Like their cloud-native counterparts, many large or longstanding enterprises aspire to as possible. As a result, many of them get overly ambitious with their process automation goals and attempt to roll out sweeping company-wide initiatives. While ambition is a good thing, many of these initiatives take and often require ripping and replacing legacy systems.
Few organizations consider that end-to-end process automation takes a , processes, and technology. Let’s look at three of the most common process automation mistakes and how organizations can to fix them.
Rolling Out Strategic Automation Initiatives Too Fast
While there’s nothing wrong with being strategic, thinking on too large of a scale is a common pitfall of overly ambitious automation projects. Taking on too much strategic work too early runs a high risk that the organization doesn’t any business value for a long time. As a result, developers will most likely get stuck entirely in shaping a complex platform without understanding its use case.
Instead, break down more significant strategic initiatives into components, starting with the most . Here’s one way to approach it:
- Start with Pilot Project: This to define and validate architecture and stack. This project is often set up as a proof-of-concept (POC). However, going live with that pilot is essential to learn about all aspects of the workflow solution throughout the complete life cycle (SDLC).
- Accelerate to a Lighthouse Project: You should soon after running a successful pilot. This project should have a broader but still realistic scope that can be better leveraged to show off workflow automation’s architecture, tooling, and .
- Progress to Broad-Scale Transformation: Leverage the from the lighthouse project, empowering the people on that project team to run a Center of Excellence (CoE) to break down silos across groups and drive organization-wide change.
Ideally, before approaching a large-scale automation project, try to map out the entire ecosystem of processes — including the people, systems, and devices at work in the background. Start by modernizing high-impact processes that the most. Then design a transformation approach that fits the business’ or customers’ needs rather than your requirements. I call this approach “the art of gradual transformation.”
Handling Automation Projects in Silos
Even though a gradual transformation approach is recommended, it does not “siloed” or without structure. Technology decisions have been a commitment for years and sometimes even decades. These decisions and the resulting maintenance affect more than just the current team in the trenches. If each team chooses its own tools, it can be hard to affect organization-wide change or end-to-end process automation.
As mentioned above, a CoE approach can help break down organizational silos and share best or not worked in previous automation projects. Ideally, this does not dictate arbitrary standards but maintains a list of approved tools and frameworks that can be reused across the company.
Beyond tooling alone, a CoE can also maintain start guides, project templates, and reusable open-source components/libraries for teams to leverage. Within this framework, more teams can get inspired by the potential for automation within their departments. In addition, they can serve as advocates for automation by running a community to for new automation initiatives within the company.
Failing to Embrace Microservices Architectures
Embracing a microservices architecture in a legacy company is easier said than done. One to address is how software is built within the company. Often, there are legacy systems in place that are difficult to unseat. By one estimate, over 200 billion lines of, a decades-old programming language. A wholesale could cost $4 to $8 trillion (or more).
That’s where the gradual transformation approach . For example, many with RPA implementations sitting on top of legacy systems (like those written in COBOL). A good approach for these scenarios would be to go through modernization in three
- Orchestrate all of these RPA bot-driven processes
- Sunset these bots one by one in order of priority
- Invest in rewriting the underlying business logic as microservices, which can be orchestrated along with the end-to-end business processes.
The advantage of a microservices-based automation workflow is that it allows for a decentralized architecture where each . If something goes wrong with a single process, it can be easily . From there, a process engine can “drive” these microservices-based processes across the organization and unify them where it makes sense.
To sum up, end-to-end process orchestration can’t happen in a vacuum. Stakeholders from across the organization should be involved, and . Large-scale, strategic automation efforts can quickly fail to prove their without a straightforward pilot project. By working together to define priorities, create best practices, and roll out the needed, organizations can ensure that end-to-end process automation happens successfully. To learn more about process automation, sign up for the virtual event on September 22-23.