Often one of the most repeated phrases in the technology startup community is Mark Zuckerberg’s motto, “move fast and break things”. However, that doesn’t work for everyone. Here at Wyser, we take a different approach.
Fast-paced iteration may have worked for a social networking site like Facebook but - with Wyser - our clients store highly sensitive information, meaning that being conscientious in our approach is paramount. Any mistakes made during a rapid development cycle could spell disaster for our customers.
A topic often overlooked is that of ‘technical debt’ which, in other words, is when rapid development can lead to short-term thinking and tactical solutions that will generally need corrections at a later date. However, if developers are rushed and are not given enough time for maintenance then long-term costs cannot be avoided.
We still use the underlying principle of obtaining early feedback and iterative improvements. For example, in order to measure how automation is meeting the defined digital transformation objectives, we use the following approach:
Stage 1: Observe, ask questions, and document how the current process works.
Stage 2: Build a strawman automated process and compare it against historical outcomes.
Stage 3: Iteratively improve the differences to produce a minimum viable process.
Stage 4: Incorporate the automated suggestions into the manual process for feedback
Stage 5: Iteratively remove any manual exception handling.
Stage 6: Fully automated.
The advantage of our approach is that customers are not impacted until the last stage, but we have spent time building confidence in both the outcome and also the ease of change with everyone involved.
It’s important that ease of change is not overlooked. The business process you are automating is probably being continuously improved while doing so.