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The Automation Journey

Automation is about changing a business process. Focus on the business process, involve the people operating the business process today. Keep full automation as a goal, drive incremental improvement as the strategy.


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About Jennifer Matt

Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions.


By Cliff Hollingsworth on Sep 29, 2021

Can I buy you a coffee and just talk sometime?? I could pick your brain and discuss this topic for hours. It's such a misunderstood concept apparently by the industry at large.


By Hans Sep on Sep 29, 2021

"Automation isn’t a one-off thing, it's an incremental thing." YES, YES, YES!


By Dave Hultin on Oct 01, 2021

"What is automation but removing steps? You got to have the steps defined to know which ones you can remove."

This dovetails nicely with one of my all-time favorite quotes. It's from the book "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" by Nir Eyal. In his book, Eyal refers to another book (Something Really New: Three Simple Steps to Creating Truly Innovative Products, by Denis J. Hauptly) when he says this:

> First, Hauptly states, understand the reason people use a product or service. Next, lay out the steps the customer must take to get the job done. Finally, once the series of tasks from intention to outcome is understood, simply start removing steps until you reach the simplest possible process.


By Jennifer Matt on Oct 04, 2021

I love when you guys read the article and then extend the ideas further. I'm hoping that the people reading who want automation to be an "easy button" understand that I too wish there was an easy button. I don't relish the fact that things are difficult. What I relish is the satisfaction of truly understanding a process and then incrementally making it more efficient. You get to really see the results of your work. The ROI isn't just profit, for me it's pride I guess in just making things better. That pride has a HUGE impact on your team. I have been lucky enough to be on teams throughout my career where we built this pride. I know it has an impact b/c the colleagues I worked with bring those times up EVERY TIME I reconnect with them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a firm understanding of where you are settles the humans who work on your team and then a team effort to makes things run better uplifts the confidence of the team. It isn't even possible to measure what they will do to your business and your morale.


By Dave Hultin on Oct 04, 2021

It's crazy how much hard work it take to make an "Easy Button" truly easy, isn't it?!? :-)


By Cliff Hollingsworth on Oct 04, 2021

Here has ALWAYS been my approach to this. It is a slow introduction to a new way of thinking and gradually, as your team gets comfortable with the inclusion of "technology" conversations in their everyday working worlds, they will see it as an opportunity, rather than a threat. You might be amazed at the personal growth I have seen in my career as a result of being inclusive with my teams, encouraging buy-in and allowing people the chance to adjust.



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