Among businesses worldwide, intelligent automation is increasingly seen as one of the things that will propel organizations into the 21st century. However, automation is not simply replacing human redundancy with machine efficiency, nor can automation projects be “set it and forget it” endeavors. Successful automation strategies require a lot of forethought and groundwork. Here is where you can start:

Understand How to Select the Right Use Cases

Successful automation initiatives answer the “whys” of it all: Why does a certain process need improvement? Will it save time, money, and effort while aiding growth and engagement? A good litmus test is to consider how much structured versus unstructured data is involved in running the process – the more unstructured the data, the more resources needed to achieve effective automation. For instance, teaching machines to identify audio files is far easier than teaching them to parse human speech patterns. The key is to identify the right goal.

Set Specific Goals

Create milestones that will keep your automation project on track, especially for those projects which require a significant amount of testing before launch. Automation initiatives can become unwieldy as they involve many moving parts that are not just business-driven and IT-implemented. Everybody involved has a role to play and an outcome to achieve. This should not only be determined and stated clearly at the outset, but can serve as a point of reference throughout the initiative.

Document Everything

Formalizing documentation is key to understanding which processes are repetitive and could do with machine intervention and improvement. While the initial stages might involve a flurry of paperwork and spreadsheets, your goals and milestones should keep you on track to record processes in a way that provides direction and promotes transparency.

Secure the Right Talent and Identify Key Stakeholders

The push to identify automation opportunities should permeate the organization. Not only does it ensure buy-in from necessary stakeholders but it also brings light to operational areas that are in genuine need of improvement. Identifying the human resources to pull this off also becomes simpler – whether it involves reskilling existing employees or bringing vendors and partners or board to ensure successful completion and launch.

Measure, Iterate, Repeat

To make automation sustainable you need to understand how your project has fared. The key indicators here are how much time and cost savings your organization can report. Based on these findings, your organizational stakeholders will earmark areas of change and improvement. As such, this is where the loop of your automation project closes.