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  • Writer's pictureRoneel Kumar

A common business process automation mistake!

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

Often organisations contract technical consultants who are familiar with amazing tools such as Microsoft Power Automate, UI Path and Pega Platform to help them automate low value administration. But too many make the same mistakes and pay heavily for it.

The Situation

Your organisation is drowning in excel spreadsheet, emails and document administration. Surely there is a better way - after all, the digital marketing that is streaming to you across LinkedIn, Facebook and Email is telling you that organisations just like yours are automating and saving ten's of thousands of dollars.

At the end of your patience, you click on one of the ad's that promise to take the admin weight off your shoulders. Before you know it, you have parted with your email address and received a call to book a demo.

The technical consultants share your hatred of excel documents and emails. They tell you that your processes are ripe for automating and that their consultants will get started with their tool of choice - as soon as you can sign a letter of engagement, yet another document. Alarm bells should be ringing.

Automating the human process instead of the business process using data

Pairing one of your team members with a technical consultant can deliver results very quickly. After all, who doesn't want to get rid of the manual tasks they complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Before you know it, a number of processes are now migrated to an automation platform and its very impressive. Now that we have automated happy path scenarios, it's time to look at edge cases that often occur, because after all we are dealing with humans...

But the automation has come undone.

Why didn't the automation cater for the customer emailing from another address, or consider the impacts of the customer's business being acquired?

Surely it can't be that hard, we deal with that all the time with humans - maybe we can leave this edge case to be handled by administrators.

Wait, manual changes will break the automation further? How did we get here? A typical mistake is to automate exactly the process the human was following, instead of understanding the data that needs to be created, read, updated and deleted as part of the business process.

It's important to take a data centric design approach to delivering automation. Automation platforms like Microsoft Power Automate provide powerful centralised databases that can be used to create a decoupled data model that allows you to deal with edge cases. Simple design principles such as creating a unique identifier that is not the company name or email address can pay dividends later in your automation journey.

Does this sound familiar? Tell us your story or for a free consultation on how to get out of a bind like this contact us today!

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