Automation

How Process Intelligence Can Support Post-Deployment Validation In The Automation Lifecycle

Automation promises streamlined operations, but its true impact hinges on post-deployment validation. Often neglected, this final act ensures your systems deliver on their promises. Think of it like monitoring a spacecraft after launch - it's crucial for verifying real-world performance and identifying issues affecting your KPIs. Without it, initial excitement can fade, leading to skepticism and lost support.


 

Automation seems like an easy way to reduce costs and streamline operations, but implementing it requires a strategic and comprehensive approach. Post deployment validation is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of the automation lifecycle.

Due to a lack of a clear and traceable comparison against pre-automation baselines, your organization might struggle to understand the business KPIs and financial outcomes of automation efforts. You won't be able to confirm the value of your investments. The initial enthusiasm for automation could quickly sour, replaced by skepticism and frustration across your team and stakeholders. This can lead to lost support for future projects and a potential erosion of your professional credibility.

Mastering effective post-deployment validation is key to capturing the true impact of your automation efforts. It allows you to verify the benefits, identify and rectify potential deployment issues, and refine your approach for future projects.

In this article, we will help you understand the importance of post-deployment validation in the automation lifecycle. You will learn about worst-case scenarios during this phase and how innovative technologies such as Process Intelligence can support post-deployment validation efforts by helping you better understand business processes and providing measurable KPIs pre- and post-automation.

What is Post-Deployment Validation In The Automation Lifecycle?

Let's compare implementing automation to launching a spacecraft - planning and execution are crucial, but the real test comes once it's in orbit. And to confirm success, you need comprehensive and accurate data.

Similarly, for automation, post-deployment validation is that critical phase where you ensure the systems operate as intended in the real world. It helps you identify any discrepancies between expected outcomes and actual performance, allowing for timely corrections.

But where does post-deployment validation fit in the automation lifecycle?

It comes after the initial phases of:

  • Current State Understanding & Standardization - where the existing processes are mapped and standardized.
  • Automation Pattern Detection and Deployment - where suitable automation solutions are identified and implemented.

Acting as a gatekeeper, post-deployment validation ensures that only well-functioning automation progresses to the 'Monitoring & Optimization' phase, where you can make deployment configuration changes to fine-tune it for peak performance and further integrate it into broader business operations.

However, post-deployment validation goes beyond checking if basic functions are working properly. It is essential to confirm that the deployment process has seamlessly integrated the new automated systems into the existing operational environment without disrupting ongoing activities. You must validate that all system components work harmoniously and that the automation delivers the intended benefits and a positive impact on continuous improvement metrics.

Example:

Let's consider a scenario where software delivery teams at a healthcare company deploy an automated system designed to streamline patient scheduling and record management.

This team's post-deployment validation process involves checking that the new system correctly interfaces with existing electronic health record systems and accurately updates patient schedules across various departments without any data discrepancies or data-safety issues.

This targeted validation is critical to ensuring the automation delivers its intended benefits of improved patient flow and data accuracy without introducing errors into critical healthcare operations. 

Common Challenges That Prevent Businesses From Effective Post-Deployment Validation

Effective post-deployment validation is crucial for ensuring that automation efforts deliver their intended benefits. However, businesses often encounter several challenges that can hinder this process.

Inability to Baseline Current State Metrics

Imagine trying to appreciate the improvement in a car's performance without knowing its initial horsepower or fuel efficiency. Similarly, one of the most significant challenges in automation is establishing accurate baseline metrics before implementation.

Without a clear understanding of the current state, including comprehensive data on how processes are performing, it becomes nearly impossible to measure the effectiveness of automation.

Failing to Gain an End-to-End View of Business Processes

Many organizations struggle with siloed data and disjointed processes that complicate their understanding of operations from start to finish.

Businesses often find it challenging to collect structured and unstructured data effectively, making it difficult to make sense of the entire operational landscape. Without a holistic view, insights into process performance are obscured, hindering effective validation after automation solutions are deployed.

Identifying Root Causes of Business Challenges

Before deploying automation, it is essential to identify and understand the root causes of existing business challenges.

Failure to do so can result in automation that merely treats symptoms rather than solving underlying problems, much like applying a band-aid to a wound that requires stitches. This approach makes post-deployment validation ineffective and potentially leads to further complications rather than simplifications.

Yet, many organizations struggle to identify root causes due to a lack of a 360-degree view of business processes.

Ensuring Accuracy of data Being Processed by the New System

After deployment, a significant challenge is ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the data being processed by the new system.

You must ensure accuracy across various data sources.

Any discrepancies in data handling can lead to errors that compromise the validity of the automation outputs, affecting decision-making and operational efficiency.

Role of Process Intelligence in Post-Deployment Validation

A Process Intelligence platform offers a sophisticated lens through which businesses can view and analyze their processes, providing a deep understanding of both the pre-and post-deployment states.

This innovative technology delivers the most accurate and complete representation of process models based on real-time data. By doing so, it enables organizations to set up a strong testing strategy and measure and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) with precision. This detailed visualization covers all sub-processes, activities, and variations, offering a panoramic view of operations and their interdependencies.

One of the fundamental benefits of process intelligence is its ability to baseline current state metrics. This initial step is critical because it establishes a quantifiable benchmark against which post-automation performance can be measured. Following deployment, process intelligence tools continue to track and validate these metrics, helping organizations ascertain the ROI of their transformation efforts. 

Beyond validation, this technology, powered by machine learning models, can help businesses identify ongoing automation opportunities that can further enhance productivity and reduce costs.

For businesses looking to leverage automation as a transformational tool, embracing process intelligence is a step toward achieving more controlled, measurable, and successful outcomes.

Mastering Automation for Measurable Success

By prioritizing post-deployment validation, you unlock the true potential of automation. It empowers you to not only verify the effectiveness of your systems but also continuously refine your approach for ongoing improvement.

Don't let the initial excitement of automation fizzle out due to a lack of validation. Embrace a data-driven approach and ensure your automation journey delivers measurable results.

Ready to unlock the power of automation for your business? Our team of experts can help you navigate post-deployment validation and develop a comprehensive automation strategy.

Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and unlock the full potential of automation for your organization.

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