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Do you ever sit back and marvel at how much of our lives are automated now? All that time freed up to use for something productive, like looking up cute cat videos on YouTube! From setting up regular bank payments to ordering milk or groceries online, it's no contest that automation has improved so many aspects of our lives.
Just a quick search of 'Automation' on Atlassian's marketplace brings up a myriad of apps designed to help automate one thing or another. From auto assigning issues and creating recurring tasks, to automatically generating custom reports or enforcing compliance standards, there is automation fun for everyone!
This brings me to my next point, the question shouldn't just be IF you should automate in your business, the question should also be firmly centered around WHAT to automate. After all, automating the wrong things just means you are being efficient but not effective.
Automation in and of itself is not necessarily effective or even the right choice for your business or organization. The choice to automate a given process or task should always be deliberated against the pros and cons. We know most of the pros heavily sprouted by automation fanatics (cost saving, ability to scale, faster time to market etc) but interestingly, here a few benefits of automation that may be a little less recognized:
Higher job satisfaction - We've all seen the beginning of the Matrix right? With the green/ grey tinged cubicles, the flickering lights and the mundane office tasks, it's no wonder Neo had to get outta that office real quick. The same can be said for jobs which require a lot of reporting or administrative activities. By implementing automation rules, you give your employees the opportunity to take on more challenging work and reduce the risk of losing good people due to mundane work conditions.
Faster response times - Have you ever had a request come through for a colleague to help them with a task but because it just seems like so much effort, you just don't do it? No? Uh yes, me neither... Jokes aside though, if there's anything I've learnt from working, it's that people are lazy! No offense to anyone reading this, but it's true and we can all admit it. The easier you make something for someone, the more likely they are to do it. It's 'Reducing the barriers to entry 101'. If you can automate things, pre-populate fields, offer people the option to autocomplete questions, chances are your requests will be responded to faster and much more accurately.
Reducing the impact of the brain drain - Automation technologies build a bank of information. They improve knowledge management because information and documents aren’t kept only in employees’ heads or email inboxes, rather processes are set up and can continue to run even if employees leave the organization.
Of course, that's not to say that automation doesn't come with any costs, we've all seen the beginning of Terminator! There are several challenges to consider when deciding what, how and IF to automate including:
Cost of automation - not only the cost of new systems but the maintenance and set up of such systems.
Change management - how to ensure that changes are implemented and communicated effectively so employees accept and adopt new processes.
Quality Assurance - sure, something is automated but is it actually better? Any new automation process should be monitored to make sure it's worth it and to see if the results of the automation are indeed better than the results you had before automation was implemented.
Over the past five years, what we've seen from being an Atlassian Platinum partner implementing software solutions, is that most business are better off embracing automation, but it's not a one size fits all solution. Luckily, our product, Power Scripts for Jira helps to automate several different aspects of a business and over the years, we've helped our clients achieve automation success from a variety of different angles. And so, without further ado we at cPrime are pleased to announce:
From setting up alerts and notifications, to pre-populating fields and actively managing permissions to ensure the right people are entering the right things when needed, there are a host of areas where automating your Jira will greatly benefit your company.
Phew! What a list, and that's just the tip of the iceberg for all the things that could be automated! Our list is so extensive that there's no automatic way of listing out all our solutions so please, feel free to poke around and check it out yourself. Remember, automation success is not a poncho, one size doesn't fit all. There are several aspects and functions of your business that can benefit from Automation and some aspects will need more automation help than others, but no matter the avenue, cPrime and Power Scripts will be here to help you decide which path is best for your business.
Michele Lim [cPrime]
Product Marketing Manager
1 accepted answer