Why Automating Everything Might Not Be Your Best Solution

Low-code/no-code improvement gives a tantalizing future the place nearly anyone can create workflow automation to streamline operations for a extra environment friendly, productive office. In accordance with TechRepublic, 47% of organizations already use low-code/no-code platforms, with workflow automation being the main motive. The enterprise world is definitely able to embrace low-code/no-code improvement in its on a regular basis operations.

Nevertheless, as thrilling as the probabilities is perhaps, low-code/no-code improvement can be overused or poorly carried out; this creates issues in the long run merely for the sake of constructing issues simpler within the quick time period.

Ten years from now, organizations that aren’t cautious will possible discover themselves with dozens of pointless automated processes that run on varied unstable platforms and that have been constructed by individuals who not work on the firm.

The Drawback With Automating First and Asking Questions Later

Within the guide “Implementing Lean Software program Improvement: From Idea to Money,” authors Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck mentioned: “We aren’t serving to our prospects if we merely automate a posh or messy course of.”

It’s essential to do not forget that even when there’s little coding concerned in low-code/no-code workflow automation, the design and administration issues will nonetheless be much like full-on software program improvement.

You may’t get away from the truth that complicated work processes are complicated, and the automation of these processes will mirror that.

Messy Processes Beget Inefficient Automation

The authors went on to say: “Any course of that may be a candidate for automation ought to first be clarified and simplified, probably even eradicating present automation. Solely then can the method be clearly understood and the leverage factors for efficient automation recognized.”

Contemplate, for instance, that you’ve a requisition system that requires 5 totally different approvals to maneuver ahead. So that you automate the approval course of. You may save workers a couple of minutes sending emails and filling in spreadsheets, however what if the basic inefficiency lies within the approvals themselves? What if you happen to don’t want that many approvals to start with? Automating unoptimized processes solely hardwires inefficiency into the system and makes it harder to vary later.

Assessing Whether or not You Ought to Automate With a Low-Code/No-Code Platform

To take advantage of out of those platforms, it’s essential to ask the proper questions earlier than leaping straight to automation. It’s the one manner to make sure you’re making a course of that can assist what you are promoting preserve effectivity for years to return. Listed here are 4 questions it is best to ask to determine whether or not a low-code/no-code automation resolution is correct for the job:

1. Do I do know sufficient about workflow and course of evaluation to be assured in my choices?

Used successfully, automation can streamline present processes and liberate workers’ time to work on extra essential issues.

Used ineffectively, nevertheless, automation may cement wasteful processes into your operations and make them tougher to get rid of sooner or later.

When Toyota developed the lean manufacturing method, it didn’t instantly begin automating every part. As a substitute, the corporate invested closely in steady course of enchancment and hyper-optimizing its workflows. Ensure you have the experience essential to know whether or not a course of actually must exist and is well-optimized earlier than you start to automate.

2. How important is a course of to our group?

Software program improvement has a protracted historical past of high quality evaluation and high quality assurance processes which might be usually lacking in low-code/no-code improvement. It’s essential to remember the fact that an absence of coding doesn’t imply there will likely be an absence of errors — the system will solely ever do what you inform it to do.

Though the danger is mostly a lot decrease on these platforms than for builders, if you happen to’re attempting to construct one thing for a business-critical course of, it pays to take additional care and time to be sure you can get it proper. In these instances, it’s usually finest to construct a number of small automation methods as an alternative of 1 large one. That manner, you’ll be a lot much less prone to neglect about how items work as you’re piping information from one half to a different.

3. Do I perceive the necessity for longevity?

Typical software program improvement tends to occur with a five- to 10-year outlook in thoughts, however this lengthy view is usually lacking from low-code/no-code software program. Staff fail to judge dangers that may flip up within the subsequent yr or extra and as an alternative focus solely on the present process at hand.

However what occurs once you suppose out to 6 or 12 months sooner or later? Will you continue to be in the identical place then? If not, how will you hand the venture off to another person? Past that, how will issues look in 5 years? Is it possible that the platform you’re utilizing will nonetheless be round? Brief-term features are likely to overshadow these essential long-term concerns in low-code/no-code improvement.

4. Am I okay with throwing experiments away on the journey to a workable venture?

You don’t need to spend a ton of time placing collectively a giant plan for an automation venture after which constructing it multi function go. As a substitute, it’s smarter to begin sooner after which work in smaller batches. These batches can give you a robust studying suggestions loop that can assist you keep away from losing time creating options nobody will use. By engaged on and delivering smaller segments, you’ll be able to experiment and iterate to construct helpful and environment friendly processes as an alternative of ones that don’t accomplish your targets.

Instruments that allow individuals to automate with no deep understanding of software program engineering and design ideas are on the rise — which suggests so is the chance of baking inefficiencies and defective assumptions into workflows.

Earlier than creating one thing that can solely be a burden down the road, consider the larger image and decide in case your processes are prepared for automation.

Picture Credit score: Markus Spiske; Unsplash; Thanks!

Aaron Bruce

Developer at Synapse Studios

Aaron Bruce is a developer at Synapse Studios. He has over a decade of technical expertise spanning many industries, together with healthcare, monetary providers, tourism, hospitality, and extra.

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