The planning of an IT automation project is crucial to success, this article takes a deep dive into areas which should be considered and addressed before embarking on an automation journey.
Securing executive sponsorship and establishing governance
Having the support and guidance from a senior leader within your organisation will undoubtedly benefit the delivery of your project. Implementing automation is change, and as with any change; has the potential for resistance. It is imperative to secure the sponsorship from someone who has an interest in service improvement and can negotiate any internal struggles with this change.
In addition, don’t underestimate the importance of working in partnership with other stakeholders outside of the IT department; such as HR or Recruitment functions. Obtain their buy-in and seek their counsel on the elements of the project which will aid and positively impact their area of responsibility. They will be delighted at the prospect of transforming laborious processes.
Defining automation team structure for optimal success
Creating an automation project team will assist with the successful delivery of the initiative. Kelverion has a wealth of experience in automation projects and some best practice guidance on what this structure should be composed of:
- Business Champion – this is typically the IT Director or senior sponsor. This person will directly benefit from the efficiencies achieved and will decide which processes should be altered to harness the smooth request fulfilment; which automation will provide.
- Automation Project Lead – this individual should report to the Business Champion in the organisation structure. They are responsible for reporting the progress of the project and identifying future automation opportunities. In addition, they will highlight any impact on existing business processes or procedures.
- Automation Standards and Platform Ownership Team – This group is formed of several senior individuals; who have knowledge of different technological areas, as well as experience of the customer’s process. They will drive the day-to-day automation initiative actions.
- Subject Matter Experts – These team members are specialists in different technology silos and are enlisted for support with an automation use case. They provide detailed technical input in their area of expertise and assist with the testing of the automated process.
Structure for identifying use cases and building the business case
When planning an IT automation project, there are a few key pointers to help identify processes to automate within the service desk and how to justify them. This starts with running reports from your service desk and answering the questions below:
- What are the most frequent requests?
- How often is this requested?
- What is the typical elapsed time to fulfil a request of this nature?
- How long does it take to process this request manually?
- What level of technical skill is used to achieve this?
- What is their fully loaded cost per hour?
The answers to these questions will identify the business costs in time and money for manually fulfilling a task. Kelverion have a very useful Automation Value Calculator to assist organisations with identifying time and cost savings.
Documenting current processes
It is important to understand current processes, however, extensive documentation of the manual process is something which should be avoided. Processes which are automated are never the same as completing the task manually; the automated process will always be more efficient.
Agile development processes
Future-proofing an automation solution is integral to the continued success of the automation initiative. These factors are almost always overlooked when selecting an automation approach; consider team collaboration, version control and release management processes.
Whilst planning your IT automation project, if you are considering using Azure Automation to automate service requests, be sure to reach out to Kelverion. We have over a decade of experience in automation both on-premise and with Azure Automation. The Kelverion Runbook Suite, which has been specially created to enable organisations to harness the power of Azure Automation is formed of 4 parts:
The Runbook Studio: A ‘click and configure’ graphical authoring environment in which to create and modify the automation processes, that will save your business hundreds of ‘man-hours’. Similar to a Visio diagram, this image-based approach means users don’t need to write lines of code.
Integrations: We’re proud that our products wrap around your existing ITSM and connect automation through our ‘smart discovery’ technology. Take a look at our Integration library.
Solution packs: pre-built automation solutions, ready to be deployed and tweaked to the exact requirements of your organisation.
Automation Portal: For those customers who don’t have a self-service portal within their service desk, we have built an automation portal; empowering end-users to complete their own service requests and fulfilling these requests with automation.
For more information, to arrange a discovery call or to see a demonstration please contact our helpful team today via firstname.lastname@example.org.