It is true to say that the very first thing you want to do when you start having a mature process is to automatize as much as possible. The aim of this, is to remove any non-value-added tasks, which are very often repetitive tasks. But the question is, how feasible is it to automate some tasks in your organization? How can you define processes to automate? What are the steps to follow?
As described above, the tasks you might want to automate are tasks which are identified as:
- Non-value-added tasks
- They are mature enough to not change for a while
Let’s say you do an extract from a system, every single day, to do few calculations in order to calculate the rentability of the previous business day. This exercise ticks all the boxes above.
There is, clearly, a room here for improvement and save the time you spend in this daily task. How about setting up an automated job, which will do this extract for you (every day, at 9am for instance) and just open this extract from a macro in Excel that would directly do all the calculations for you.
The steps to follow can vary, you can start by automating some parts of a process and not the whole one in one shot. If we take the example from above, you might want to follow the below steps in order to fully automatize this daily process:
- Do your template on excel to automate all your calculations and you keep free spaces to populate the daily data you receive from the extract
- Create the macro which will take the data automatically from the extraction, so you won’t have to open and copy/paste the data manually
- Contact the Product Owner/IT team from the tool your doing the extraction from, to ask for an automated extraction to be dropped in the network reachable from your computer.
It is super important to highlight that ALL non-value-added tasks are automatable, sending emails, extracting information from a system, updating data in an excel file, …
As long as you tick all the boxes from above, you give yourself the potential to make your life easier.
Tips: Try to be as lazy as possible. Laziest people will always do their best to make their life easier.