focused expertise you need to amplify your results. Talk to one of our team to see how we can support you.