Automation Tip 5 – Simplify, Don’t automate a broken process

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The most important item in automation is the process, if the process is broken so will the automated process be, automation is not a magic wand that will suddenly fix any issues with processes you have at the moment.

Automating a task does however give you a good chance to review a process and think about if this is still the best way to achieve things, often processes are organically grown and are not reviewed, take this opportunity to draw out the process with the people involved, make it as simple as possible, do you still need 17 approvals?

Remember, some steps just can not be automated, make sure you identify these and look for a way in the future to resolve these, its not ideal but sometimes the only way to succeed is by automating most of the work and then processing the manual tasks at the end or in worst case half way through, in the past I have seen prompts to an operator or an email telling them what to do before clicking on a link to perform the rest of the automation task.

Sometimes there are tasks that simply can not be automated, these are far and few between but don’t worry, don’t try and jam them in to an automated process, move on and return later, think about how to mitigate this when looking at new software or SDDC solutions.

Simplify, it will save you time and it will make you automation tasks much easier to implement and debug later!

More Automation tips

More tips from this series created by myself and Thomas Corfmat for a session at VMworld 2013 can be found below (updated as published), if you have a login for VMworld.com you can also watch the full session here.

 

Automation Tip 1 – Measure It!

Automation Tip 2 – Find your standards

Automation Tip 3 – Its all about people

Automation Tip 4 – Select the right mix of people

Automation Tip 5 – Simplify, Don’t automate a broken process

Automation Tip 6 – Automate incrementally

Automation Tip 7 – Testing

Automation Tip 8 – Documentation

Automation Tip 9 – End to end automation

Automation Tip 10 – Follow the “Automation Triangle”

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