The Power of Planning: How to Ensure Fruitful Automation

Share Tweet Share Share Share

Successful or fruitful automation of projects is ensured through proper life-cycle management.

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of automation technologies. These tools allow businesses to streamline their operations and enhance their competitiveness by optimizing processes. However, automating processes can be a daunting task, as it often involves tackling a host of challenges. One major challenge that arises during the implementation of automation solutions is managing the life cycle of automation projects.

What is Life cycle Management?

Life cycle management refers to a structured approach that is followed during the development and operation of an automation project throughout its entire lifespan. The goal is to achieve efficiency and reliability in the automation solution through careful development, continuous operation, and comprehensive analysis of processes and organizational structures.
Through effective life-cycle management, resources used more efficiently, and project times shortened by close monitoring and targeting of the project. Potential problems or bugs identified proactively, preventing them from spreading to other phases of project development.
The overall objective of effective life-cycle management is to ensure the successful completion of the project and the attainment of expected results.

The seven life-cycle management Stages

There are seven distinct phases in the life-cycle management of an automation project, which encompass the planning and conception, design, development, testing, operation, monitoring, and deactivate, if required, of the solution. These phases aim to provide a structured framework for managing the project from start to finish, ensuring that all aspects of the solution are adequately addressed and evaluated.

Stage 1 - Planning & conception

In this phase, the project objectives are clearly defined, and a plan is developed that includes the resources required to complete the project successfully. The appropriate automation technology is selected, and potential risks are identified. To plan an automation project, the existing systems and processes should be thoroughly analyzed before any changes are made. It is also important to understand how the automation solution will integrate with the current system and how it will affect it.

To begin the automation journey, potential process candidates are evaluated for automation readiness by process owners. A process assessment tool is used to prioritize candidates based on various automation criteria, and a decision is made to develop an "attended" or "unattended" bot. A development guide is created to ensure smooth implementation, including a runtime diagram and details of how the bot works. Release steps for the next project phase are managed through detailed and flexible role and rights concepts to ensure controlled and cross-phase cooperation of all people involved in the development process.

Stage 2 - Design

In the design phase, the business process is mapped out as a flow chart using the standard BPMN language. All user activities that need to be automated are captured and converted into a separate BPMN flow using an RPA recorder. This recording feature makes bot development faster and easier. The flowchart serves as a framework for RPA implementation and can include manual user tasks for attended bot operations. After modeling the process, detailed information is used to develop the RPA bot's requirements. The individual recorded RPA requirements are then combined into the higher-level process.

Stage 3 - Development

The bot developers are responsible for creating RPA workflows for each bot task in the BPMN process, based on recorded RPA requirements. They need to perform functional testing for each step and bot workflow to ensure quality bot development. After building, they implement and test the RPA workflow for each bot task. Throughout the development process, the developers should follow best practice principles and conduct frequent and thorough code reviews to ensure the required quality of the developed bots. Understanding all automation requirements precisely is crucial for successfully developing an automation solution.

Stage 4 - Testing

To ensure successful integration and efficient debugging, it is important to test each component thoroughly. These tests are usually performed in a separate testing environment, such as the test framework folder in UiPath's RE Framework. This enables the testing of sequences with multiple files and small integrations between components and generates a report at the end of each test. The final process automation is also tested using various test plans that simulate real-world scenarios. If the tests fail, the process is sent back to development, but if all tests are successful, the bot is ready for operation with the help of an automatically generated analysis package.

Stage 5 - Operation

Once the bot is deemed ready for operational use, the frequency and timing of its usage are determined. During operation, the active bots can be monitored in real-time through a live stream and analyzed quickly and effectively using dashboards. This approach provides real-time insights into the bot's performance, allowing for prompt identification and resolution of any issues that may arise. The use of dashboards makes it easier to monitor the bot's performance metrics, such as its response time, utilization rate, and throughput. Overall, this approach allows for efficient and effective management of the bot's operation.

Stage 6 - Monitoring

The last step in managing a system's lifecycle is monitoring it to ensure it works properly. Maintenance prevents issues and helps fix them quickly if they occur. Performance is also continually monitored and optimized to meet customer needs. Regular maintenance and updates are important, as are physical hardware upkeep and developing a spare inventory to reduce downtime. Proper training of maintenance and operating personnel is crucial.

Stage 7 - Deactivate

When a process is no longer needed, automation technology should be turned off or deactivated systematically. This ensures that all resources are correctly released, and no data is lost. A thorough plan is essential for this process.

Final Verdict-

While it's possible to automate processes quickly, it's not very efficient. Effective lifecycle management of automation solutions is crucial to ensure the success of the project. This management covers every phase of the bot's life and aims to guarantee that it delivers the expected value to the business. Poor lifecycle management is often the cause of automation project failures.

Read all Blogs
Keep in touch with us
Call Now
USA + 1 626 842 1792 India +91 9321252212

Need Help ? ASK FIBO