It’s time to take a step out of your comfort zone and start looking at how IT can can do more than just fix broken technology. It’s time to stop putting out fires, and look at how you can ignite some ingenuity throughout your organization, particularly when it comes to how you handle day to day tasks (especially the boring ones).
To be an enterprise leader is more than just lifting yourself up — it’s about lifting up everyone around you. And it’s hard to do so if you’re all bogged down in unstructured messaging, or if your current list of tasks looks like a pile of sticky notes. That sort of task management doesn’t work in IT, and there’s no reason that it has to be like that for other departments either.
While you may not all share the same metrics for success, every team wants to achieve objectives and feel like the work is meaningful. With that in mind, it’s time to automate the enterprise.
Putting Out Fires
If you’re just waiting for issues to arise and then resolving them as quickly as possible, you’re doing it wrong. There are far too many moving parts in an enterprise, and without a stable of workflows in place, pieces can easily fall out of the mix. The goal of automation is to not only eliminate boring, repetitive tasks from a “to do” list, but to also ensure that each step is followed carefully.
Take employee onboarding. From signing a contract to submitting their tax information to making sure they actually have the tools to get the job done when they arrive, there are easily five to seven departments involved. It’s critical that each team and responsible party be held accountable for their part in the process.
Another way to determine if something deserves a workflow? If the issue is a sensitive one, or one that people may be hesitant to bring up. As CMSWire reiterated, almost anything from asking that someone refill the soap dispenser in the bathroom to an query about a potential salary increase can be an opportunity for you to take automation to the rest of the enterprise.
Finding Opportunities for Automation
While you may be in a rush to go out and get rid of all those boring tasks, there are some qualifying factors for what makes a task ready for automation. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is the process going to be repeated? It’s not worth creating an automation workflow if it isn’t going to be used more than once.
- Are there clear, defined steps? This will not only make it easier for you to build the workflow, but will also help you see which tasks are good candidates for automation.
- Is it a process that requires a lot of permissions? Permission automation is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to know that automation is a good solution.
- Does the process involve multiple departments? Never drown in email again or have to hunt someone down. They’ll get a notification without your intervention.
- Does this task take time away from the core function of your job? Okay, you can’t automate every task so that your day is spent browsing Reddit. But, if there are tasks you do every day that take up time that’s better served elsewhere, it’s a good indication that it’s time for a change.
- Is the task a service that is frequently asked but could be easily solved without your help? If you’re the one providing a service for another department, but you feel like you just copy and paste the same response over and over again, automation can be your answer to the problem.
Starting a Fire of Productivity
Whatever you decide to automate, it has to make work life better. Switching out an unstructured system for a convoluted workflow is only going to hurt you in the end. When every department is running on clean fuel, you can reach a higher level of efficiency and productivity, and let the boring tasks take care of themselves.
About Danielle Livy
Danielle is the Senior Director, Marketing, ITSM at SolarWinds. She has wide-ranging experience in content production, social media marketing, public relations, and brand messaging. Her happy place is sitting by the lake with a cold beverage in hand, with the occasional water ski session.
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