It’s a simple formula; doing more with less time and effort will yield greater profits. What is “doing more with less time and effort” exactly? Automation! As the world moves towards complete digitization, automation is not going to lose traction anytime soon. Automation is pivoting from a popular concept to a necessary one. With technology companies entering the market daily, how do we make the right decision for our company?
Now that we know fancy tools aren’t going away, who cares?
Seriously, who cares? Who in your company does this matter to? When evaluating tools, we need to understand the key stakeholders. Who do I need buy-in from and why? Typically, when a company asks these questions we think about the following:
- Who owns the budget?
- Who is accountable for success?
- What functions are impacted by the above questions?
Yes, considering these points will help you identify a core team who will build out a robust set of requirements. A team who is ensuring you aren’t addressing pain points in a silo but are considering the holistic business goal. However, more often than we admit, a critical stakeholder is excluded. The person who is using this automation on a day to day basis. The end user!
Wait, wait, wait. The more people you bring into a room to brainstorm requirements, the longer it takes to execute. Sure, but what about that success factor? It isn’t about adding more people. It is about engaging the right people. If you don’t understand how this truly impacts actual users then you lack visibility into potential objections. Objections lead to lack of adoption. Lack of adoption leads to flat or worse, a decrease in whatever results you are trying to enhance.
But I understand the end user experience, I used to be one!
It isn’t just about collecting end users’ needs and objections. It is about identifying champions who will advocate for automation with their peers. You are more likely to gain support by engaging an end user early in the process to define requirements. It creates a sense of ownership and accountability. And when you have advocates on the front lines, the chance of achieving your desired results are far greater. Think about it, how do you react when you are made to do something because you must? Annoyed? Complacent?
Now, how would you feel if you were a part of the creation of this new process or tool? Excited? Motivated? Proud? Hint: The answer is YES!
“The biggest mistake to me is complacency.” – Bonnie Hammer
How deeply should an end user be involved? Deep! Here are the roles they should play:
- Articulate pain points that need to be addressed
- Serve as subject matter experts during discovery sessions
- Participate in design review
- Execute test cases
- Serve as a training resource to their peers
How do we select our end users?
This typically depends on the size of the company. The best case is to have a rotating group of end users so you are not always getting the same input. Select high performers who can execute their daily responsibilities and can provide value to these projects. Make this position something that other end users strive to be a part of!
Involving end users in the entire implementation process is a must!
It is integral for leadership to involve the end user, to gain buy-in, ownership and accountability. Utilize them as your feet on the street. To help communicate the real user behavior and serve a significant role in your change management plan. When this happens, users will adopt quicker. And that purpose of automation we mentioned in the beginning (do more with less time and effort, yielding greater profits) will happen organically!
Written by: Sarah Imarata