What is a best practice when approaching an automation effort

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When approaching an automation effort, there are many questions which must be asked, such as: What types of tests should be automated? How much time should we spend on development? How many people are needed to accomplish the project? What do we do if the automation effort fails? For answers to these questions and more, see this resource!

Discover the current application landscape

Before you start planning your application modernization, it’s important to take stock of what you have now, as well as where you’re going. Map out your current environment (i.e., all of your applications) in order to understand which ones you may need to keep or whether some can be consolidated or retired. Take note of any legacy systems or applications—those that are so old that their support will soon end; these could either be thrown out entirely or upgraded if possible.

Find something worthwhile to automate

When you’re just starting out, it can be easy to pick low-hanging fruit. A simple thing like deleting abandoned shopping carts may seem worthwhile at first, but unless something is automated, it likely will never get done. You need to make sure that whatever you choose to automate has enough value for your business before investing time and energy into building out an automated solution. Start with things that are worth doing. Keep looking until you find one that works for you.

Run it until satisfied with results

If you have an application or process that you think would work well with some automation, don’t just assume it’s ready for you to start pulling on all its levers. Take a look at your first attempts, let them run for a few days, analyze what was achieved (and what wasn’t), tweak your approach and then re-evaluate again.

Stage in production and monitor performance

Whether you’re automating at Stage 1 (prototype) or Stage 4 (production), it’s always crucial to understand what automated software looks like in production. Since running automated software in production is typically not ideal, it’s important to understand how performance will be affected once your solution moves from testing into reality. Monitoring can help reduce impact on performance and help increase ROI.

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