The Automation Project Playbook

Your free guide to successful business automation

You are ready for a new business automation project, but how can you ensure it succeeds? The Automation Project Playbook simplifies the process into seven clear steps, aligning with your business goals for impactful results.

Ideal for any industry, this playbook turns the complexity of automation into a streamlined, successful journey, guiding you from planning to execution.

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1: Goal setting
Begin with the end in mind! Make sure your application goal aligns with organization goals.
Checklist:
Determine the goal of your application based on: the mission and vision of the organization, the current strategic goals that follow from them, and the operational goals defined by management.
Choose one or more KPIs that you want to improve. Make sure you have a good way to measure them now, and after you implement your application, and then record the current KPIs.
2: Sketching
Use pen and paper to quickly jot down the main processes of your application using use-cases.
Checklist:
Write down the “use-cases” for the application.
For each use-case make a simple process sketch, using very simple notations
3: Building
Time to get to it! Build the selected use-cases for your application using the tool of your choice.
Checklist:
Make sure that the tool you select is the best fit for your project. The most important things to consider: your budget, the time required, and the features needed.
Build per use-case or at most a few related use-cases.
4: Testing
Make sure that each of the use-cases you selected works as intended, avoiding unpleasant surprises!
Checklist:
Test each use case for the “happy flow” (i.e. everything is the way it works about 90–100% of the time). Write down anything that you want to change in the use-case. Label this either a “fix” or an “improvement”.
Test beyond the “happy flow”. Again, write down the fixes and improvements.
5: Making changes
Based on the feedback from your testing, make the needed changes to your application.
Checklist:
Only tackle the fixes at first. The improvements will come in a second iteration.
When you have completed fixes for a use-case, have the intended user re-test it.
Make sure to keep a log of the tests and their results.
6: Demo
Time to show off! Demo your solution, linking each use-case back to the organization goals for management.
Checklist:
Give a demo of the use-cases to the intended users.
When giving a presentation to management, focus on the application's goals and how they align with the organization's objectives. Highlight improved KPIs and their positive impact on the company.
7: Support
When the project transitions to regular day-to-day operations, provide pro-active support to your users, making sure that your application evolves with the organization.
Checklist:
Offer great support, instead of just good support. Proactively monitor your application.
If your application serves an external party (a customer or supplier, for example), have a single point of contact in your own organization and theirs.

The Playbook in action

Bellyprint, a 3D printing franchise, encountered order management challenges due to reliance on unconnected Excel sheets, leading to error-prone manual data entry that required a full day of corrections each week. Eager to find a solution, they began an automation project to address this.

Their team developed a custom order management system that notably saved 52 days annually by minimizing human errors and facilitating real-time updates, significantly improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Wikkelhouse builds sustainable modular houses made from layered cardboard, and used to manage their production with manual spreadsheet updates. This inefficient process led to miscommunications, mistakes and delays. To streamline operations, they turned to automation.

They created a custom tool that provides real-time tracking and clear overviews. The whole project, from goal setting to building and testing, was done by their in-house team, cutting the time and money spent on human mistakes by 50%.

MÄSTARE specializes in generating qualified leads through cold prospecting. Their information was scattered across 7 disconnected tools, leading to inefficient processes, double work, and excessive license fees. That's why MÄSTARE's founder decided to solve these challenges through automation.

He created a no-code application that integrates CRM, HR management, finance, marketing, and reporting into a single platform. This initiative saved EUR 6,000 per month, significantly reducing costs and inefficiencies.

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