When considering whether or not to automate, or what and when to automate, consider your mission.
What type of a business are you? Service industry, retail, products? If you have a long tail of customers to support you are undoubtedly in a knowledge business. Prepare and protect your systems appropriately and plan and make your changes proportionate.
- Be Proportionate
Make sure that you have adequate manual processes in place. Do you have written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)?
You will have existing customers, you may have existing systems. How will you ensure that you can still work when you’re making an automation? Ensure that you can keep the lights on. Ensure that you can perform Business As Usual operations through your project.
Before you start any automation ensure that you have a plan not only to implement your automation but also how to work before and after it has been installed. Also what happens if the automation fails? What is your fallback scenario? Making some planning that covers the fact that things won’t work out.
Make the effort that you spend on the automation is proportionate to the return that you’ll get on the investment. In other words – don’t spend a lot of time and money on automating stuff that doesn’t deliver a lot of value.