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Automation Framework

This post was written by Austin Manus, Senior Database Consultant. Based out of Atlanta, Austin helps people move, optimize, connect, and learn how to use databases. With 10+ years of database experience, he is used to many different systems and knows what works best for the employees that are going to use the system on a daily basis.

You’re sitting at your desk going through a monotonous task, mentally bashing your head against a brick wall, as all your time is drained away. Sounds like a nightmare, right? That’s because it is! It is a nightmare that everyone has experienced at one time or another. So that begs the question, what do we do about it? The answer is simple, automation. And that is a very tempting answer… so very tempting. It is even the right answer quite often. So, let us go over when automation should be used and when it shouldn’t.

You shouldn’t use automation to solve no-repeat, one-off tasks. As mind-numbing as it is, sometimes it is just better to sit down, lower your head, and bulldoze through the task. It’s unpleasant…

so very unpleasant, but it can save you time. That is unless you have a basic framework to finish automating a task and all you need to do is quickly tailor it to your situation.

You should use automation to solve repeatable simple tasks, especially those done in large amounts. That is a very barebones answer, but it is effective for most cases. But that doesn’t mean every repeatable process needs specific automation. But doing these tasks are unpleasant enough, they happen often enough, and they are different enough that it might be more useful to build a basic automation template that can be quickly and efficiently tailored to the specific situation.

Building frameworks add a little bit of manual work to save you from overly complicating your system while still saving you time. Having frameworks also allow you to be flexible and make solutions on the fly that you wouldn’t be able to do with more permanent automation. For example, NetSuite is pre-building some CSV uploads and Workflows so that you only must change a few things to tailor them to the situation. By pre-doing it, you test on the front end and don’t have to worry about all the minutia after the fact. Doing this has saved me countless hours and most definitely my sanity… probably.

Need more advice or assistance? Your product strategy and business transformation experts at Unity Consulting are here to help!


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