STEP ONE: GATHERING STAKEHOLDERS
When mapping out your stakeholders it is important not only to think about who has the biggest influence over your project in terms of approval or blocking, but also who has the biggest interest in your project. These are the individuals and teams who may be directly impacted by the implementation of automation.
In our experience people are often resistant to the idea of automation technology without fully understanding it and this is where you may wish to initially start with a POC (Proof of Concept)with our chosen technology, or even a practical hands-on demonstration. It is often only when people have seen a solution working, have been able to use it themselves and understand the limitations of technology, that they become open to the idea.
We would generally advise involving both upper management and IT in the process as early as is possible, as they are likely blockers to any implementation project.
Key lesson learnt
When gathering your key stakeholders its crucial to clearly communicate a vision of what you want to achieve and the rationale behind this. People may find change uncomfortable, but they will accept it (or at least be more willing to accept it) if they if they can see the logic behind it. This can be greatly enhanced if you can point out how their own lives/jobs may directly improve as a result.
We would always recommend a programme of education before you automate. Proservartner have regular events and webinars and can also provide private sessions where requested to different levels of your organisation.