Accelerating Automation with Collaboration

Larissa Lewis July 21, 2021 Automation

automation-collaboration

Scaling your automation initiatives is not a go-it-alone task. It requires a collaborative effort involving every member in your organization. 

When first starting out, one or two automation champions can rally support for new technology initiatives. But once the “rah-rah” dies down and it’s time to get down to business, you’re going to need an all-hands-on-deck mentality. 

A study by the Institute of Corporate Productivity discovered that 40% of high-performance organizations are already transitioning to a collaborative approach. Instead of siloing expertise inside one function, teams are now adopting a more cross-functional, team-based method. Here are the top 3 imperatives for teams looking to use collaboration to accelerate their automation initiatives. 

Imperative #1: You can’t rely on one or two technology champions

Scaling automation beyond an individual proof-of-concept project requires strength beyond one or two internal influencers. You need an organization-wide mindset shift to ensure the benefits of automation trickle into each and every one of your business processes. 

Automation weaves its way into the daily work of everyone on staff. When automation can reap a 30% reduction in operational costs, just one or two naysayers blocking its adoption can quickly break the chain of success. You need to deputize the right people in every department to train staff on new methods for performing their everyday job duties. Every department needs a go-to expert, consistently inspiring adoption while working alongside other departments to accelerate automation to its full potential. 

Imperative #2: You need collaborative buy-in from IT

Research shows that the primary reason for most project failures is poor communication. When scaling automation, these findings are key, especially when it comes to collaborating effectively with your IT department. 

Big automation ideas can’t live in a bubble. You need to make sure your organization’s infrastructure is compatible with your business objectives. You’ll need to be on the same page regarding software, apps, and any other technologies supporting your automation roll-out. 

Many automation platforms offer low-code features easily used by programming newbies known as citizen developers. But more complex needs still require IT intervention. IT specialists need to have an in-depth understanding of your goals, and most importantly, have the capacity to take on the added development, QC, and maintenance responsibilities. 

Imperative #3: You need to deploy fusion teams

What’s a fusion team? Gartner defines this organizational powerhouse as a “cross-functional team that uses data and technology to achieve business outcomes.” 

Fusion teams are made up of experts from several departments, a group of changemakers tasked by management to encourage staff to use new business technologies like automation. Successful organizations are building out these special strike-teams to bridge the gap between automation technologies and mass adoption pushes. 

A shocking study discovered that only 10% of organizations are successful in executing their business objectives. Why? Teams focus too much on the technology and less on the strategic nuts and bolts of integrating the tech into their strategic corporate culture. 

These multidisciplinary teams shatter traditional top-down hierarchy. They coordinate efforts to ensure teams use new tools to their maximum potential across the entire organization. Gartner estimates that nearly 84% of large and mid-sized businesses have already adopted a multidisciplinary strategy. The trend is only growing amongst teams that want to make sure they achieve their strategic automation goals. 

Automation can have a powerful impact on your organization. After all, research shows that organizations lose 20–30% of revenue each year simply due to process inefficiencies. Collaboration can help activate organization-wide use of automation initiatives so you can get the best out of this must-have technology.

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